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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of a Waste Paper Product on Soil Phosphorus, Carbon and Bulk Density

Authors
item Brauer, David
item Aiken, Glen

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 2006
Publication Date: May 1, 2006
Citation: Brauer, D.K., Aiken, G.E. 2006. Effects of a waste paper product on soil phosphorus, carbon and bulk density. Journal of Environmental Quality. 35:898-902.

Interpretive Summary: Applications of animal manures have increased soil test P values in many parts of the United States, and thus increased the risk that soil P will be transferred to surface water and decrease water quality. To continue farming in these areas, landowners need tools to reduce the risk of P moving off agricultural land. A field experiment was conducted near Booneville AR to evaluate the effectiveness of a waste paper product on soil structure and soil test P values. Additions of a waste paper product increased soil carbon content (i.e. organic matter) and decreased soil bulk density, but had no effect on soil test P values. These results indicate that decreased in P in runoff from soils receiving waste paper are most likely due to changes in soil structure rather than the chemical properties of soil P. These results are of interest to landowners who apply animal manure to field for crop and forage production, and agricultural and natural resource professionals who advise landowners.

Technical Abstract: Long-term applications of animal manures to agricultural fields have increased soil test values for phosphorus (P) to high levels in many parts of the United States and thus increased the likelihood that P will be transported to surface water and degrade its quality. It has been hypothesized that applications of a waste paper product to soils with high soil test P (STP) will decrease the risk of P transport to surface water by decreasing dissolved reactive P (DRP) and providing organic matter resulting in improved infiltration, but confirming data are lacking. A field experiment was conducted near Booneville AR (USA) to assess the effects of different rates of waste paper addition on STP, bulk density and total soil carbon (C) with a soil with moderate levels of STP, i.e. approximately 45 mg Bray1P kg-1 soil (dry weight). A Leadvale series soil (Fine-silty, siliceous, thermic Typic Fragiudults) was amended with 0, 21.8, 43.5 or 87.5 Mg waste paper ha-1 to supply approximately 87, 174 or 349 kg of Al ha-1, respectively. One year after additions, there was a strong negative correlation between waste paper application rates and soil bulk density and a strong positive correlation between rates and total soil C content. Rates of waste paper had no effect on either soil bulk density or total C two years after additions. Soil DRP and Bray1P were not affected by waste paper addition rates. These results support the hypothesis that decreases in dissolved reactive P in runoff from soils receiving waste paper additions were likely due to changes in soil organic matter and structure, rather than changes in the chemical forms of soil P.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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