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Articles by H. Allen Torbert
Total Records ( 3 ) for H. Allen Torbert
  Dexter B. Watts , H. Allen Torbert and Eton E. Codling
  Background and Objectives: It is believed that the poultry litter’s nutrient composition is influenced by management. However, limited information exists on whether current poultry litter management strategies influence litter nutrients. To fill this knowledge gap, Alabama poultry producers were surveyed to evaluate their management strategies and asked to submit a litter sample to determine how their production practices impacts poultry litter and its nutrient composition. Specifically, this study assessed the frequency of cleanout, the depth of sampling, the size of birds reared and the number of flocks raised on the bedding to determine how it influenced macro and micro nutrient concentrations of the litter. Materials and Methods: The influence of poultry rearing facility (broiler, breeder, or pullet) and whether the litter was collected from a poultry house, composter or dry stack barn was also evaluated. A total of 188 L samples submitted by producers were used for this study. Results: Averaging across all samples collected, the litter on an as-is basis had a fertilizer grade close to that of 3-3-2 for N, P2O5 and K2O, respectively. Litter collected from broiler production facilities had the highest overall macro- and micronutrient concentrations, while litter from composters had slightly higher N, P and Ca and lower C than litter taken directly from houses or drystack barns. The depth sampled, frequency of cleanout and number of flocks on the litter also influenced nutrient composition. Nutrients tended to be higher in caked litter than from sampling the entire six-inch depth. Litter nutrients tended to increase with flocks and decrease with frequency of cleanout. Conclusion: This study shows that differences in management may influence litter nutrient concentrations.
  Dexter B. Watts , G. Brett Runion , Joseph L. Purswell , H. Allen Torbert and Jeremiah D. Davis
  Background and Objectives: Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are increasing at an unprecedented rate and are expected to double pre-industrial revolution levels within this century. The effects of broiler house management on these emissions are unknown. A study was conducted to examine the effect of FGD gypsum bedding on efflux of NH3, CO2, CH4 and N2O. Materials and Methods: FGD gypsum bedding was compared with pine shavings and pine shaving+FGD gypsum (50:50 mix) and each litter type was either decaked or rotovated after each flock. Flux measurements (CO2, CH4 and N2O) and NH3 concentrations were taken during flocks 4 and 5. Results: Litter treatment had little effect on GHG gas emissions during flocks 4 and 5 but NH3 concentrations tended to be lower with FGD gypsum. Decaking tended to lower NH3 concentration and GHG emissions due to removal of some of the manure material. Conclusion: This first examination of the effects of different litter materials on GHG emissions from broiler houses showed that FGD gypsum can reduce NH3 concentrations without impacting climate change; however, more research is needed to verify these results.
  Lucian Wielopolski , George Hendrey , Kurt H. Johnsen , Sudeep Mitra , Stephen A. Prior , Hugo H. Rogers and H. Allen Torbert
  Carbon is an essential component of life and, in its organic form, plays a pivotal role in the soil`s fertility, productivity, and water retention. It is an integral part of the atmospheric–terrestrial C exchange cycle mediated via photosynthesis; furthermore, it emerged recently as a new trading commodity, i.e., "carbon credits." When carefully manipulated, C sequestration by the soil could balance and mitigate anthropogenic CO2 emissions into the atmosphere that are believed to contribute to global warming. The pressing need for assessing the soil`s C stocks at local, regional, and global scales, now in the forefront of much research, is considerably hindered by the problems besetting dry-combustion chemical analyses, even with state-of-the-art procedures. To overcome these issues, we developed a new method based on gamma-ray spectroscopy induced by inelastic neutron scattering (INS). The INS method is an in situ, nondestructive, multielemental technique that can be used in stationary or continuous-scanning modes of operation. The results from data acquired from an investigated soil mass of a few hundred kilograms to an approximate depth of 30 cm are reported immediately. Our initial experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of our proposed approach; we obtained a linear response with C concentration and a detection limit between 0.5 and 1% C by weight.
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