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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2010, Article ID 132080, 10 pages
Research Article

Fresh and Composted Paper Sludges Sustain Soil Productivity

Research and Development Institute for the Agri-Environment (IRDA), 2700 Einstein, Complexe Scientifique, D.1.110, Quebec, Qc, Canada G1P 3W8

Received 7 December 2009; Accepted 4 April 2010

Academic Editor: Stephen Herbert

Copyright © 2010 Adrien N'Dayegamiye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this 5-yr study, application frequency of fresh (FDS) and composted (CDS) paper sludges was evaluated on soil properties and silage corn (Zea mays L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) yields and N uptake by comparing one application (2000) with repeated applications (2000, 2001, 2002). Treatments consisted of a control with neither amendment nor N fertilizer, a recommended N rate for corn (160 kg N ha−1) and barley (90 kg N ha−1), and FDS and CDS at a rate of 40 Mg ha−1 on wet basis with or without reduced N fertilizer (120 kg N ha−1) on corn. Compared to the control, the FDS or CDS applications significantly increased the proportions of soil larger macroaggregates (>2 mm) and the mean-weight diameter (MWD) of aggregates, regardless their application frequency. Single or three yrs additions of FDS or CDS produced, on average, an increase of 25 to 31% of the soil C and N contents compared to the control and the recommended N fertilizer treatment (160 kg N ha−1). In the first year of their application, the FDS or CDS with or without supplemental N fertilizer (120 kg N ha−1) reduced silage corn and N uptake, compared to the control probably due to N immobilization. However, silage corn yields were increased in the following years with one application or with repeated application of FDS or CDS. Results show that benefits on soil properties and crop yields of single application of FDS and CDS were similar to those of the triple applications and were still noticeable a few years following the last application.