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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: The Development, Optimization, and Application of Novel, Slow-Release Engineered Fertilizer of High Performance
2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Project seeks to create a chemical fertilizer alternative that is superior in performance, economically competive, and environmentally responsible.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Research will be conducted to develop fertilizer formulations and to design polymer matrices for encapsulation. Subsequently, formulations will be optimized for sustained release of encapulated materials, and evaluated for the impact on the plants root development, growth, yield, and past resistence.


3.Progress Report

This report documents research conducted under a trust Agreement between ARS and the National Academy of Sciences. Additional details for this research can be found in the report for the parent project 5325-41000-044-00D, DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURALLY-DERIVED BIOPOLYMER COMPOSITES FOR NON-FOOD APPLICATIONS.

Fertilizer costs have risen dramatically and have affected food production costs and, ultimately, food prices. WRRC researchers from Albany, CA and scientists from NCAUR, Peoria, Illinois collaborated with researchers from Pakistan to develop a biobased fertilizer pellet that reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers. The biobased fertilizer releases nutrients into the soil for a much longer time than conventional fertilizers and reduces the number of fertilizer applications that are required. The biobased fertilizers, consisting of bacteria encapsulated in a specialized polymer-matrix have been produced in substantial quantities in Pakistan and limited field trails by the cooperator have been conducted on several selected vegetable crops. While data is still being evaluated; preliminary results indicated that with just single fertilizer application, the efficacy of the biobased fertilizer was much more substantial compared to the urea-based commercial fertilizer. Extended trails are awaited. A patent application is expected to be filed. The ADODR monitors progress by regular email and telephone meetings.


Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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