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The Response of orchardgrass-ladino clover to the application of high-rise poultry manure in the Lower Fraser Valley Maynard, Douglas George


Approximately 86% of the poultry population of British Columbia is concentrated in the lower Fraser Valley. Because many of these operations are located on small land areas adjacent to suburban developments, the management of the poultry manure is a major problem. Landspreading is still the most widely practised way of handling poultry manure. The objectives of this study were to determine maximum disposal rates and optimum fertilizer rates of high-rise poultry manure on orchardgrass and orchardgrass-clover forage. Experimentation with poultry manure rates of 1.25 to 40 tonnes per hectare applied to orchardgrass and orchardgrass-clover forage was carried out in the Chilliwhack district of the lower Fraser Valley over a 2-year period. The poultry manure contained 5.1, 2.5 and 2.0% N, P and K respectively in 1975, and 3.5, 1.6 and 1.4% N, P and K respectively in 1976, with coefficients of variation from 5 to. 40%. The N:P:K ratio in the manure indicated that K and P (in some cases) would be limiting if the manure was applied to meet the N requirements of the crop. The recommended rate of poultry manure determined for disposal was 20 t/ha/year on orchardgrass forage. A poultry manure rate of 10 t/ha/year on orchardgrass forage is recommended to efficiently utilize the N resource of the manure as a fertilizer. A poultry layer operation of 2500 hens would require 3.6 ha of orchardgrass forage to dispose of the poultry manure produced in one year and 7.3 ha of orchardgrass forage to utilize the manure efficiently as a fertilizer.

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