ARS finding ways to mine manure for phosphorus
Friday, April 11, 2008 12:48 PM CDT
Underground phosphorus deposits around the world are mined for use as a much-valued fertilizer. Now Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientists Ariel Szogi, Matias Vanotti and Patrick Hunt have found a way to “mine” the phosphorus in poultry manure.
In 2006, the United States produced 8.9 billion broilers - and piles and piles of residual litter rich in phosphorus and nitrogen. Although poultry litter is typically used by farmers to fertilize their field crops with these two nutrients, it usually contains more phosphorus than the crops need. The excess phosphorus has the potential to wash away and pollute nearby rivers and lakes.
Szogi, Vanotti and Hunt have developed a method to obtain the phosphorus in poultry litter - consisting of a rapid removal and recovery of phosphorus in solid form - which they've dubbed “Quick Wash.” ARS has applied for a patent on this process. Read More
This article shows exactly why manure should not be regarded as waste, but a valuable nutrient resource. It is a valuable commodity that is in demand by crop producers. For anyone who has implemented a nutrient management plan, phosphorous can be one of the more challenging nutrients to manage. If this process gets up and running, it could be beneficial for livestock and crop producers alike.