Crop yield response and recovery of nutrients applied as thin stillage in a Black Chernozem
Rapid increase in ethanol production from cereal grain to substitute fossil fuel has resulted also in different types of byproduct associated with its production. One of these byproducts is thin stillage. Thin stillage is found to contain all essential plant nutrients which can promote its use as soil amendment/organic fertilizer. Consequently, The aim of this study was to examine the effect of thin stillage versus urea application on crop yield and nutrients recovery in Black Chernozem soil. The experimental treatments included: 3 rates of thin stillage (16800; low rate, 33600; medium rate and 67200 L ha-1; high rate) using two methods of application: injected or broadcasted) and 3 rates of urea-N (50, 100 or 200 kg N ha-1). An unamended control was included. Treatments were applied for 2 consecutive years. In both years and 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. Significant impact of method of thin stillage application on nutrients recovery was evident in both years, especially with the low rate of application. This study demonstrated that thin stillage byproduct can be effective amendments to provide nutrients to plants and enhance the production.
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