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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
on March 8, 2011

Chicken litter may be alternative to synthetic fertilizers

Study conducted on broiler chicken litter-based organic fertilizers, commonly used synthetic fertilizers

Research from scientists at Mississippi State University, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service Southern Agricultural Laboratory, conducted a study investigating the effects of chicken litter-based fertilizer on plant growth, determining that while the chicken fertilizer had a lower nutrient content than synthetic fertilizers, it still proved effective.

The study involved comparing two broiler chicken litter-based organic fertilizers to a commonly used synthetic controlled-release fertilizer on marigold growth and flowering. "Despite having lower nutrient concentrations than many synthetic fertilizers, similar broiler litter-based fertilizers have been shown to be effective plant fertilizers," said Guihong Bi, corresponding author of the study. "For growers wishing to use these and other natural fertilizers in their production systems, the biggest question is how the fertilizers should be managed. How litter-based fertilizer behaves in an actual greenhouse setting remains a significant question."

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