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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Kimberly, Idaho » Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #399867

Research Project: Developing Resilient Irrigated Cropping Systems in Concentrated Dairy Production Areas of the Semi-arid West

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Title: Effects of sugarbeet processing precipitated calcium carbonate on crop production and soil properties

Author
item Tarkalson, David
item Bjorneberg, David - Dave
item NEHER, OLIVER - AMALGAMATED SUGAR COMPANY
item OLSEN, DAVEY - AMALGAMATED SUGAR COMPANY
item DEAN, GREG - AMALGAMATED SUGAR COMPANY

Submitted to: Journal of Sugar Beet Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) lime is a byproduct of sucrose extraction from sugarbeet processing factories in Idaho. Each year 351,000 Mg PCC is produced and stockpiled at sugarbeet factories in Idaho. There are currently no viable disposal strategies for the PCC and these stockpiles continue to grow in size each year. The simplest solution would be to apply this PCC directly to agricultural fields each year, however the effects of PCC on high pH soils and southern Idaho crop rotations are not well understood. A study was conducted at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho to determine the effects of PCC application to an alkaline silt loam soil on sugarbeet, dry bean and barley production and soil properties. The PCC applied at three rates up to 87.9 Mg per ha had no effects on crop production factors and most soil properties. The only significant impact of the PCC applications was an increase in soil phosphorus concentrations. The PCC can serve as a phosphorus (P) fertilizer. For all crops in this study, PCC was applied at rates that resulted in applied P levels that were 1.6 to 5.3 times greater than even the highest published recommended P rates. The PCC used in this study can safely be applied (at rates up to 87.9 kg per ha) to heavier textured alkaline soils in the local growing area. Disposing of PCC in this way represents a viable strategy for reducing PCC stockpiles.

Technical Abstract: Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) lime is a byproduct of sucrose extraction from sugar beet processing factories in Idaho. Each year 351,000 Mg PCC is produced and stockpiled at sugarbeet factories in Idaho. There are currently no viable disposal strategies for the PCC and these stockpiles continue to grow in size each year. The simplest solution would be to apply this PCC directly to agricultural fields each year, however the effects of PCC on high pH soils and southern Idaho crop rotations are not well understood. A study was conducted at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho to determine the effects of PCC application to an alkaline silt loam soil on sugar beet, dry bean and barley production and soil properties. Three PCC treatments (rate and timing) and an untreated control were compared. The PCC had no effects on crop production factors and most soil properties. The only significant effect of PCC treatments was an increase in soil phosphorus (P) concentrations compared to the control. The PCC can serve as a P fertilizer. For all crops in this study, PCC was applied at rates that resulted in applied P levels that were 1.6 to 5.3 times greater than even the highest published recommended P rates. Compared to the control, bicarbonate soil P concentrations increased by 25% and 73% for the final PCC application amounts of 26.9 Mg per ha (6.7A treatment) and 89.7 Mg per ha (6.7A and 89.7T treatments), respectively. The PCC used in this study can safely be applied (at rates up to 87.9 Mg per ha) to heavier textured alkaline soils in the local growing area. Disposing of PCC in this way represents a viable strategy for reducing PCC stockpiles.