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  • Author or Editor: J. Skousen x
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A 0.2-ha reclaimed minesoil site near Welch, W.Va., was amended with sewage sludge, hardwood bark, and a sorghum–sudan hybrid green manure crop to demonstrate production of horticultural crops. A selection of crops, including white birch, forsythia, zinnia, tomato, yarrow, red raspberry, and strawberry, was planted and grown. Plant growth and development, including flower and fruit production, tended to be enhanced by sludge-amended soils and reduced in green manure and hardwood bark–amended soils. Sludge increased pH, Ca, P, and Mg levels above that in the other treatments. Hardwood bark increased Mn but decreased P. The green manure amendment increased soil Fe content. In 1994 `Allstar' strawberry yield and berry weights were similar for all plots, but yield was about 10% of expected and was very close to the economic break-even point. Third-year yield of 1992 planted `Heritage' raspberries was about one-half the expected yield of 5000 lbs/acre, but still considered profitable. Zinnia flower production yielded a calculated 32% return on investment. Assuming that 50% forsythia plants were saleable in 2 years, return on investment was projected to be 30%. For white birch, assuming half were saleable in 4 years, a 16% return on investment was projected.

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