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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of a New Processing Byproduct on Soil and Vegetation at Fort Campbell, TN

Authors
item Busby, Ryan - CORP OF ENGINEERS
item Gebhart, Dick - CORP OF ENGINEERS
item Torbert, Henry
item Dawson, Jeffrey - UNIV. OF ILLINOIS
item Bollero, German - UNIV. OF ILLINOIS
item Potter, Kenneth
item Curtain, Deborah - CORP OF ENGINEERS

Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 2008
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Citation: Busby, R.R., Gebhart, D.L., Torbert III, H.A., Dawson, J.O., Bollero, G.A., Potter, K.N., Curtain, D.R. 2010. Effects of a New Processing Byproduct on Soil and Vegetation at Fort Campbell, TN. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 41:250-266.

Interpretive Summary: A new garbage processing technology has been developed that sterilizes and separates inorganic and organic components of municipal solid waste. In this study, the organic byproduct of this process, named Fluff®, was evaluated as a soil amendment for establishing perennial prairie grasses on disturbed Army training lands at Fort Campbell Military Reservation in the central United States. The highest Fluff rate improved native grass establishment. Plant P accumulation also increased significantly with increasing Fluff application. Results indicated that Fluff rates used in this study did not result in adverse or detectable changes in environmental variables measured and that even greater benefits would most likely be achieved at higher rates. Because no adverse environmental effects were detected and Fluff improved perennial grass establishment, land application should be considered to be a viable and beneficial alternative to current waste management practices.

Technical Abstract: A new garbage processing technology has been developed that sterilizes and separates inorganic and organic components of municipal solid waste. In this study, the organic byproduct of this process, named Fluff®, was evaluated as a soil amendment for establishing perennial prairie grasses on disturbed Army training lands. Fluff rates of 4.48, 8.96, 17.9, and 35.8 Mg/ha were incorporated into a silt loam at Fort Campbell Military Reservation in the central United States to assess the effects of Fluff on vegetation community, plant tissue composition, and soil properties for 2 growing seasons. The highest Fluff rate had significantly higher native grass basal cover and percent composition than the controls. Plant P accumulation also increased significantly with increasing Fluff application. Soils were largely unaffected but soil P and Pb increased in the top 10 cm of the highest application rates where Fluff was mixed in the soil, although the difference in mean Pb concentration between the controls and the highest Fluff rate was only 1.5 mg/kg in the top 30 cm. Results indicated that Fluff rates used in this study did not result in adverse or detectable changes in environmental variables measured and that even greater benefits would most likely be achieved at higher rates. Because no adverse environmental effects were detected and Fluff improved perennial grass establishment and nutrition at the 35.8 Mg/ha rate, land application should be considered to be a viable and beneficial alternative to current waste management practices.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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