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Biosolids, Manure, and Micronutrients. Robert Mullen & Nick Basta Nutrient Management/Soil Fertility Specialist Ohio State University February 21, 2008. Overview. Essential micronutrients Deficiency/toxicity Biosolids/manure micronutrient content Micronutrient soil availability.

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biosolids manure and micronutrients

Biosolids, Manure, and Micronutrients

Robert Mullen & Nick Basta

Nutrient Management/Soil Fertility Specialist

Ohio State University

February 21, 2008

overview
Overview
  • Essential micronutrients
    • Deficiency/toxicity
  • Biosolids/manure micronutrient content
  • Micronutrient soil availability

MWEA 2008

essential nutrients
Essential Nutrients
  • Thirteen essential nutrients
    • Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur (macros)
    • Iron, manganese, boron, molybdenum, copper, zinc, and chlorine (micros)
      • Nickel has recently been added
  • Micros are needed in much lower concentrations to ensure adequate supply

MWEA 2008

essential nutrients1
Essential Nutrients
  • Necessary micronutrient concentrations for plant growth

MWEA 2008

essential nutrients2
Essential Nutrients
  • Micronutrients can be toxic when supplied at levels higher than plant nutrient need

University of Hawaii

MWEA 2008

biosolids manures
Biosolids/Manures
  • It stands to reason that human and animal waste contain the macro-/micronutrients needed for higher plant nutrition
    • Everything we consume is plant based
  • Thus, logically any animal waste material likely contains some level of micronutrient nutrition

MWEA 2008

biosolids manures1
Biosolids/Manures
  • Typical biosolid micronutrient content

Sommers (1997) – Journal of Environmental Quality 6:225-232.

MWEA 2008

biosolids manures2
Biosolids/Manures
  • Average animal manure micronutrient content of different animal sources

Micronutrient Status of Manure, University of Wisconsin, 2001

MWEA 2008

biosolids manures3
Biosolids/Manures
  • Biosolids/manures can be good sources of plant essential micronutrients
  • Let’s calculate just how much we add based upon a single application rate

MWEA 2008

biosolids manures4
Biosolids/Manures
  • Suppose we are applying 3 tons of biosolids per acre (dry basis), how much iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum have we supplied?

MWEA 2008

biosolids manure
Biosolids/Manure
  • Do not assume that application will necessarily result in higher plant uptakes
    • We have ample evidence that shows levels will increase if the nutrient was deficient
    • But non-deficient sites will not necessarily show increases in crop uptake

MWEA 2008

biosolids manure1
Biosolids/Manure
  • Remember, biosolids/manure do not supply a salt form analogous to commercial forms
  • Availability may not necessarily be comparable to commercial forms (at least short-term)
    • Predicated on biosolid/manure application rate

MWEA 2008

biosolids manure2
Biosolids/Manure
  • Application rates and availability
    • Long-term application of biosolids (13 years) on micronutrient availability (DTPA extractable)
    • Study conducted at Oklahoma State University
    • Biosolids application rate ranged from 3,500 – 10,000 lbs/acre (depending upon nitrogen analysis of material)

MWEA 2008

biosolids manure3
Biosolids/Manure
  • Total micronutrient analysis of soil

Schroeder et al. (2008) Soil Science Society of America Journal 72:73-82.

MWEA 2008

micronutrient soil availability
Micronutrient Soil Availability
  • Even though we may be supplementing micronutrient nutrition through biosolid/manure application their availability is dictated by soil pH
    • More of a concern as it relates to toxicity from long-term application of biosolids/manures

MWEA 2008

micronutrient availability1
Micronutrient Availability
  • More acid soils have better (?) micronutrient availability (this goes for most of the heavy metals)
    • Exception being molybdenum
  • More acid soils also have greater risk of micronutrient toxicity (especially if the soil has a history of biosolids/manure applications)

MWEA 2008

micronutrient availability2
Micronutrient Availability
  • To minimize risk of toxicity maintain soil pH in optimum range for crop production (6.0-7.0)
  • Soils that have high soil pH levels are more likely to exhibit micronutrient deficiencies, thus application of biosolids/manure on these soils can be very beneficial

MWEA 2008

summary
Summary
  • Biosolids/manure can be excellent sources of micronutrient nutrition for higher plants
  • Soils with application histories can show higher micronutrient availability levels than those receiving commercial fertilization
  • Maintaining adequate soil pH for crop production should ensure good micronutrient availability

MWEA 2008

questions
Questions??
  • Thanks!
  • http://agcrops.osu.edu/fertility/
  • Robert W. Mullen
    • Mullen.91@osu.edu

MWEA 2008