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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Garbage Byproduct Increases Native Grass Establishment and Productivity

Authors
item Busby, Ryan - U.S. ARMY
item Gebhart, Dick - U.S. ARMY
item Torbert, Henry
item Potter, Kenneth

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2004
Publication Date: November 1, 2004
Citation: Busby, R.R., Gebhart, D.L., Torbert III, H.A., Potter, K.N. 2004. Garbage byproduct increases native grass establishment and productivity. [abstract]American Society of Agronomy Meetings. 2004 CDROM

Technical Abstract: A novel household waste management strategy is being evaluated by ERDC-CERL and the USDA-ARS at Forts Campbell and Benning. The process separates the organic fraction from the inorganic materials and sterilizes/stabilizes it without composting. This research is investigating the potential of the processed organic pulp for land application and rehabilitation by measuring vegetative cover, species composition, biomass, plant nutrient uptake, and soil physical and chemical properties. The first study was carried out at Fort Campbell, TN, from 2002-2003 on degraded training land. Pulp was applied at rates up to 16 tons/acre and seeded with native prairie grasses. After two growing seasons, native grasses showed significant increases in basal cover, percent composition and P accumulation with high pulp rates. Pulp had little effect on soil physical and chemical properties at rates up to 16 tons/acre. The second study is underway at Fort Benning, GA, with pulp application rates quadrupled. First year results show vast increases in biomass and native grass basal cover with increasing pulp rates. A third study is being conducted to assess decomposition of the pulp through a 90 day incubation. Final results of the incubation and Fort Campbell studies and preliminary results from Fort Benning will be presented.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014