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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 24 No. 3, p. 527-534
     
    Received: May 16, 1994
    Published: May, 1995


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doi:10.2134/jeq1995.00472425002400030020x

Evaluation of Nitrogen Availability in Irradiated Sewage Sludge, Sludge Compost and Manure Compost

  1. Guang Wen *,
  2. Thomas E. Bates and
  3. R. Paul Voroney
  1. Dep. of Land Resource Science, Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.

Abstract

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted during 2 yr to determine plant availability of organic N from organic wastes, and effects of gamma irradiation on organic N availability in sewage sludge. The wastes investigated were: digested, dewatered sewage sludge (DSS), irradiated sewage sludge (DISS), irradiated, composted sewage sludge (DICSS), and composted livestock manure (CLM). The annual application rates were: 10, 20, 30, and 40 Mg solids ha−1. Fertilizer N was added to the control, to which no waste was applied, as well as to the waste applications to ensure approximately equal amounts of available N (110 kg N ha−1) for all treatments. Lettuce (Lactuca indica L.), petunias (Petunia × hybrida Vilm.), and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were grown in 1990 and two cuts of lettuce were harvested in 1991. Crop yields and plant N concentrations were measured. Assuming that crop N harvested/available N applied would be approximately equal for the control and the waste treatments, the N from organic fraction of the wastes, which is as available as that in fertilizer, was estimated. With petunia in 1990 and the combination of first and second cut of lettuce in 1991, the percentage ranged from 11.2 to 29.7 in nonirradiated sludge, 10.1 to 14.0 in irradiated sludge, 10.5 to 32.1 in sludge compost and 10.0 to 19.7 in manure compost. Most often, the highest values were obtained with the lowest application rates. Yields of petunia and N concentrations in second cut lettuce in 1991 were lower with irradiated sludge than with nonirradiated sludge suggest that the availability of organic N in digested sludge may have been reduced after irradiation. Irradiation of sludge appears to have released NH+4-N. The availability of organic N, however, appears to have been reduced by irradiation by greater amount than the increase in NH+4-N.

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