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.

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 1, 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 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 Video provided by AFP
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