Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Tool Fertilizes Fields And Reduces Runoff Nutrients

Date:
January 12, 2009
Source:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Summary:
A new field tool developed by Agricultural Research Service scientists applies poultry litter to fields in shallow bands, reducing runoff of excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen.

A new tool invented by ARS researchers buries poultry litter--a natural fertilizer for crop fields--in shallow trenches to reduce run off of excess nutrients.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Thomas R.Way, ARS.

A new field tool developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists applies poultry litter to fields in shallow bands, reducing runoff of excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen.

Related Articles


Poultry litter—a combination of poultry manure and bedding material, such as pine shavings or peanut or rice hulls—is a natural fertilizer. The conventional method of applying it to fields utilizes a broadcast spreader, which scatters the litter across the soil surface. Because it rests on top of the soil, the litter is vulnerable to runoff in heavy rains.

A new tool developed by ARS agricultural engineer Thomas R. Way and his colleagues at the agency's National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, Ala., offers a solution. The tool digs shallow trenches about two to three inches deep in the soil. It then places the poultry litter in the trenches and covers it with soil. Burying the litter significantly reduces the risk of runoff.

Designed to attach to a tractor, the litter applicator can dig four trenches as it is pulled through the field.

Collaborators in six states have used Way’s litter applicator in their research, with positive results. In one project, Way worked with Dan Pote, a soil scientist at the ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center in Booneville, Ark. The scientists applied the litter to bermudagrass forage plots, and then watered the field with a rainfall simulator.

When the litter was applied with Way’s new tool, phosphorus and nitrogen runoff were 80 to 95 percent lower than when the litter was applied in the conventional manner.

Way has also collaborated with ARS scientists throughout the country to examine the tool’s effectiveness with different crops. They used the new implement in experiments in corn fields in Alabama, Kentucky and Maryland; cotton fields in Mississippi and Georgia; and in bermudagrass and tall fescue stands in Alabama.

Their results showed that the new tool has the potential to reduce water pollution significantly when used to apply poultry litter to a variety of crops. Now ARS is pursuing a patent and seeking companies to manufacture and market the litter applicator.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

U.S. Department of Agriculture. "New Tool Fertilizes Fields And Reduces Runoff Nutrients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228195611.htm>.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2009, January 12). New Tool Fertilizes Fields And Reduces Runoff Nutrients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228195611.htm
U.S. Department of Agriculture. "New Tool Fertilizes Fields And Reduces Runoff Nutrients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228195611.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start your day. Whichever way you prepare them, oats provide your body with many health benefits. In celebration of National Oatmeal Day, Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a few recipe ideas, and tips on how to kickstart your day with this wholesome snack! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins