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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Cotton Growth and Yield Response to Nitrogen Applied Through Fresh and Composted Poultry Litter

Authors: K.C. Reddy, R. K. Malik, S.S. Reddy, and E.Z. Nyakatawa
Pages: 26-34
Agronomy and Soils

Intensive poultry production in the southeastern United States has created problems with poultry litter disposal. An option is to use poultry litter as a source of N on row crops, such as cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Three sources of nitrogen: urea, fresh poultry litter (FPL), and composted poultry litter (CPL) at 40, 80, and 120 kg plant available N ha-1 with and without the second generation nitrification inhibitor carboxymethyl pyrazole (CP) were evaluated for cotton growth and yield on a Decatur silt loam soil in Alabama from 1994 through 1998. In general, the three sources of N significantly increased cotton growth and lint yield compared with the control (0 N). The increase in lint yields was correlated with an increase in plant height, main stem nodes, and nodes above white flower at maturity. Among the three N sources, FPL produced the highest mean lint yield over the five year period (1492 kg ha-1) compared with CPL (1392 kg ha-1) and urea (1391 kg ha-1). Composting FPL to make CPL did not improve its impact on cotton growth or yield. The nitrification inhibitor had no significant effect on cotton growth or lint yield. Substitution of poultry litter for commercial N sources, such as urea, in crop production would help solve the growing poultry litter disposal problem in Alabama and other parts of the southeastern United States.