Project Number: 6082-12630-002-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Jul 6, 2021
End Date: Jul 5, 2026
1. Develop and test improved tillage, cover crops, and biomass management to enhance soil health and resiliency and improve long-term agricultural sustainability and productivity in the Southeastern Coastal Plain. 2. Develop manure treatment and handling systems that minimize the emissions of greenhouse gases, antimicrobial resistance genes, odors, nutrients, and pathogens to improve soil health and water quality outcomes. 2.A. Develop new, affordable treatment technologies for removal/recovery of manure nutrients from swine, poultry, and dairy operations and industrial/municipal wastes. 2.B. Conduct multiscale assessment of the impact of manure treatment and nutrient management systems on agricultural ecosystem services for soil conservation and water quality protection. 2.C. Increase the value of agricultural residuals using hydro- and thermal technologies. 2.D. Develop improved techniques for quantifying ammonia deposition near livestock production sites. 3. Develop biostimulants and other soil amendments and assess their ability to improve soil health, nutrient cycling, and soil fertility and resiliency. 3.A. Develop and assess microbial inoculants and other soil amendments for their ability to enhance revegetation and improve drought resistance in remediated and degraded soils. 3.B. Develop biochar and hydrochar applications to improve their use in agricultural and non-agricultural settings.
New management practices and treatment technologies are required to help crop and animal producers increase soil productivity and health; reduce unwanted atmospheric emissions, excessive nutrients, and pathogens; and improve affordability of animal waste treatment. To meet these needs, we aim to develop in this project: i) knowledge of the impact of crop systems and novel soil amendments on the soil ecosystem and nutrient and carbon cycling; ii) new manure treatment technologies; iii) model-based approaches to evaluate nutrient and gas emission reduction strategies; iv) management strategies to reclaim degraded soils; v) management practices to reduce pathogens and antimicrobial resistance genes in agricultural wastes; and vi) knowledge of and metrics for properties that make a soil more productive. The project has three objectives. Improved tillage, cover crops, and biomass management will be developed to enhance soil health and resiliency and improve long-term agricultural sustainability and productivity in the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Innovative manure treatment systems will be developed to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce antimicrobial resistance genes and pathogens, odors, and excess nutrients, to improve soil health and water quality outcomes. The manure treatment technologies include recovery of ammonia using gas-permeable membranes, enhanced deammonification treatment, and engineered biochar and hydrochar systems to valorize agricultural residuals. Manure management's beneficial impact will be assessed using multiscale models, and improved techniques will be used to assess ammonia emissions from manure, including deposition near livestock operations. Biostimulants and other soil amendments will be investigated for their ability to improve soil health, nutrient cycling, soil fertility, and resiliency. Research methods include laboratory, pilot-scale, and field-scale experiments using modern analytical equipment. Research products will advance the state-of-the-science for more effective conservation and management of soil resources, innovative animal waste treatment technologies as environmentally safe alternatives to traditional land application, and guidelines for beneficial byproduct utilization.