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Use of organic amendments to increase the productivity of sand and gravel spoils: Effect on yield and composition of sweet corn

  • Sharon B. Hornick (a1)

Abstract

Crops grown on sand and gravel spoil areas are subject to temperature, moisture, and nutrient stresses due to the infertile, acidic, and coarse-textured properties of the spoil material. Additions of organic materials such as feedlot manure and sewage sludge compost applied at rates of 40, 80, and 160 Mg/ha were found to improve these spoil areas by providing (1) a more favorable pH for seedling germination and root development, (2) essential crop nutrients, and (3) a greatly increased water content of the spoils in the treated plots compared to fertilized controls. The manure-treated spoil plots had a higher water content than either the compost-treated spoils or the limed and fertilized control plots. In a drought year when the wastes were reapplied, both grain and stalk yields of sweet corn were highest for the manure-treated plots. The low heavy metal content makes these organic materials safe for use as soil conditioners. In addition, uptake and accumulation of toxic metals by sweet corn is generally less than other crops. The interaction between the kind and rate of organic amendment applied, the amount of rainfall in any given growing period, and the water content of the treated spoils determined the final nutrient composition of the stalks, leaves, and grain, as well as the grain and stalk yield.

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Use of organic amendments to increase the productivity of sand and gravel spoils: Effect on yield and composition of sweet corn

  • Sharon B. Hornick (a1)

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