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Toxics 2018, 6(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics6020028

Changes in Arsenic, Copper, Iron, Manganese, and Zinc Levels Resulting from the Application of Poultry Litter to Agricultural Soils

1
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA
2
Natural Resources Conservation Service, Virginia, United States Department of Agriculture, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems)
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Abstract

Twelve applications of poultry litter were made to a 2.1-ha field located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, United States (USA), between March 1999 and August 2014. The field was planted with bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and used as a pasture on an active farm. Copper, iron, manganese, zinc, and arsenic concentrations in the poultry litter were measured, and the application rates of these metals were calculated. The median application rates were: Cu, 1.32 kg/ha, Fe, 5.57 kg/ha, Mn, 1.80 kg/ha, Zn, 1.39 kg/ha, and As, 0.011 kg/ha. Twelve surface and subsurface soil samples were taken from the treated field in February 2016. Twelve samples were also taken from a comparison site. The comparison site was directly adjacent to the study site, consisted of the same soil type, and had been maintained as an undisturbed forest. Extractable Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, and As concentrations in the soil samples were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy, and the results of the chemical analysis were analyzed by ANOVA. Fe and Mn were depleted from the soil in the treated field, while Cu and Zn levels increased over the 12 years of treatment and grazing, and arsenic levels were unchanged in both the surface and subsurface soils between the comparison and the study site. The changes observed for Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn are within the critical deficiency level and critical toxicity level for these metals, and no arsenic remains in the soil from roxarsone feed supplements, which were added to the poultry feed when the litter was applied to the study site. View Full-Text
Keywords: poultry litter; soil; iron; manganese; copper; zinc; arsenic; Cynodon dactylon poultry litter; soil; iron; manganese; copper; zinc; arsenic; Cynodon dactylon
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Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: dx.doi.org/10.17632/kvm75v85d2.1
    Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/kvm75v85d2.1
    Description: The raw data and the output from the ANOVA analysis of this study
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Foust, R.D.; Phillips, M.; Hull, K.; Yehorova, D. Changes in Arsenic, Copper, Iron, Manganese, and Zinc Levels Resulting from the Application of Poultry Litter to Agricultural Soils. Toxics 2018, 6, 28.

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