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Agricultural/Horticultural Applications Using Industrial Materials

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination. The ARS research is organized into National Programs categorized by four areas. The Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems National Programs develops technologies and strategies needed to help farmers, ranchers, and other managers effectively steward the diverse agricultural mosaic spread across the nation. The Manure and Byproduct Utilization National Program under the Natural Resources area develops cost-effective management practices, technologies and decision aids that will allow producers to capture the value of manure and other byproducts without degrading environmental quality or posing a threat to human and animal health.

Examples of ARS projects focused on byproduct utilization:

Use of Industrial Byproducts in Agriculture
This bibliography, developed by the National Agricultural Library, US Department of Agriculture, is a guide to recent scientific literature regarding the use of industrial byproducts in agriculture. The byproducts covered in this bibliography originate from coal combustion, construction and demolition activity, paper manufacturing, iron and steel making, tire use, and wood products manufacturing and use.

Alternative Agricultural Liming Materials Exit EPA
The Alternative Agricultural Liming Materials provides information on specific types of industrial materials that can be used as liming agents. This was developed as part of a broader internet training course on Soil Acidity and Liming by the Clemson University Extension Service under the Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences.

Using Industrial Wood Ash as a Soil Amendment (PDF) (4 pp, 48K) Exit EPA
A publication providing technical, environmental, and economic information on the use of ash from woodburning industries as an agricultural amendment. This publication was made possible by a grant from the Sustainable Agriculture Program, Agricultural Resource Management Division, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection with funding from the Wisconsin Energy Bureau, Department of Administration.

Wood Ash – An Alternative Liming Material for Agricultural Soils Exit EPA
A publication, developed by Alberta Canada’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food, providing information on the technical use and benefits of using wood ash from pulp and saw mills as an agricultural soil amendment.

Using Recycled Wallboard for Crop Production (PDF)(8 pp, 305K) Exit EPA
A publication providing general and technical information on the potential uses for applying recycled gypsum wallboard to crops and at a construction site. This publication was funded by WasteCap Wisconsin, Inc. from a grant through EPA.

Demonstration of Coal Ash for Feedlot Surfaces Exit EPA
The University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center has demonstrated the placement, engineering and environmental performance, and economics of using coal ash to stabilize feedlots. The technical report and other information sources on coal ash use in feedlot stabilization are found on the website. The funding for this demonstration was provided by Great River Energy, Otter Tail Power Company, the US Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, and the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.

Soil Remediation, Revitalization, and Reuse Technical Performance Measures Exit EPA
Developed by US EPA’s Superfund program, the Technical Performance Measures (TPM) is a web-based tool designed for site managers, their technical support teams, and other stakeholders to assess whether soil amendments used for remediation, revitalization, and reuse of metals-contaminated sites are functioning as designed to reduce risks to human health and the environment. The TPMs could be applied to the beneficial use of materials as soil amendments.

National Council for Air and Stream Improvement Inc. (NCASI) Exit EPA
NCASI is an independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on environmental topics of interest to the forest products industry and has published several technical bulletins on using paper mill byproducts as soil amendments.

Recommended Practices for Using Wood Ash as an Agricultural Soil Amendment Exit EPA
Bulletin 1147. The University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. September 2002.

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