Estimating Zinc Index Values Based on Litter Constituents and Application Rate Peanut Notes No. 12 2022

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Question About Litter and Zinc

Attached is a poultry litter analysis report that represents a company that is marketing this material in the east to offset high fertilizer prices. One grower is intending to apply about 500 pound per acre of this material. If he does this, how much of an increase would you expect his zinc index to go up?

Stephanie Kulesza

It’s hard to estimate how an application of zinc will affect the soil Zn-I. The most conservative estimate is to assume all of it will be available. To do this, you would divide the pounds of zinc applied per acre by 0.071 to get the increase in zinc index. I found the conversion factor on the NCDA&CS website (https://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/obt14.htm)

So, if you’re applying 500 lbs/ac of the first sample (4.5 lbs of Zn/ton), you’d have a maximum soil Zn-I increase of 15. Notice that the three waste analyses are very different in their zinc concentration. It’s really important to have an accurate analysis of the product that you’ll actually be applying to avoid a toxicity issue.

Jordan

Sample 1 (as Steph indicated) projects a Zn-I increase of 15

Sample 2 projects a Zn-I increase of 2

Sample 3 projects a Zn-I increase of 116

Sample 3 is the one to be concerned about in this group, depending on the Zn-I already in place prior to the application. Uniformity of the litter and the application of litter are really important considerations (as Steph indicated.)  For example, there will be areas of overlap and the increase goes from 116 to 232. This is just under the critical Zn-I of 250. And this assumes the Zn-I is not already at a modest level.

Thanks again Steph!