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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 6, p. 2318-2327
     
    Received: Mar 4, 2005
    Published: Nov, 2005


    * Corresponding author(s): larney@agr.gc.ca
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doi:10.2134/jeq2005.0090

Chemical and Physical Changes Following Co-Composting of Beef Cattle Feedlot Manure with Phosphogypsum

  1. Francis Zvomuyaa,
  2. Francis J. Larney *a,
  3. Connie K. Nicholb,
  4. Andrew F. Olsona,
  5. Jim J. Millera and
  6. Paul R. DeMaerea
  1. a Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Centre, 5403 First Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1J 4B1
    b Agrium Inc., 11751 River Road, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada T8L 4J1

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) loss during beef cattle (Bos taurus) feedlot manure composting may contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and increase ammonia (NH3) in the atmosphere while decreasing the fertilizer value of the final compost. Phosphogypsum (PG) is an acidic by-product of phosphorus (P) fertilizer manufacture and large stockpiles currently exist in Alberta. This experiment examined co-composting of PG (at rates of 0, 40, 70, and 140 kg PG Mg−1 manure plus PG dry weight) with manure from feedlot pens bedded with straw or wood chips. During the 99-d composting period, PG addition reduced total nitrogen (TN) loss by 0.11% for each 1 kg Mg−1 increment in PG rate. Available N at the end of composting was significantly higher for wood chip–bedded (2180 mg kg−1) than straw-bedded manure treatments (1820 mg kg−1). Total sulfur (TS) concentration in the final compost increased by 0.19 g kg−1 for each 1 kg Mg−1 increment in PG rate from 5.2 g TS kg−1 without PG addition. Phosphogypsum (1.6 g kg−1 P) addition had no significant effect on total phosphorus (TP) concentration of the final composts. Results from this study demonstrate the potential of PG addition to reduce overall N losses during composting. The accompanying increase in TS content has implications for use of the end-product on sulfur-deficient soils. Co-composting feedlot manure with PG may provide an inexpensive and technologically straightforward solution for managing and improving the nutrient composition of composted cattle manure.

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