Ken Smiciklas

Ken Smiciklas

Ken Smiciklas

Speaker | Illinois State University

Normal, IL |

Responsible for organization, content and instruction of several agronomy/general education courses at Illinois State University. I have presented or co-presented over 50 abstracts at peer-reviewed professional meetings. I have implemented a comprehensive, nationally recognized research program with emphasis on fertility management techniques (like solid-separated liquid swine manure composted with urban landscape waste, mainly leaves) that promote environmental awareness. Lastly, Dr. Smiciklas has helped to coordinate an applied research team (Livestock and Urban Waste Team) involving Illinois university personnel from animal science and agronomy, local governmental agencies, state and federal agencies, and the community.

Session Code: 5C

Track: CREF Research

Session Name: Bioassay Development, Effects on Row Crops; Potting Media

Session Time: Wednesday, January 26, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Presentation Title: Influence of Annual Solid-separated Compost Application on Row crop Productivity

Presentation Description: The Illinois State University Farm (Lexington, IL, USA) has been composting food scraps, landscape waste and livestock waste on a routine basis since 1993. This facility annually composts about 7,500 to 11,500 cubic meters of leaves, 3,000 to 4,000 cubic meters of grass clippings and yard waste, less than 750 cubic meters of sawdust and woodchips, 750,000 liters of separated biosolids from liquid swine manure, 190,000 liters of unprocessed liquid swine manure and 11,500 cubic meters of livestock manure/bedding. Starting in 2010, a research study was implemented to evaluate soybean (Glycine max) and corn (Zea mays) productivity in response to solid-separated compost application. The entire experimental site has uniform soil (Parr-Libson-Drummer Association). The 4.0 ha site has been split into three equal ‘plots’. One plot is the zero-rate control, the second plot received compost (at 18 Mg/ha, dry weight basis), and the third plot received traditional fertilizers. Representative agronomic practices for most Illinois producers (except for compost) have been utilized for these plots at this experimental site. Soil samples and plant tissue and productivity data were collected for several growing seasons. Preliminary results indicate that corn and soybean yield was similar between compost and fertilizer plots. The application of compost also increased soil P levels, as compared to the zero-rate control. The ultimate impact of this study is to maintain high crop yield and productivity in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable manner.