EFFICIENT AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT IN HUMID REGIONS
Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research
Title: Biochar from livestock manure as a fertilizer source for ryegrass
Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2011
Publication Date: October 16, 2011
Citation: Hunt, P.G., Miller, J.O., Cantrell, K.B., Bauer, P.J. 2011. Biochar from livestock manure as a fertilizer source for ryegrass [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meetings, October 16-19, 2011, San Antonio, Texas.
When processed via pyrolysis, livestock manures have the potential of providing energy and biochar. Biochars that are high in carbon but low in nutrient content, such as wood, can be applied to soil in relatively large amounts. Such is not the case for manure biochars. They are high in nutrient content, especially potassium and phosphorus. They must be applied in accordance with their nutrient supplying capacity. This capacity will be affected by factors such as manure type and processing conditions. In this greenhouse study, investigations involved five manure sources: swine; dairy; beef; feedlot; turkey; and poultry litter. The biochars were produced at temperatures of 350°C or 700°C. They were applied to a Norfolk sand that was low in phosphorus content at a rate to 150 mg of P per kg soil. It was supplemented with 50 mg of N per kg of soil. The soil was placed in small pots and seeded with ryegrass. The ryegrass was grown for approximately seven weeks. All of the biochars supported dry matter production equivalent to chemically applied phosphorus and potassium. The poultry was generally the best and the swine was generally the least effective. The temperature affect varied somewhat with manure type. The most important conclusion was that the phosphorus and potassium of the biochar were available to the ryegrass.