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Agricultural Research Center, Ona HUME LIBRARY -
S/ Research Report RC-1976-3 April 1976
JUL 1 U 1/8
EFFECT OF POULTRY MANURE ON ENSACOLA BAIAGRAS ON
I.F.A.S.-unv. o Tlorina
LAKELAND FINE SANDY SOI IN SOUTi FORIDA---
C. L. Dantzman and Wayne Wade-
The amount of poultry manure produced in the state of Florida has been
steadily increasing. Over 1/2 million tons were produced in 1961 and this
increased to over 1 million tons by 1972. The amount of fertilizer elements
in poultry manure will vary from 1.2 t* 3.5% nitrogen, 0.4 to 2.0% phosphorus,
and 1.25 to 2.25% potassium. Using average figures, one million tens of the
manure contains 24,000 tons of nitrogen, 12,000 tons of phosphorus, and 17,500
tons of potassium. It also contains magnesium, calcium, sulfur, and a number
Poultry manure has long been used as a fertilizer material for vegetables,
citrus, ornamentals, and pastures. It is primarily used near the source of
supply due to its bulk and expense for hauling it any great distance.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate levels of poultry manure on the
growth of Pensacola bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum L. Flugg.) under pasture
Cage layer poultry manure was applied to Pensacola bahiagrass pasture on
Lakeland fine sandy soil.2/The manure was applied by a commercial manure
spreader (5 ton capacity)- at the rates of 1, 3, and 5 ton per acre. One
half of the pasture's plots received a single application in the fall and the
rest received application of one-half of the amount in the spring and one-half
in the fall. Wire cages 5 feet by 5 feet were placed on the plots to provide
an ungrazed area for sampling. Forage was harvested from the caged areas to a
3 inch stubble using a rotary mower. Harvest dates were April 21, June 14,
July 21, August 31, and November 1, 1971 and June 29, 1972. The cages were
randomly placed within the plot areas after each harvest on forage that had
also been clipped to a 3 inch stubble. Samples of plant materials were
analyzed for phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium after a digestion
procedure. Soil samples, taken March 12, 1972, were extracted with a 1 normal,
pH 4.8, ammonium acetate solution and analyzed for the above named elements.
1/ Assistant Professor (Assistant Soils Chemist), Agricultural Research
Center, Ona, and Extension Agent, Hillsborough County, Plant City.
2/ Bob Stubbs Manure Spreader Service.
When manure was applied at the rate of 5 tons per acre per year, either all
at one time or one-half in the spring and one-half in the fall, oven-dry forage
yields increased 100% as compared to the untreated plots (Figure 1). The
average annual oven-dry forage yield for the untreated plots was 1.3 ton per
acre per year. Rainfall over the period of the trial was 25% less than the
average. When 3 ton per acre per year was applied in one application, the
average oven-dry yield per acre was 2.0 ton per year, and when this amount of
manure was applied in two applications, the oven-dry yield of Pensacola bahia-
grass was 1.9 ton, approximately a 50% yield increase over the untreated areas.
The 1 ton per acre per year rate of manure produced a dry matter yield inter-
mediate between the control and 3 tqn application.
The oven-dried' forage averaged 0.33% phosphorus, 0.40% calcium, and 0.13%
magnesium for manure treated areas compared to 0.28% phosphorus, 0.35% calcium
and 0.10% magnesium for unfertilized areas. Soil analyses for samples taken
during the second year of the trial (March 12, 1972) in pounds per acre were
16 phosphorus, 78 potassium, 355 calcium, and 62 magnesium for the unfertilized
areas, and from 21 to 50 phosphorus, 91 to 158 potassium, 515 to 971 calcium,
and 76 to 114 magnesium for the 1 ton and the 5 ton manure treated areas,
respectively (Figure 2). The levels of soil elements increased as the level
of manure increased. The soil pH values ranged from 5.6 to 5.8 for all
treatments. The amount of major nutrients supplied by 3 ton of the poultry
manure used in the trial was equivalent to the amount supplied by 600 pounds
of a 17-17-17 (N-P205-K20) fertilizer.
Poultry manure applied at the rate of 5 ton per acre either all at one
time in the fall or in split application in the spring and fall increased
yields of Pensacola bahiagrass 100% or more than that for the control.
Forage yield was directly related to level of poultry manure applied and
intermediate increases in oven-dry yield took place for 3 and 1 ton rates.
Where manure was applied, the forage contained greater amounts of phosphorus,
calcium, and magnesium than where none was applied. Analyses of soils from
areas receiving manure measured greater in amounts of potassium, phosphorus,
calcium, and magnesium than soils from areas receiving no manure.
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