Granular phosphorus fertilizer recovered from liquid hog manure could be a viable alternative to traditional 11-52 monoammonium phosphate (MAP) fertilizer for growing wheat and canola, according to research done at the University of Manitoba.

Struvite “looks like a fantastic fertilizer,” says Don Flaten, U of M soil scientist and one of the authors of a research paper on the effects of struvite on canola and wheat yields. The study, led by the U of M’s Francis Zvomuya, was published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal this past winter (click here to read it).

Also known as magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate — the same compound that forms kidney stones, struvite can be manufactured from liquid manure and municipal wastewater.

The study showed struvite from hog manure “can supply sufficient P to sustain yields and P use efficiency matching or exceeding those for MAP.” Due to its lower solubility, struvite is considered a slow-release fertilizer. Flaten notes producers may also be able to increase seed-row placement of phosphorus in struvite form without the salt toxicity caused by MAP. (continues below)


While research showed it could work agronomically, Zvomuya, Flaten and their colleagues are also excited about struvite for environmental and manure management reasons.

“It’s benefiting environmentally in a situation where a livestock producer has more phosphorus than what they can handle,” explains Flaten in the video above.

Related: 

The paper points out hog manure generally has a nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratio of 2:1-4:1, while crops tend to require a ratio of 4:1-7:1. To meet the nitrogen needs of a crop, producers have historically applied more P than the crop needed. However, with excess phosphorus threatening water quality, regulations in many areas now limit manure application to meeting the crop’s P needs.

A side by side comparison of canola plants fertilized with 50 lb/a struvite versus monoammonium phosphate in the Orthic Black Chernozem soil.
A side by side comparison of canola plants fertilized with 50 lb/a struvite versus monoammonium phosphate in the Orthic Black Chernozem soil.

Since hog manure is mostly water, concentrating the phosphorus would increase the economic hauling distance to areas with low soil phosphorus levels.

“The fertilizer plant in Edmonton where Agrium makes fertilizer for Western Canada is getting its rock phosphorus all the way from North Africa,” notes Flaten. “The international trade and transportation of nutrients is something that’s easily done as long as you have a form of the nutrient that’s concentrated enough to make it worthwhile.”

There’s also a finite supply of rock-based phosphate that most North American farmers currently rely on, leading researchers to look at alternative sources.

These environmental and manure management benefits, the research paper notes, could potentially offset the costs of producing struvite.

The project was funded by the Canola Council of Canada (Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Manitoba Canola Growers Association, SaskCanola, and the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund), Manitoba Pork Council, and Agrium.

Leave a Reply

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache, realag
__cfduid

Marketing

Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.

__gads,fsk_ut_2317
IDE

Statistics

These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.

_ga,_gid,_gat,_cb,_chartbeat2,_chartbeat4
_ga,_gid
metrics_token

Preferences

Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp