Soil physical and chemical properties as effected by long-term land application of paunch

O'Sullivan, Kyra (2018) Soil physical and chemical properties as effected by long-term land application of paunch. [USQ Project]


The red meat processing industry results in a significant amount of different by-products and animal wastes. One of these by-products is paunch; the stomach contents of the animal after slaughter. Globally, 15 million tonnes of paunch is produced by the red meat processing industry each year. Currently, many abattoirs are investigating methods of recycling and utilising paunch waste as a useful and profitable material. The main use of paunch is currently as a product for domestic gardens where the paunch is mixed with other bulking agents and sold as either bulk soil conditioner or bagged compost. Paunch contains a high level of organic matter and other nutrients essential for plant growth. Some abattoirs compost paunch on site and apply it directly to agricultural land, however little is understood about optimal application rates, composting periods or the quantifiable benefits of applying paunch to the soil.

Although some research has been conducted on paunch spreading, a literature review revealed that there was a significant knowledge gap regarding the physical and chemical effects of adding paunch to soils in the long-term (greater than one crop cycle). This project addressed this knowledge gap by quantitatively investigating key soil quality indicators of sites which have used paunch as a soil amendment and fertiliser for several years. These quality indicators included soil bulk density and soil strength, aggregate stability, soil hardness, saturated hydraulic conductivity, salinity (EC), soil organic matter, pH and texture. Collected via a soil corer, samples were tested down the soil profile in 20cm increments up to 80cm. Four sites owned and managed by Oakey Beef Exports Pty. Ltd. were chosen for the comparison. Site 1 (pivot) and site 2 (corner) had paunch applied for 3 – 5 years while site 3 (long-term) had paunch applied for 20+ years. Site 4 (control) was a nearby control site which has not had paunch applied. In addition, site 3 had treated with abattoir wastewater applied via a pivot irrigator over several years.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 Jul 2013 - 5 Sep 2019)
Supervisors: Antille, Diogenes; McCabe, Bernadette
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Environmental)
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2022 04:08
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 02:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: red meat; soil properties; paunch

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