INNOVATIVE BIORESOURCE MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENHANCED ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND VALUE OPTIMIZATION
Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research
Title: Effectiveness of biochar as a phosphorus fertilizer source for cotton
Submitted to: Agronomy Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2012
Publication Date: July 30, 2012
Citation: Hunt, P.G., Cantrell, K.B., Miller, J.O., Bauer, P.J. 2012. Effectiveness of biochar as a phosphorus fertilizer source for cotton [abstract]. Agronomy Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America Meeting. http://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2012am/webprogram/Paper71355.html.
When processed via pyrolysis, livestock manures have the potential of providing energy and biochar. The biochars are high in nutrient content, especially potassium and phosphorus. Thus, 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 with very precise temperature control at temperatures of 350 degrees Celsius or 700 degrees Celsius. They were applied to Norfolk sand that was low in phosphorus content at a rate of 50 milligrams of phosphorus per kilogram of soil. The phosphorus was supplemented with 50 milligrams of nitrogen per kilogram of soil. The soil was placed in small pots and seeded with cotton. There were four replicates with treatments arrayed in a completely randomized design. The experiment was run twice. The cotton was grown for approximately eight weeks. All of the biochars supported dry matter production about equivalent to chemically applied phosphorus and potassium. The temperature effect varied somewhat with manure type. However, the most important conclusion was that the phosphorus and potassium of the biochar were readily available to cotton.