Sunday, December 28, 2008

New tool fertilizes fields and reduces runoff nutrients

Agricultural Research Service: 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….

Photo courtesy of Thomas R. Way, ARS.

2 comments:

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Farming Net said...

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