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- Plant Nutrient Issues for Sustainable Land Application

Plant Nutrient Issues for Sustainable Land Application

Gary M. Pierzynski* and Katherine A. Gehl

Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506

* Corresponding author ([email protected] ).

Received for publication March 3, 2004. 

Interest in plant nutrient issues for sustainable land application of residuals is increasingly driven by environmental concerns. The indicators of concern are P and N in surface waters, nitrate leaching, and emissions of ammonia and greenhouse gases. Federal regulations require residual application rates to be on a N basis at most, and on a P basis when risk of P loss in surface runoff is high. Modeling of mineralization offers the potential for more accurate determinations of potentially available nitrogen (PAN) and quick tests could allow the determination of PAN on residuals immediately before land application. Methods for reducing ammonia emissions from livestock operations and new techniques for quantifying emissions under field conditions are being developed. Calibration and validation of P loss assessment tools is an ongoing concern and the interpretation of edge of field P losses warrants further attention. The solubility of P in residuals and soils can be influenced by various amendments or treatment processes. High available P grains or phytase enzyme supplementation can reduce total and soluble P in animal manures by reducing the need for diet supplementation with inorganic P. The use of synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy has identified chemical forms of inorganic P. Considerable progress has been made addressing plant nutrient issues for sustainable land application and interest in this topic will remain strong into the foreseeable future.

Abbreviations: CAFO, concentrated animal feeding operation • HAP, high available phosphorus • PAN, potentially available nitrogen • PMN, potentially mineralizable nitrogen • STP, soil test phosphorus • TSP, triple superphosphate

Source: J. Environ. Qual. 34:18-28 (2005).

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