Effect of Peanut Hulls on the Performance of Corn1
- J. A. Lutz and
- G. D. Jones2
Disposal of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) hulls, after separation from the seed, is a serious problem in the peanut production areas of southeastern Virginia. Limited amounts of peanut hulls are used for mulch around shrubbery, but commercial use is limited, resulting in a large volume being burned, thus contributing to the pollution hazard. Became of their chemical composition and potential use as a mulching material, it is thought that they may be of considerable importance in corn (Zea mays L.) production. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of peanut hulls on the growth, yield, and chemical composition of corn, and on soil moisture. The experiment was conducted for 2 consecutive years on Tatum (Typic Hapludults, clayey, mixed, thermic) silt loam at Orange, Virginia. Hulls were applied at rates of 0, 21, 42, and 84 metric tons/ha on unfertilized plots and on plots that received 112 kg N/ha, 49 kg P/ha, and 93 kg K/ha. Hulls increased the growth and yield of corn by increasing the available moisture content in the 0- to 15-cm soil depth. Hulls also increased the K concentrations of corn silage from 0.99 to 1.77% on unfertilized plots and from 1.32 to 2.04% on fertilized plots. The Mg concentration was decreased from 0.43 to 0.25% on unfertilized plots and from 0.35 to 0.29% on fertilized plots. The N, P, and Ca concentrations of corn silage were not significantly affected by peanut hull applications. Hulls did not increase the number of nematodes in the soil. Results of this experiment indicate that peanut hulls can be used effectively in corn production.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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