Submitted to: Fuel
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Alfalfa, a crop of great economy value to American agriculture, has a relative high requirement for two essential plant nutrients, sulfur (S) and boron (B), as compared to grain crops. Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) residue, a byproduct of coal combustion for generation of electricity, contains considerable quantities of S, B, and molybdenum (Mo), which, although an essential plant nutrient, can be toxic to ruminant animals. Ou field research showed that FGD residues, a societal burden, are an effective economical source of these plant nutrients for alfalfa production, with no threat to the feed chain or environmental quality. This information will be used by farmers, consultants, and utility companies to establish managements system to beneficially utilize FGD residue for alfalfa production. State and federal regulator officials will use this information directly as they establish rules and guidelines of applying this waste material onto agricultural lands.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to document the availability of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) residue-borne boron (B), sulfur (S), and molybdenum (Mo) for alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) uptake when applied at agronomic rates to marginally B deficient soils. The FGD residue was applied at rates of 0, 0.46 and 3.75 Mg ha**-1 on a silt loam soil immediately prior to alfalfa seeding. Alfalfa yields were unaffected by these rates of residue applications, but shoot concentrations of B and S in the second cutting and B, S, and Mo in the third cutting were increased by residue applications. Hence, FGD residue is a readily available B source, particularly later in the growing season when native soil B availability decreased.