Agronomic characteristics of the compost-bedded pack made with forest biomass or sawdust

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Abstract

To ascertain the agronomic value of the material resulting from the compost-bedded pack (CBP) in dairy barns, a cross-over experiment was designed with eight dry non-pregnant Holstein cows. The study was performed in two 11-week periods. Bedding materials used were: (1) CBP with sawdust (S) and (2) CBP with forest biomass (FB). Samples were taken from the raw bedding materials and from the CBP across the experiment. We conducted an additional study preparing two piles, one of each CBP material, to accomplish a composting process of 3 months, where samples were also taken. Granulometry and some chemical composition characteristics of FB made it a suitable bedding material to be used as CBP, but its high moisture content limited the ability to absorb liquid manure. Both the degree of stability of the organic matter and the temperature evolution of CBP suggest that a real composting process did not occur. Finally, the composting process of the piles did not lead to any relevant change in CBP materials. From the agronomic point of view, S and FB present potentially valuable characteristics as regards organic amendment in the soil, thanks to their high organic matter content and low nutrient content.

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Llonch, L., Gordo, C., López, M., Castillejos, L., Ferret, A., & Balanyà, T. (2021). Agronomic characteristics of the compost-bedded pack made with forest biomass or sawdust. Processes, 9(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030546

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