Full proceedings available at: http://www.extension.org/72864
Livestock manures, including poultry litter, are often applied to soil as crop fertilizer or as a disposal mechanism near livestock housing. Manures can improve soil quality and fertility; however, over-application can result in negative environmental consequences, such as eutrophication of surface waters following runoff of soluble or particulate-associate phosphorus (P). In soil, P exists in many forms (inorganic/organic, labile/stable) and the fate of manure P is highly dependent upon soil properties, including soil texture and microbial activity. The Houston Black series is a calcareous (~17% calcium carbonate), high-clay soil that occupies roughly 12.6 million acres in east-central Texas. These Blackland vertizols are agronomically important for the production of cotton, corn, hay, and other crops, but their high calcium and clay content could lead to accumulation of P in forms that are not readily available for plant utilization. Accumulated P could serve as a source of legacy P if mineralized or otherwise transformed in situ or transported with soil particles in runoff.