Characterization of Agricultural Runoff Associated with ProAgri™ Treatment of Poultry Litter Added to Soils

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Arkansas State University

One of the greatest problems facing crop producers, who utilize poultry litter as a fertilizer for their fields, is phosphorus (P) runoff. Although phosphorus is a necessary element for optimal crop production, it can also have an adverse reaction when introduced into the aquatic environment. This problem is thought to have been helped by a new litter treatment product, ProAgri™ that became available for use in the poultry houses, which allegedly binds up the excess P. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the ProAgri™ on water quality of runoff. Four different treatments which included a control with no poultry litter, untreated poultry litter, ProAgri™ treated poultry litter, and ProAgri™ plus Activator treated poultry litter were applied at the rate of 2 tons per acre. Natural and simulated rainfall events produced runoff that was analyzed for water quality. No statistical differences (p>0.05) were found in soluble phosphorus, total suspended solids, turbidity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, hardness, and pH in runoff water between treatments.