Poultry litter as a nitrogen and phosphorous source for the rice–wheat cropping system uri icon

abstract

  • Poultry litter (PL) is an important nutrient source; however, no information is available regarding its value in supplying N and P in rice-wheat (RW) production. A three-year field study was conducted at Ludhiana, Punjab, India on a loamy sand soil to identify optimum combination of PL and N and P fertilizers for a sustainable RW production. The litter was applied to rice at 5 Mg ha(-1) as a single application and supplemented with different rates of N. The residual effect of PL and the direct effects of the different combinations of N and P were studied in the following wheat. Nitrogen and P mineralization from PL was studied under controlled conditions in the laboratory, and macronutrient input-output balances were estimated from field results. About 46% of the N from PL was released after 60 days of incubation. The release of P from the PL occurred mainly during the initial 20 days after incubation, accounting for 15-17% of the total P. Combining PL with fertilizer N (40 kg ha(-1)) increased rice yield and nutrient uptake similar to what was obtained with the application of recommended fertilizer N (120 kg ha(-1)). In the following wheat, the residual effect of PL was equal to 30 kg N ha(-1) and 13 kg P ha(-1). After three annual cropping cycles and PL application, mean soil organic C increased by 17%, Olsen-P by 73%, and NH4OAc-extractable-K by 24%. Most treatments had positive P but negative K balances. About 11% of the net P balance was recovered from the soil as Olsen-P. The study showed that optimum N and P fertilizer doses for an RW system receiving 5 Mg ha(-1) of PL are 40 kg N ha(-1) for rice and 90 kg N + 13 kg P ha(-1) for the following wheat. Safe and effective management of PL should be based on P balance, particularly when regular applications of PL are to be made in the RW system.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009