PRINCETON, KY (March 20th, 2013) - Previous research studies have shown poultry litter applications have many benefits for corn and soybean producers, but these benefits have not been quantified or integrated into one comprehensive research study. UK College of Agriculture researchers are doing just that.

UK extension soils specialist Edwin Ritchey is leading the study to explore whether poultry litter applications can increase yield, allow for better water infiltration, improve soil water-holding capacity and add organic matter to the soil in Western Kentucky corn and soybean operations. He will also study whether one of the crops receives more value from the poultry litter, if nutrient values vary among poultry litter sources and if producers receive a yield boost from applying both poultry litter and nitrogen to their fields. “This research should determine whether poultry litter, in addition to providing plant nutrients, can improve soil quality without adversely affecting insects, diseases and weeds,” Ritchey said. “If it can, and if producers can economically obtain it, it might be preferred over a strict use of commercial fertilizers.” Read the complete College of Ag news item here.