MADISON, WI, JULY 6, 2008 —
Swine production generates large amounts of waste. While this waste
contains nutrients that may serve as fertilizer when applied to
agricultural fields, the ratio of nutrients in the waste is different
than what a crop requires. Application of waste to meet the nitrogen
needs of a crop results in application of excess phosphorus which
increases the potential for environmental contamination. Swine fed corn
diets with more highly available phosphorus produce waste that has a
nitrogen to phosphorus ratio closer to what a crop needs than swine fed
traditional corn diets.
The use of swine waste for fertilizer has double benefits for the environment. Using
swine waste reduces the need for chemical fertilizers for crops and at
the same time reduces the amount of waste to be disposed of from swine
production. But, when the nutrients in the swine
waste don’t match the needs of the crops, the excess nutrients not used
by the crops can pollute the soil.
Scientists with USDA-ARS and the University of
Nebraska – Lincoln compared nitrogen and phosphorus availability in
field plots receiving inorganic fertilizer, manure from swine fed
traditional corn diets, or manure from swine fed low phytate corn
diets. Results from the study were published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal.
Researchers found that field application of slurry from low-phytate
corn diets at rates needed to meet the nitrogen needs of the crop
results in slower accumulation of phosphorus in these soils.
The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at http://soil.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/72/4/1096.
Soil Science Society of America Journal, http://soil.scijournals.org,
is a peer-reviewed international journal published six times a year by
the Soil Science Society of America. Its contents focus on research
relating to physics; chemistry; biology and biochemistry; fertility and
plant nutrition; genesis, morphology, and classification; water
management and conservation; forest, range, and wildland soils;
nutrient management and soil and plant analysis; mineralogy; and
The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)
is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the
transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in
Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for
6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It
provides information about soils in relation to crop production,
environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste
management, recycling, and wise land use.
SSSA supports its
members by providing quality research-based publications, educational
programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a
Washington, DC, office. For more information, visit www.soils.org.
is the founding sponsor of an approximately 5,000-square foot
exhibition, Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, opening July 19, 2008 at the
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.