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Temporal changes in labile soil phosphorus pools in grassland receiving P recycled from dairy processing sludge

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-23, 12:18 authored by Olha KhomenkoOlha Khomenko, Owen Fenton, JAMES J LEAHYJAMES J LEAHY, Karen Daly

Replacing chemical fertilisers with recycled products will require new advice for phosphorus (P) use.. Emerging P fertilisers derived from dairy processing sludge (DPS) include products such as struvite and hydrochar. A field study monitored temporal changes in available, exchangeable, and Mehlich3 P pools in a P deficient grassland amended with DPS-derived hydrochar and struvite. Herbage P content and yields were compared with data from plots amended with a mineral P fertiliser. Regardless of fertiliser used, there was no statistical difference in dry matter yield. However, herbage P content varied depending on the fertiliser type. The optimal P content in herbage for cattle feed (0.3–0.4 %) was reached using struvite and mineral fertiliser. Application of struvites increased available, exchangeable, and Mehlich3 P, raising the available P levels to the agronomic optimal value for crop production (>5 mg L-1) within one month. In hydrochar amended plots, the optimal level of P was reached 4 months after fertilisation, at the end of the growing season. During the low growth or dormancy period, soil P levels decreased and remained low regardless of the treatment. In the struvite amended plots, available and exchangeable P pools recovered at the beginning of the second season. This effect was not observed in mineral fertiliser and hydrochar amended plots. A single application of struvite can replace mineral fertilisers supplying crops with P for more than one season. This needs to be reflected in the advice for growers to avoid excessive P application and legacy P deposition.


Phosphorus REcovery for FertiLisers frOm dairy processing Waste

European Commission

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Soil Security, 2023, 13, 100110



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