Effects of five non-agricultural organic wastes on soil composition, and on the yield and nitrogen recovery of Italian ryegrass

J. T. Douglas*, M. N. Aitken, C. A. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied the effects of five diverse non-agricultural organic wastes on soil composition, grass yield and grass nitrogen use in a 3-year field experiment. The applied wastes were distillery pot ale, dairy salt whey, abattoir blood and gut contents, composted green waste (two annual applications each), and paper-mill sludge (one annual application). With the exception of N immobilization in the paper-mill sludge treatment, the wastes had no unfavourable effects on the soil. In the 2-year treatments, grass dry matter yields from the abattoir and distillery wastes (26.3 t ha-1) were larger than those from a NH4NO3 fertilizer treatment (24.3 t ha-1) and from the dairy waste (20.4 t ha-1) and composted waste (22.8 t ha-1). Yield and N recovery were impaired markedly after the single application of paper-mill sludge, both in the year of application and in the following year. The results demonstrated clear differences in the ability of the applied wastes to provide crop-available N. We conclude that in order to improve prediction of both the benefits and risks from waste recycling to land, more information should be gathered on soil/waste/crop interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-138
Number of pages4
JournalSoil Use and Management
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Jun 2003

Keywords

  • Grass yield
  • Land application
  • Nitrogen recovery
  • Non-agricultural wastes

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