Effects of Repeated Application of Noncomposted Organic Wastes on Cotton Yield

J.H. Edwards, R.H. Walker, and J.S. Bannon


A field study was initiated in spring, 1992, to evaluate the effects of surface-applied noncomposted organic waste, (newsprint, wood products, yard waste, and gin trash), nitrogen (N) source to adjust C:N ratios, and time of organic waste application on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) growth and yield, and weed control. The soil was a Cahaba-Wickham-Bassfield sandy loam complex (Typic Hapludults). Treatments included organic wastes, N source, and time (fall or spring) of application as whole plots, with weed control (post or preemergence chemical weed control) methods as sub-plots. Organic wastes particularly newsprint used as soil amendments reduced seed cotton yields. The yield reductions were not as great when broiler litter was used to adjust C:N ratios compared to adjustment with NH4N0(3). Treatments containing newsprint reduced large crabgrass [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.] seedling counts an average of 65 to 70% and controlled winter annual weeds when wastes were fall-applied. Organic wastes did not have any effect on efficacy of pre- or post-applied herbicides for control of grasses and broadleaf weeds. Soil organic matter content was increased on average by 89% for treatments containing newsprint, yard waste, and gin trash. Treatments containing wood chips produced a 57% increase in soil organic matter content. Soil N levels were increased by two annual applications of organic wastes. Organic wastes application to agricultural land appears to be a good source residue to increase soil organic matter with two annual applications.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1564 - 1567
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998