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Title: Effects of classified paper waste on warm season grass establishment

item BUSBY, R - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Torbert, Henry - Allen
item GEBHART, D - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2016
Publication Date: 11/7/2017
Citation: Busby, R.R., Torbert III, H.A., Gebhart, D. 2017. Effects of classified paper waste on warm season grass establishment. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The goal of this project is to investigate utilization of pulverized classified paper waste as an organic soil amendment for rehabilitation of severely disturbed training lands. Federal regulations require that classified documents be pulverized to 0.9 x 4.2 mm. These minute fiber sizes cannot be recycled by the paper industry, and large quantities are landfilled by the Department of Defense. In a separate problem, native warm season perennial grasses used for training land rehabilitation are adapted to nutrient poor soils; hence, an abundance of soil nitrogen is detrimental to them and often results in failure. Paper and potential impurities were analyzed to ensure low contaminant concentrations and determine agriculturally significant properties. Two sites are located on an alfisol and ultisol at Fort Polk, LA. Paper was applied at rates of 18, 36, 54 and 72 Mg ha-1 (8, 16, 24 and 32 tons ac-1) along with a treatment consisting of standard rehabilitation practices (lime and N fertilization) and a control. Treatments were replicated 4 times at each site in a randomized complete block design. Paper was incorporated and seeded with native warm season grasses. Data collection consisted of plant species composition and biomass, plant nutrient concentrations, and soil physical and chemical properties. This project will provide a unique solution for reuse of pulverized classified documents. As DoD is the largest US producer of classified documents, providing an alternative to landfilling this pulverized paper will result in reduced operational costs while simultaneously supporting rehabilitation of DoD training ranges.