Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Competing uses for shavings, sawdust and rapidly expanding broiler production has resulted in shortages and high costs of these bedding materials. Consequently the industry has promoted the use of boric acid (BA) treated recycled paper, also used as building insulation, as bedding material. Increased emphasis on composting to reduce the manure problem is also occurring. The purpose of this greenhouse study was to determine the nitrogen (N) supplying power of surface applied composts, and to estimate the toxicity potential from using BA paper-broiler litter compost on tall fescue pastures. Yield response of the compost used relative to that of chemical fertilizer was 22-30%. Over one-half of the N applied in the compost remained at the soil surface at the end of the study. Boron toxicity to tall fescue did not occur. Tall fescue's ability to tolerate large amounts of compost, or broiler litter as well as high rates of B, and the high mobility of B in the environment indicate that using BA treated paper-broiler manure compost to supply the N requirement of tall fescue would be environmentally acceptable.
Technical Abstract: Recycled paper treated with boric acid (BA) is gaining acceptance as bedding in broiler houses. Applying this litter to Kentucky 31 (K-3l) tall fescue, Festuca Arundinacea Shreb, pastures raises the issue of potential B toxicity. The effect of five N sources at 224, 448, and 896 kg N/ha in a factorial arrangement on growth and NPKB uptake of K-31 Tall fescue was determined in greenhouse culture. The five N sources were (1) inorganic, (2) Compost of hen manure, broiler manure, hay and bark (M1), (3) Fresh broiler litter (M2), (4) Compost of broiler manure and BA paper bedding (M3), (5) Compost of hen manure, oak leaves, broiler litter (M4). Relative yield response of M2 was 65% of that from inorganic NPK, while the three composts produced 22-30% as much dry matter yield as inorganic NPK. Over 50% of the N applied in compost residue remained at the soil surface. Boron toxicity to K-31 as estimated from yield reduction or from visual symptoms did not occur. The high mobility of B i humid areas, the ability of K-31 tall fescue to tolerate large amounts of compost, as well as high rates of B indicate that an application of broiler litter containing BA treated recycled paper would be environmentally acceptable at rates based on N requirements of K-31 tall fescue.