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Abstract

Poultry litter contains high concentrations of water-soluble phosphorus and is readily transported in the farm run-off. This research aims to study the efficiency of heavy use area protection (HUAP) pads in decreasing litter spillage and phosphorous run-off at a Delaware poultry facility. Soil and water samples were analyzed for pH, total phosphorous, orthophosphate, and Mehlich III phosphorous throughout 2012. It has been hypothesized that the efficiency of HUAP pads would be reduced over time. Mehlich III phosphorus ranged from 22.82-200 mg/kg at site I, and 48.17 – 1179.6 mg/kg at site II, which were greater than the optimal soil concentrations. However, in the run-off, orthophosphate and total phosphorous levels were less than 0.05mg/L, and below U.S. EPA limits. This confirms that the HUAP pads, along with vegetative buffer strips, restricted the seepage of phosphorous into the run off. The results suggest minimal loss of nutrients from poultry house to water bodies.

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