Composted poultry manure as a potential nutrient source for organic tree fruits.
Certified organic nutrient sources for apple production in Nova Scotia are limited. Researchers have debated the value of composting manures compared with applying raw manure for various cropping systems. Additionally, it is accepted that fall-applied manure may reduce tree hardiness unless the trees are fully hardened and cool temperatures have greatly reduced soil metabolism. In the Annapolis Valley, uncertified composted and raw poultry manures are readily available. This study compared maintenance and high rates of fall-applied raw cage house or composted cage house poultry manure at rates containing 34, 67, 101, 135 and 168 kg ha-1 actual N, and a control treatment of no fertilizer on mature 'McIntosh' apple (Malus × domestica) trees. Compared with the trees with no added nutrients, growth, yield and leaf levels of Mn and B increased, while fruit size and hardiness showed no response.
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