An investigation into the fertilizer potential of slaughterhouse cattle paunch

Antille, D. L. and McCabe, B. K. and Van Der Spek, W. and Baillie, C. P. (2018) An investigation into the fertilizer potential of slaughterhouse cattle paunch. Transactions of the ASABE, 61 (1). pp. 87-101. ISSN 2151-0032


In Australia, recycling of paunch waste to farmland has been suggested as a cost-effective and practicable environmental option, but little is known about its agronomic value. Experimental work was undertaken to assess poten-tial risks due to weed seed contamination, determine the agronomic response of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) to soil in-corporation of paunch, and investigate short-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Five types of paunch with compost ages between 2 and 16 weeks were compared with urea (46% N) and applied at field equivalent rates of 0 (control), 150, and 300 kg ha-1 N. The risk of weed contamination from paunch applied to soil appeared to be negligible; however, techniques that enable seed viability to be determined may be required to fully discard such risk. Average dry matter yield with paunch was ~30% higher than untreated grass, but ~35% lower than with urea. Dry matter yield in paunch-treated grass was between 2500 and 3250 kg ha-1 over five cuts conducted at 25-day intervals. Paunch N responses were between 1.12 and 3.25 kg DM kg-1 N depending on compost age, but lower than with urea N (~6.5 kg DM kg-1 N). Nitrogen use efficiency of paunch ranged between 3% and 20%, compared to about 35% with urea. Nitrogen fertilizer replacement value (NFRV) of paunch was highest in the 6-week-old compost (~60%) and ranged between 20% and 55% across all other organic materials. Short-term N2O emissions were similar (p > 0.05) with both mineral and organic amendments; however, CH4 emissions were higher (p < 0.05) from paunch compared with urea-treated soil. Overall, there appears to be potential for paunch-derived products to be used as a source of C and nutrients in crop production. Industry quality specifications for compost are available, but they need to be expanded to incorporate guidelines relevant to paunch. There is a requirement for the value proposition to industry to be determined, including reduced cost of paunch disposal via gate fees.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2018 04:08
Last Modified: 14 May 2018 04:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: byproducts, composting, fertilizer replacement value, nutrient recovery, nutrient use efficiency, recycling of abattoir-derived waste
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070306 Crop and Pasture Nutrition
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300407 Crop and pasture nutrition
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410499 Environmental management not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.13031/trans.12342

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