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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 3 No. 4, p. 361-366
    Received: Dec 11, 1973



Application of Municipal Refuse and Liquid Sewage Sludge to Agricultural Land: I. Field Study1

  1. Larry D. King,
  2. L. A. Rudgers and
  3. L. R. Webber2



The feasibility of using land for both waste disposal and crop production was studied by applying pulverized municipal refuse and liquid sewage sludge or liquid manure to land which was later planted to rye (Secale cereale L.) and subsequently to corn (Zea Mays L.). Refuse was applied at 188 metric tons/ha singly (R) or in combination with either 2.3 cm of liquid sewage sludge (RS) or 1.4 cm of liquid poultry manure (RM). Other treatments were a double waste rate—376 tons/ha of refuse + 4.6 cm of sludge (2[RS]), sludge alone (S), and a control (C) receiving no additions.

Yield of rye forage was not affected by treatment. Highest corn grain yields were obtained with the R treatment while yields with the S and 2(RS) treatments were significantly lower than yields with R. No treatments resulted in corn yields significantly different from the control treatment. Levels of Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb in the rye and corn tissue were usually increased by waste additions but were below levels toxic to the crops or to animals that might consume the crops. Soil nitrate was increased by the various waste treatments. A considerable fraction of the nitrate lost from the soil profile during the winter could not be attributed to crop uptake.

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