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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
2009 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

Biobased Fertilizers. 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 fertilizer, consisting of bacteria encapsulated by biodegradable polymers has been produced in large quantities in Pakistan and the field trials are being planned, with results to be reported in a forthcoming publication. Such fertilizers could benefit farmers in the U.S. and in developing countries, such as Pakistan.

Last Modified: 8/4/2015
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