ISSN 2285-5785, ISSN CD-ROM 2285-5793, ISSN ONLINE 2285-5807, ISSN-L 2285-5785


Published in Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy, Vol. LXIII, Issue 1
Written by Leah J. BERRY, Anya WESTLAND, Lancelot BUTTERS

Soil productivity and quality is influenced by the application of different fertilisers and soil structure enhancers to provide optimal crop growth and protect ecosystems and the environment. Commonly, straw is used as a livestock bedding material and is applied to land once it has been discarded. The use of straw is becoming less sustainable due to competition from the bioenergy market and adverse weather patterns affecting costs. This means an effective alternative is needed. This study presents an insight into Recycled Paper Crumble (RPC) applied to soil, once discarded from livestock enclosures in the form of farmyard manure (FYM). Analysis of soil nutrients and ecosystem studies were undertaken, and additionally, method of application, contrasting digging in (ploughing) and applying to surface (mulch) to provide knowledge for agriculturalists, horticulturalists and ecologists. Ecosystem studies were undertaken at week nine using the mustard extraction method. Few distinguishable differences were found between RPC and FYM applications with both adding to the nutritive values of the soil and being effective for earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) activity. Significant increases in pH (P < 0.001) were found in RPC FYM applications suggesting potential as a lime replacement. In addition, no significant differences (P > 0.05) were found in organic matter, between applications and its depletion, seen over time. Ecosystems analysis concluded that RPC show significant difference compared to straw in the number of earthworm’s present (P < 0.01). The findings in this study indicate RPC is a suitable alternative to straw as an all-round dual-purpose livestock bedding material and soil enhancer.

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