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Agronomic Value of Nutrients in Biosolids Randall Warden A & L Great Lakes Laboratories Fort Wayne, IN Quality Analyses for Informed Decisions.

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Presentation on theme: "Agronomic Value of Nutrients in Biosolids Randall Warden A & L Great Lakes Laboratories Fort Wayne, IN Quality Analyses for Informed Decisions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Agronomic Value of Nutrients in Biosolids Randall Warden A & L Great Lakes Laboratories Fort Wayne, IN Quality Analyses for Informed Decisions

2 Presentation Outline  Assessment of nutrient levels  Soil testing  Biosolids analysis  Crop nutrient requirements and responsiveness  Process to determine nutrient value ($)

3 Assessing Nutrient Levels - What is a Soil Test?  Analysis of a soil sample to determine nutrient availability to plants  Extract all or proportional part of plant- available nutrients from soil  Goal – prescription fertilizer application

4 SampleIDpHP(ppm)K(ppm)Zn(ppm)Mn(ppm) VL 61 L 1.7 L 60 VH VL 17 VL 1.7 L 3 VL H 155 H 3.1 M 62 VH L 149 M 6.1 H 18 M

5 Soil Test Unit Very Low LowMediumHigh Very High pH Organic Matter% Phosphorus (P1)ppm Potassium% Magnesium% Calcium% Sulfur (S)ppm Zinc (Zn)ppm Manganese (Mn)ppm Iron (Fe)ppm Copper (Cu)ppm Boron (B)ppm Soil Test Ratings

6 Soil Test Rating Probability of Economic Response to Fertilizer Application Very Low (VL) Very High Low (L) High Medium (M) Medium High (H) Low Very High (VH) None Soil Test Ratings & Economics

7 Soil Test Nutrient Level VLVHM Probability of Crop Response HighLowMedium ROI $

8 CROPYIELDNitrogenNPhosphate P 2 O 5 Potash K 2 O Alfalfa 10 T Corn 200 bu. grain stover Soybeans 60 bu. Grain Stover Wheat 100 bu. grain straw Nutrient Utilization (lbs/acre)

9 CROPYIELDMagnesium Mg Calcium Ca Sulfur S Alfalfa10 T Corn 200 bu. grain stover Soybeans 60 bu. Grain 1712 Stover Wheat 100 bu. grain 1558 straw Nutrient Utilization (lbs/acre)

10 Crop Pounds per Acre BZnMnFeCu Alfalfa 10 tons Corn 200 Bushels Soybeans 60 bushels Wheat 80 bushels Crop Nutrient Removal

11 CropMnBCuZnFe Alfalfa MedHigh LowMed Corn MedLowMedHighMed Soybeans HighLow MedHigh Wheat HighLowHighLow Micronutrient Response

12 Fertilizer Prices Change NutrientUnit Nitrogenlb$0.35$0.65 Phosphate (P 2 O 5 )lb$0.19$0.58 Potash (K 2 O)lb$0.18$0.33 Sulfur (S)lb$0.39 Zinc (Zn)lb$1.34 Manganese (Mn)lb$0.80 Copper (Cu)lb$1.68 Boron (B)lb$0.75 Limeton$25.00$30.00

13 Current Crop Production Costs   Corn – 180 bu/A – medium soil tests   Nitrogen (210 lb x $0.65/lb = $136.50)   Phosphate (50 lb x $0.58/lb = $29.00)   Potash (200 lb x $0.33/lb = $66.00) Per acre fertilizer cost = $ Cost per 80 acres = $18,520.00

14 Biosolids Analysis - Anaerobic Parameter Lbs per Dry Ton % Available Lbs per Dry Ton Available Unit Cost (lb) Nutrient Value Lime %175$0.015$2.63 Plant Available Nitrogen (PAN) %28.1$0.65$18.27 Phosphorus (P2O5) (PSC*) %34.8$0.58$20.21 Potassium (K2O) %3.1$0.33$1.02 Calcium (Ca) %48.1$0.00 Magnesium (Mg) 9.355%5.1$0.00 Sulfur (S) 4955%27.0$0.39$10.51 Zinc (Zn) 3.665%2.3$1.34$3.14 Iron (Fe) %37.9$0.00 Manganese (Mn) 1.665%1.0$0.80$0.83 Copper (Cu) 1.565%1.0$1.68$1.64 Boron (B) BDL65%0.0$0.75$0.00 “Maximum” Nutrient Value $58.25 Parameter Lbs per Dry Ton Available Unit Cost (lb) Nutrient Value Lime 175$0.015$2.63 Plant Available Nitrogen (PAN) 28.1$0.65$18.27 Phosphorus (P2O5) (PSC*) 34.8$0.58$20.21 Potassium (K2O) 3.1$0.33$1.02 Sulfur (S) 27.0$0.39$10.51 Zinc (Zn) 2.3$1.34$3.14 Manganese (Mn) 1.0$0.80$0.83 Copper (Cu) 1.0$1.68$1.64 Boron (B) 0.0$0.75$0.00

15 Biosolids Analysis – N-Viro Parameter Lbs per Dry Ton% Available Lbs per Dry Ton Available Unit Cost (lb) Nutrient Value Lime %726$0.015$10.89 Plant Available Nitrogen (PAN) %3.7$0.65$2.43 Phosphorus (P2O5) (PSC*) %5.5$0.58$3.20 Potassium (K2O) %6.9$0.33$2.28 Calcium (Ca) 44955%247$0.00 Magnesium (Mg) %19.4$0.00 Sulfur (S) %21.3$0.39$8.31 Zinc (Zn) 1.965%1.2$1.34$1.65 Iron (Fe) %40.0$0.00 Manganese (Mn) 1.265%0.8$0.80$0.62 Copper (Cu) %0.2$1.68$0.31 Boron (B) 1.165%1.0$0.75$0.00 “Maximum” Nutrient Value $29.70 Parameter Lbs per Dry Ton Available Unit Cost (lb) Nutrient Value Lime 726$0.015$10.89 Plant Available Nitrogen (PAN) 3.74$0.65$2.43 Phosphorus (P2O5) (PSC*) 27.6$0.58$3.20 Potassium (K2O) 6.9$0.33$2.28 Sulfur (S) 21.3$0.39$8.31 Zinc (Zn) 1.2$1.34$1.65 Manganese (Mn) 0.8$0.80$0.62 Copper (Cu) 0.2$1.68$0.31 Boron (B) 1.0$0.75

16 Soil Test Percent of Soil Samples by Test Rating* V Low LowMediumHigh V High pH pH Phosphorus Phosphorus Potassium Potassium Sulfur Sulfur Zinc Zinc Manganese Manganese Copper Copper Boron Boron Michigan Soil Test Summary * > 50,000 samples

17 Biosolids Marketing Approach  Disposal: no value for nutrients, large $ incentive for nutrient use, no cost recovery  Partial cost recovery: price < fertilizer, less user $ incentive, labor, fuel  Market Value: $ price  fertilizer, organic matter, micronutrients, nutrient availability, labor, fuel, demand, communication

18 Opportunities and Challenges   Increasing fertilizer costs ($/A)   Fertilizer availability - timing   Cost recovery   Fair valuation of biosolids nutrients (test)   Nutrient need (test)   Availability of nutrients (treatment process)   Stewardship   Consistency of Communication

19 Time to Stop – Questions?


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