Codigested dairy slurry as a phosphorus and nitrogen source for Zea mays L. and Amaranthus cruentus L.

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Bachmann, S, Wentzel, S, Eichler-Löbermann, B
Journal:Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Volume:174
Issue:6
Date Published:2011
ISBN Number:1522-2624
Keywords:amaranth, Amaranthus, biogas residues, maize, microbial activity
Abstract:

Residues from biogas production contain essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) but also organic matter, and should be recycled in crop production. For efficient re-use as fertilizers, the availability of nutrients for crops and the effect of the residues on soil fertility need to be evaluated. Focusing on the element P, we compared effects of codigested slurry with dairy slurry, highly soluble mineral NPK fertilizer, and a control without any P supply (NK). Codigested slurry used in this experiment was based on anaerobic digestion of dairy slurry, maize silage, and wheat grain. The fertilizing effects were tested in an 8-week pot experiment on a sandy and a loamy soil using two crop species (Zea mays L., Amaranthus cruentus L.). The plant P uptake was up to 64% greater in the slurry treatments than in the treatment without P. The effect of codigested slurry on P uptake was comparable to that of dairy slurry and mineral P. Plant N uptake from codigested slurry was lower than that from mineral N (NK, NPK), but tended to be higher than from dairy slurry. The water-soluble and double lactate–soluble P content of the soil was lower in the slurry treatments than in the mineral-P treatments and accompanied by higher contents of microbial-bound P. Differences between both organic fertilizers were detected for dehydrogenase activity which was up to 32% lower in soils fertilized with codigested slurry than it was in soils fertilized with dairy slurry. Our results indicate that codigestion of slurries in biogas plants does not substantially alter their fertilizer value as P and N sources for crops.

URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201000383
Short Title:Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
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