Crop growth as affected by bio-energy byproducts application
This study aimed to examine the effect of bio-energy byproducts (BEB) when applied directly or indirectly through manure production on crop yield. It consisted of three field experiments. The first experiment investigated the effect of manure derived from wet distillers grain compared to barley manure on wheat yield, the second experiment investigated the effect of thin stillage versus urea application on wheat yield, and the third investigated the effect of wet distillers grain, biochar applied alone or combined with urea, and glycerol applied alone or combined with urea on canola yield. Yields with WDG-fed versus barley-fed cattle manure were similar, in line with similar composition that was found for the two manure sources. Per unit of N added, the thin stillage produced equivalent or higher yields than urea. This is explained by other nutrients in thin stillage, including phosphorus, that would contribute to plant nutrition and yield. Pure or high carbon content amendments (GL, BC) had limited effect on yield when applied alone. Bio-energy processing byproducts can be effective amendments to provide carbon and nutrients to the soil and plants.
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