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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Co-Utilization of Organic and Inorganic Waste to Alleviate Plant Nutrient Imbalances: I. Organic and Inorganic Amendment Applications

Authors
item Edwards, James - (DECEASED)
item AIKEN, GLEN
item Norton, Lloyd
item LIVINGSTON, STANLEY
item WAY, THOMAS

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2002
Publication Date: July 25, 2002
Citation: Edwards, J.H., Aiken, G.E., Norton, L.D., Livingston, S.J., Way, T.R. 2002. Co-utilization of organic and inorganic waste to alleviate plant nutrient imbalances: i. organic and inorganic amendment applications. In: Proceeding of Workshop on Use of Organic and Inorganic Amendments Derived From Waste By-Products to Alleviate Soil Nutrient Imbalance, September 16, 1999, Bryan, Texas. P. 12-21.

Interpretive Summary: Concentrated animal feeding operations are a major source of animal manure in the USA. These manures can result in severe degradation of soil, water, and air quality if not properly managed. Environmental concerns associated with the land application of manures include leaching and runoff losses of phosphorus to surface water and groundwater. A field in eastern Texas containing a high concentration of phosphorus due to repeated applications of poultry manure was used, and seven blends of materials were applied to the soil. Inorganic amendments (alum or gypsum or both) were blended with waste paper and mixed in the top four inches of soil. Four months later, reductions in the amount of phosphorus in the top three inches of soil, that was available for leaching into groundwater or being carried away in runoff water, ranged from 8 to 10%, when compared to soil to which no amendments had been applied. Reductions in the three-inch to six-inch depth soil layer ranged from 15% to 23% compared to the amendment-free soil. These results indicate that a mixture of waste paper and inorganic materials can be used as a soil amendment to reduce the potential for contamination of groundwater and surface water by soil phosphorus.

Technical Abstract: The Nitrogen:Phosporus ration of animal manure when it is removed from the production facility is in the range 2:1 to 3:1. Long-term application of animal manures to agricultural land can result in accumulation of soil extractable phosphorus and salts. An experiment was conducted to determine the effectiveness of blending different organic and inorganic wastes to remediate soil containing extractable soil phosphorus levels greater than 200 mg/kg. Soil amendments included: 1) control, 2) gypsum (five metric tons/ha) 3) alum, (1.4 metric tons/ha), 4) gypsum (1.5 metric tons/ha), 5) waste paper + alum, 6) waste paper + gypsum, 7) waste paper + alum + gypsum, and 8) waste paper only. The blended waste paper amendments were applied at 2.44 kg/sq. meter. Blended waste paper and industrial wastes had Carbon:Nitrogen ratios adjusted to 20:1 with ammonium sulfate. Application of inorganic amendments did not reduce the extractable phosphorus by more than 8 to 10% in the 0 to 15 cm soil depth range, but when the inorganic amendments were blended with waste paper, the extractable phosphorus was decreased 8 to 10% in the 0 to 6.5 cm and 15 to 23% in the 6.5 to 15 cm depth ranges after 4 months. These results indicate that waste paper can be used as a soil amendment to reduce soil-extractable phosphorus. Results further showed no buildup of Cu, Zn, or any of the heavy metals from long-term manure application.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014