On-farm Evaluation of Soybean Broiler Litter Recommendations in South Carolina
Sustainable Production
Field management Nutrient managementSoil healthTillageYield trials
Parent Project:
This is the first year of this project.
Lead Principal Investigator:
Bhupinder Farmaha, Clemson University
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:
This project aims to evaluate recommendations for broiler litter as soybean fertilizer. Field activities include harvesting test plots, taking soil samples and collecting other datasets. Analyzed yield response and soil sample results will be shared.
Key Beneficiaries:
#agronomists, #extension agents, #farmers
Unique Keywords:
#crop management systems, #fertilizer, #on-farm, #poultry litter, #soil health
Information And Results
Project Summary

For soybean producers, broiler litter is an attractive fertilizer source due to its abundance in SC and its inexpensiveness compared to synthetic fertilizers. The use of broiler litter is also attractive because of its positive impact on soil health and various functions. However, the characteristics of broiler litter are variable and its potential nutrient availability for crop production depends on litter quality and soil factors, necessitating local studies in SC. Our hypothesis is that the use of broiler litter will have a positive effect on soil health and improve soybean productivity and profitability.

Project Objectives

1. Evaluate the response of soybean yield to broiler litter application rates (0, 1.5, 3, 4.5, and 6 tons per acre).
2. Determine the effect of broiler litter on soil health parameters.

Project Deliverables

Outputs will be a better understanding of broiler litter and its fertilizer use values in soybean-corn rotation. The results from this study will be presented to extension agents and producers in field days and winter meetings. This will be the third and last year of the study. At the end of 2023, results will be compiled into an extension article made available for stakeholders and a short (< 5 minutes) YouTube video.
Key Performance Indicators: The ability of the broiler litter to enhance growth and soybean yield will be quantified and analyzed at the end of the field trial. Economic cost/return sheets can be developed to determine how profitable the treatments are.

Progress Of Work

Final Project Results

Benefit To Soybean Farmers

Soybean yields have increased substantially in recent decades due to better management of improved varieties. In order to sustain high yields, we need to test, find, and use sustainable nutrient management practices. In 2021, fertilizer prices sky-rocketed, and that made producers even more concerned about having profitable crop production. When fertilizer prices are so high, many producers want to rely on animal manure to satisfy crop demands. However, we don’t have proper guidelines for producers to use broiler litter, a commonly available animal manure in SC, to raise productive and profitable crops. In 2022 we continued on-farm broiler litter studies to understand the impact of broiler litter on soybean-corn productivity, profitability, and soil health. The proposed research will generate new information that will make Soybean production more sustainable in South Carolina.

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.