Poultry Litter Research Project

Project Overview

Project Type: On-Farm Research
Funds awarded in 2003: $12,600.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Southern
State: South Carolina
Principal Investigator:
David Gunter
Clemson Extension Service

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: cotton


  • Animal Production: manure management
  • Crop Production: fertilizers


    A comparison of using poultry litter to using commercial fertilizer for the nutrient management requirements of a cotton crop found that cotton can be grown resulting in as good, if not better yields and as good, if not better returns. The owner of a poultry operation had a better opportunity to have better bottom lines than growers using litter brokers to gain access to poultry litter. Data from deep sampling to three foot revealed little or no differnce in leaching of nitrates and other nutrients of the two systems.


    Cotton producers in Darlington County are dealing with high input costs and low revenues. One of the inputs that has really increased in the last 5 years is fertilizer costs. Since manure brokers have come into the county, farmers in an otherwise poultry deficit county, now has access to poultry litter from other locations.

    Project objectives:

    The Objective of this project was to show cotton farmers in Darlington County that applying poultry litter in an environmentally friendly manner, could produce as good or better cotton yields and it could be obtained at equal or at lower costs to conventional fertilizer.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.