THE VALUE OF FERTILIZER, SURFACE APPLIED AND INJECTED SEWAGE-SLUDGE TO VEGETATION ESTABLISHED ON RECLAIMED COLLIERY SPOIL SUFFERING FROM REGRESSION

N Michael, A D Bradshaw, J E Hall

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Abstract

A 2-year field experiment assessed the effectiveness of fertilizer, surface applied and injected liquid digested sewage sludge in increasing yields from reclaimed but regressing pasture on colliery spoil. At the first harvest, surface applications of sewage sludge gave the largest yields, although only a third of total fertilizer nitrogen (N) had been applied at this stage of the experiment. The greatest yields in the first year were given by fertilizer treatments which included the highest level of applied N, and large surface applications of sludge.

Surface applications of sludge on plots that were ripped gave the largest residual yields in the second year of the experiment. The percentage cover of clover was inversely related to the amount of nitrogen applied. A study of plant roots indicated that soil injection supplies sludge at too great a depth to benefit grass.

Taken overall the results confirm that the regression of pastures established on reclaimed colliery spoil is primarily caused by lack of nitrogen and phosphorus. But the effect of compaction in decreasing root growth, and therefore the ability of the grass to take up nutrients, is also apparent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalSoil use and management
Volume7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991

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