Waste Wood Fiber as a Soil Amendment1
- Larry D. King2
Byproducts from wood processing have been used as soil amendments for many years. This study was conducted to determine the effects of a relatively new wood byproduct on plant growth and soil properties. Waste wood fiber containing 2% N (mainly as urea-formaldehyde used as a binding agent in fiberboard production) was applied to sandy loam and clay loam soil materials in a greenhouse study. Single applications of 2,4, and 6% by weight of fiber were compared over a 2-year period to six applications of 25, 50, and 100 ppm of fertilizer N to soils receiving no fiber.
Fiber did not increase yields of fescue grass (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) at the first harvest but did increase yields for 8 to 10 mo thereafter. By the seventh harvest the single application of 4% fiber (supplying 800 ppm N) produced a cumulative yield equal to the yield with six 50-ppm N applications. Yields with the 6% fiber rate (supplying 1,200 ppm N) were 80% of the yields obtained from six 100 ppm N applications. Fiber additions increased available soil moisture (between 0.1 and 15 bars), cation exchange capacity, organic matter, and total N, and lowered bulk density.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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