The Effect of Crop Land Applied Poultry Litter on Water Quality

1999 Annual Report for FS99-092

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 1999: $9,556.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Region: Southern
State: Oklahoma
Principal Investigator:

The Effect of Crop Land Applied Poultry Litter on Water Quality


In eastern Oklahoma, and Arkansas there are a large number of poultry operations. The poultry litter produced by these operations is being applied to the land. Because of the large amount of poultry litter being produced and the small area on which to apply it, the land application has resulted in high phosphorus levels in the soil. This has created water quality problems.

There are thousands of acres of crop land to the west of the poultry operations which could utilize the phosphorus in poultry litter. I will plant crops which need high amounts of phosphorus. I will transport the poultry litter to my operations in northern Oklahoma. I will apply the litter to crop land and take soil samples and keep a record of water samples to determine if water quality changes. The poultry litter is inexpensive but transportation cost to my part of Oklahoma may be on the high side. We hope to take our results to state officials and develop a cost-share program to help pay transportation costs in the future.


Brent Smith

Farmland Industries
Mike Thralls

Oklahoma Conservation Commission
Richard Zetterberg