Effects of treated poultry litter on potential Greenhouse Gas Emission and Field Application
This study examined the effects of different treatments of poultry faecal matter on potential greenhouse gas emission and its field application. Poultry litters were randomly assigned to four treatments viz; salt solution, alum, air exclusion and the control (untreated). Alum treated faeces had higher (p<0.05) percentage nitrogen retention than salt and air-tight treatments, which had higher (p<0.05) moisture content when compared with the control. The pH level was lowest in alum treated faecal matter (6.03, p<0.05), and highest in the control (7.37, p<0.05). Similarly, alum treated feaces had significantly lower mean temperature (28.58oC, p<0.05) control, salt and air-tight treatments, with air-tight treated feaces having the highest temperature (29.440C, p<0.05). Nitrogen depletion rate was significant lower (p<0.05) in alum treated feacal matter than in salt and air-tight treatments. Post-storage, samples treated with alum increased substantially (≥46.51%) in total microbial count, total viable count was lower (p>0.05; 2.83×106cfu/ml) in air-excluded treatment. Maize seeds planted on alum treated and air-excluded litter soils had an average germination percentage (GP) range of 65 – 75% and 54 – 75%, respectively. These figures were found to be mildly comparable to the control which averaged a germination index of 75%. Sorghum plots recorded a mean value of 99% GP on alum treated soil two weeks after planting, slightly surpassing air-tight treated soils with mean value of 89% GP. Average maize height was 48cm and 23cm for alum and air-tight treatment, respectively after 21 days of planting, in contrast to mean height of 25cm on the sorghum plots. Seeds planted on salt treated plots did not germinate. The study suggests that alum treated poultry litter was superior in mitigating the tendency for nitrogenous losses as evident in its lower nitrogen depletion rate, pH, weight, temperature and potential field application index.
Keywords: Greenhouse gas, Field application, Poultry litter, Alum, Air exclusion, Germination