News Release

Benefits of integrating cover crop with broiler litter in no-till dryland cotton systems

Reports and Proceedings

American Phytopathological Society

Although most cotton is grown in floodplain soils in the Mississippi Delta region, a large amount of cotton is also grown under no-till systems on upland soils that are vulnerable to erosion and have reduced organic matter. There are much lower levels of cotton residue in these systems, which limits the effectiveness of the no-till approach to improve soil health.

Repeatedly applying broiler litter applications to these systems exposes litter and nutrients to risk of loss, reduced effectiveness as a nutrient source, and yield reduction. In contrast, integrating a cover crop with broiler litter into no-till dryland cotton offers many benefits, including improved soil health indicators and increased plant residue, cotton yield, and infiltration and water storage.

In the webcast "Manure and Cover Crop Management Practices on Dryland No-Till Cotton System in Mississippi," USDA-ARS research soil scientist Ardeshir Adeli provides a basis for farmers and producers who want to adopt cover crop management practices to maintain the fertilizer value of broiler litter and reduce the use of purchased inorganic fertilizers. In doing so, growers can maximize their net returns and protect the environment. This presentation also serves as a guideline for broiler producers and helps agricultural consultants and the Natural Resources Conservation Service develop plans for nutrient management.

This 23-minute presentation is available through the "Focus on Cotton" resource on the Plant Management Network. This resource contains more than 75 webcasts, along with presentations from six conferences, on a broad range of aspects of cotton crop management: agronomic practices, diseases, harvest and ginning, insects, irrigation, nematodes, precision agriculture, soil health and crop fertility, and weeds. These webcasts are available to readers open access (without a subscription).


The "Focus on Cotton" homepage also provides access to "Cotton Cultivated," a new resource from Cotton Incorporated that helps users quickly find the most current cotton production information available. These and other resources are freely available courtesy of Cotton Incorporated at

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