This blog continues our look at poultry litter and how to maximize nutrient availability and uptake by incorporating Accomplish LM, a biochemical fertilizer catalyst, into poultry litter applications.
Poultry litter, an organic fertilizer, is loaded with many of the essential nutrients necessary for plant growth. Before plants can utilize these organic nutrients, they must be converted (mineralized) into inorganic forms, or cations and anions (i.e. (NO3-, NH4+, HPO4-2 or K+). The speed of this conversion depends on several factors, including temperature, moisture, pH and the base material used in the litter, particularly its carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio.
Many poultry operations use pine shavings or rice hulls as the base material, both of which have a high C:N ratio. The C:N ratio for pine shavings is more than 500:1, while the C:N ratio for rice hulls, although much lower than pine shavings, is still high at 120:1. Keep in mind that the C:N ratio should ideally be around 30:1, since higher ratios are associated with increased nutrient tie-up, or immobilization.
Another challenge is that calcium found in the poultry litter—which varies in amount according to the litter source—can bind with phosphorous to form compounds that are unavailable for plant use.
For growers that use poultry litter, one way to meet these challenges and ensure the most efficient use of nutrients is to add Accomplish LM to the poultry litter application. The diverse biochemistry of Accomplish LM, which is naturally produced by soil microbes and includes enzymes, organic acids and chelators, facilitates the mineralization of organic nutrients in poultry litter. This increases nutrient availability and plant uptake, thereby positively impacting crop yield.
In an on-farm study conducted to test the effectiveness of a broadcast application of Accomplish LM following a chicken litter application (Norwood, NC - 2012), the addition of Accomplish LM increased mineralization of the litter’s organic nutrients and increased nutrient uptake by the crop, resulting in a yield increase of 13.7 bushels per acre.
Another trial in Southwest City, MO demonstrates significantly increased plant and root growth when Accomplish LM is incorporated into a poultry litter program.
These are just two of many studies showing the benefits of Accomplish LM when used with litter applications in the field.