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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Value of Manure and Sewage Sludge as N Fertilizer1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 6, p. 1065-1069
    Received: Feb 13, 1978

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  1. F. Pomares-Garcia and
  2. P. F. Pratt2



A greenhouse pot experiment in a Hanford soil (Typic Xerorthent) with rates of feedlot manure at 0, 20, 40, and 60 metric tons/ha and sewage sludge at rates of 0, 10, 20, and 30 metric tons/ha combined factorially with 0, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mg N/kg of soil as (NH4)2SO4 was conducted using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and sudangrass (Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf.) as test crops. The objectives were to measure the net mineralization of N in the organic materials, to compare the availability of N in the organic materials with the N in (NH4)2SO4 and to determine the critical levels for N and NO3 in barley. The available N from the organic materials was estimated from the amounts required to equal the N in (NH4)2SO4 in terms of barley forage production. Net mineralization was determined by soil analyses.

Yields of barley forage were increased by additions of organic materials and (NH4)2SO4. The addition of either manure or sludge decreased the response to (NH4)2SO4. In a 2.5-month period after application, the manure gave an average of 0.65 kg of available N/ton, whereas the sludge gave 7.05 kg of available N/ton. This represents 4.2% of the total N from the manure and 17.0% of the total N in the sludge. In a 10-month period only 17.2 and 40.9% of the N in manure and sludge, respectively, had mineralized.

The estimated critical levels of total N and NO3-N in barley forage were 2.0 and 0.12%, respectively. These values were independent of the N source. The minimum content of total N in barley forage at which NO3-N began to increase was about 2.0%. The level of NO3-N in plant tissue was more sensitive than total N to changes in N supply.

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