Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Turkey Manure Incinerator Ash as a Source of P and K for Corn (Zea mays), Soybean (Glycine max), and Alfalfa Medicago sativa.

Paulo H. Pagliari, Jeffrey S. Strock, and Carl J. Rosen. University of Minnesota, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, St. Paul, MN 55108

Turkey production generates a large amount of manure throughout the year and its storage and disposal may result in environmental pollution. One recycling option, which requires less storage space, is to incinerate the manure. Burning of the manure is a process that generates energy and ash (TMA) as a byproduct. Application of TMA to agricultural land presents an opportunity to recover essential plant nutrients. Based on chemical analysis of the ash, the fertilizer value was found to be 7.7% P (17.7% P2O5) and 11.2% K (13.4% K2O). To evaluate the effectiveness of soil amended with TMA on the yield of corn, soybean, and alfalfa an experiment was carried out at three locations (Lamberton, Morris, and Appleton) in Southern Minnesota.  Four treatments, two with ash (annual, and split or biennial application) and two with conventional sources (annual, and split or biennial application), were applied at different rates depending on the crop. Split treatments were applied only to alfalfa. Biennial applications were applied to corn and soybean.  In addition, an unfertilized control was also included for alfalfa and soybean and a nitrogen only control was included for corn. Yield responses to treatment depended on crop tested and site. For corn and soybean at Lamberton, TMA in a biennial application resulted in significantly higher yields when compared with the control. For soybean, the biennial conventional fertilizer treatment resulted in a significantly higher yield increase when compared with the control and TMA annual application. For alfalfa at this site, the TMA in an annual application at P=0.1 resulted in significantly higher yields compared with the control. At Morris and Appleton, there were no differences due to treatments. For alfalfa at Morris and Appleton, yields were higher when the conventional source of fertilizer was applied compared with the ash source and the control.

Handout (.pdf format, 142.0 kb)