Impact of Heat Damaged Corn Gluten Meal as Fertilizer on Forage Production During Winter and Summer Seasons and Soil Characteristics

  •  K. J. Han    
  •  W. D. Pitman    


Corn gluten meal (CGM) has been used as a supplement for livestock feeding due to its high concentration of digestible nitrogen (N) compounds. Heat damaged CGM (HDCGM), which is not suitable for livestock feeding, may still have value as an organic fertilizer. Objective of the study was to evaluate the impacts of non-feed grade HDCGM on forage production from annual cool and warm season grasses and soil characteristics. Pre-plant incorporated HDCGM at 3 Mg/ha was compared with 4.2 Mg/ha poultry litter (POTL), and 160 kg/ha commercial N fertilizer (COMF), and zero fertilizer (ZERO) for production of the cool-season ‘Prine’ annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), and the warm-season ‘Greentreat’ sorghum × sudangrass (SS) hybrid (Sorghum bicolor). The treatments were repeated at the same site on December 3, 2010 (planted annual ryegrass), May 26, 2011 (planted SS hybrid), October 24, 2011 (planted annual ryegrass) and May 18, 2012 (planted SS hybrid). The HDCGM had 68% more N concentration than POTL, while its P, K, Mg, and Ca were less than half in POTL. The residual N concentration in buried HDCGM and POTL increased in a similar pattern with time in soil. The HDCGM produced less dry matter (DM) of annual ryegrass and SS hybrid than POTL; however, the differences between the two treatments were not statistically significant. All treatments produced more DM in the second than first year. After two years of field test, soil receiving HDCGM contained higher soil organic matter (OM) and N than receiving POTL. Although not as beneficial as POTL for DM production, HDCGM showed potential value as a slow release fertilizer to improve DM production and soil characteristics.

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