Composting for increasing the fertilizer value of chicken manure: Effects of feedstock on P availability

Soils in Northern Belgium under agricultural use are low in organic carbon. Application of compost as a source ofstabilized organic matter is one strategy for maintaining or increasing the soil organic carbon content. Compost for thispurpose can be prepared at the farm level, giving the farmer the opportunity to recycle organic wastes. To meetfertilization standards to reduce nutrient leaching, especially the total P content of the composts limits the applicationrate. Use of poultry manure as organic fertilizer is restricted due to its low N/P ratio. For some types of manure, addingwoody material or straw allows to process the manure to a high quality compost. Including chicken manure in compostmay result in a stable product rich in nutrients and organic matter, with a higher C/P value.

Further Authors:
B. Reubens - Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research
A. Beeckman - Inagro
L. Delanote - Inagro

This research was set up tofind out optimal feedstock composition for composting poultry manure at the farm in order to create a soil improverwith a higher value as organic fertilizer.We aimed at determining the effect of feedstock composition on P content and availability in compost when small-scaleon-farm composting was applied. The research is based on two compost experiments with 3 treatments each.In the first compost trial, several feedstock materials were compared for composting with 7.5-10 vol% of fresh chickenmanure. The tested feedstock materials were wheat straw, grass clippings, poplar bark, compost and grass hay. Basedon chemical characteristics, the compost with 42.5 vol% bark in the feedstock had the highest quality as soil improver.In the second trial, the effect of the amount of chicken manure in the feedstock mixture was assessed, i.e. 10, 17 or 20vol%. The tested feedstock materials were wheat straw, grass clippings, poplar bark, willow wood chips, and grass hay.Due to dry weather conditions, intensive follow-up of the process (e.g. regular moistening) was necessary. The secondcomposting experiment was characterized by high temperatures over a long period, indicating that the applied feedstockmixture served as a long-term C source for the process. Results from the second composting experiment indicate that 10vol% of fresh chicken manure is the upper limit for reducing nutrient losses and achieving a fertilizer with a sufficientlyhigh N/P ratio.In general, compost characteristics varied due to differences in feedstock characteristics and progress of the compostingprocess. Besides general characteristics, cell wall components and total and plant-available P and N concentrations weremeasured in the composts. Availability of P was assessed in ammonium acetate extracts at pH 4.65, and in extracts of0.25 M NaOH and 0.05 M Na2-EDTA. Based on the analysis of cell wall components of the feedstock mixture and thecomposts, the biodegradation potential was calculated for each of the composts.One compost from each compost trial 1 and 2 was selected for application in the field. A field trial with leek was set upto assess the P release from composts based on poultry manure, pure poultry manure and other organic fertilizers, ofwhich some were based on manures as well.Preliminary conclusions are that poultry manure can be recycled through composting in an organic fertilizer withoptimal nutrient ratio and organic matter content. P in the poultry manure can thus be recycled when appropriate feedstock materials are selected and the amount of fresh manure is restricted.



Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Quelle: Orbit 2012 (Juni 2012)
Seiten: 6
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 6,00
Autor: Dr. ir. Bart Vandecasteele
Koen Willekens
Stefaan De Neve

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