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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


GEBRIM, Fabrício de Oliveira et al. Cation leaching favored by inorganic anions and low molecular mass organic acids in soils fertilized with different poultry litters. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.6, pp.2255-2267. ISSN 1806-9657.

The exponential growth in poultry farming in Brazil has led to a parallel increase in the production of manure and poultry litter. The litter generated in this activity used to be largely employed as cattle feed. However, the enactment of a law that bans the use of poultry litter as animal feed intensified its use as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Despite its importance, there are gaps in our knowledge on an adequate use to obtain high plant yields without threatening the environment. One of these gaps is base-leaching in the soil profile as a result of the presence of accompanying anions such as chloride, nitrate and sulphate, and the complexing effect of low molecular mass organic acids. Samples of two Oxisols (a clayey and a sandy loam Red-Yellow Latosol) were placed in PVC columns. Each column consisted of five PVC rings (5 cm diameter, 10 cm height) fixed to each other with scotch tape. Five types of poultry litter (coffee husks, ground corn cob, rice husk, napier grass and wood shavings) were homogenously applied to the soil in the top ring in a dose equivalent to 160 t ha-1 (dry weight basis). The treatments consisted of a 5 x 2 + 1 factorial combination, corresponding to five poultry litter types, two soils with distinct textures, and a control treatment with no poultry litter application, with five repetitions, arranged in a complete randomized block design. Deionized water was applied on top of the columns twice a week, in a total volume corresponding to 1.200 mm, totaling 10 applications. Leachates were analyzed for cations (Ca, Mg, K and Na), anions (Cl-, NO3-and SO42-) and low molecular mass organic acids by ion chromatography. Results indicate substantial base-leaching through the soil columns, particularly up to the third percolation. This was most likely a result of the presence of bases contained in the high poultry litter doses and the presence of accompanying anions (Cl-, NO3-and SO42-in the sandy loam soil and Cl-and NO3-in the clayey soil). Ca leaching was positively correlated with the malic and oxalic acid concentrations in the clayey soil. High acetic acid concentration in leachates of poultry litter-treated soils suggest that it may have favored base-leaching in the soil profile as a result of its action as an ion pair.

Keywords : bases leaching; complexation; citrate; acetate; oxalate; nitrate leaching.

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