Feasibility of Corn Stalk Ash as a Fertilizer Source
Utilizing ash residue from a corn stalk processing operation as a soil amendment would not only alleviate pressure on landfills but also return nutrients and organic matter to farmlands.
Objectives: To determine feasibility of utilizing ash residue from a company that processes corn stalks to extract furfural. The ash, currently being dumped in landfills, retains significant amounts of phosphorus, potassium and organic matter that could be recycled as fertilizer. The coordinator planned to develop a process to transport and apply ash and determine proper application rates and yield response, and conduct economic analysis.
Results: The project was extended for one year to gather additional data. However, early trials indicated a significant increase in soybean yield where ash was applied. Problems in handling ash have been solved, and second-year data should be much more convlusive.