Amendment Comparison

 

Smart Sludge is an organic soil amendment.  This page shows the difference between other organic amendments and Smart Sludge.  Amendments can be landspread according to a set of government approved guidelines.  Recommended application rates of different organic amendments can be seen in the chart below based on tonnes per hectare:

 

 

 

 

Range of nitrogen application per tonne of recommended applied amendment: 

Benefits and Drawbacks

 

Smart Sludge

  • Benefits
    • High organic matter content
    • Improved soil structure
    • Increased porosity, aeration, drainage and rooting depth on fine textured soils
    • Increased water holding capacity
    • Slow release of nitrogen
    • Increased nutrient holding capacity
    • Can be applied on slopes up to 15%
    • Can reapply after 2-4 years if requirements are met
    • Reduces amount of waste incinerated or landfills at pulp and paper mills
  • Drawbacks
    • Since SmartSludge is high in nitrogen content, improper landspreading may cause excessive nutrient loading or nutrient imbalances
    • Only recommended for soils with pH > 6.5
    • Odors
    • Heavy metals
  • Applicable Guidelines/Regulations

Biochar

  • Benefits
    • Enhances crop productivity
    • Reduces bulk density and increased porosity
    • Reduces nutrient leaching
    • Reduces soil acidity
    • Improves fertilizer efficiency
    • Reduces soil erosion
    • Provides micro-environment for soil microbes to grow
  • Drawbacks
    • Expensive to make and ship
    • Energy intensive to make
    • Large volumes needed due to low bulk density
    • Loss due to wind
    • May contain PAHs or heavy metals
    • May be detrimental to some microbial fauna
  • Applicable Guidelines/Regulations

Manure

  • Benefits
    • Increased crop productivity and yield
    • Source of nutrients
    • Provides nitrogen throughout the season
    • Increases microbial activity
    • High organic matter content
    • Improved soil structure
    • Increased water filtration and water holding capacity
    • Increased cation exchange capacity
    • Reduced wind and water erosion
  • Drawbacks
    • Moisture and nutrient contents are very variable
    • Nutrients in manure are rarely balanced resulting in excessive nutrient loading or imbalances
    • Odor
    • Pathogens
    • Expensive to move large distances
  • Applicable Guidelines/Regulations

Compost

  • Benefits
    • High organic matter content
    • Source of nutrients
    • Improves soil structure
    • Increases water holding capacity
    • Supplies beneficial soil microbes
    • Pathogen free
    • Weed seed free
  • Drawbacks
    • Must be used on a case by case basis as guidelines for compost application are not made
  • Applicable Guidelines/Regulations

Digested Biosolids

  • Benefits
    • High organic matter content
    • Improved soil structure
    • Increased water holding capacity
    • Source of nutrients
    • Low cost
    • Can reapply after 3 years if requirements are met
    • Reduces landfilling
  • Drawbacks
    • Pathogens
    • Heavy metals and other contaminants
    • Excessive nutrient loading or nutrient imbalances is biosolids are improperly applied
    • Only recommended for soils with pH >6.5
    • Can only be applied on slopes up to 9%
    • Odors
  • Applicable Guidelines/Regulations

Wood Ash