Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using Organic Waste Presents A Win-win Situation For Municipalities, Agriculture

Date:
February 3, 2003
Source:
American Society Of Agronomy
Summary:
Sewage sludge has the potential to boost production for certain crops while addressing the increase in the amount of waste and the growing scarcity of landfills, according to scientists at the University of Florida.

MADISON, WI, JANUARY 31, 2003 – Sewage sludge has the potential to boost production for certain crops while addressing the increase in the amount of waste and the growing scarcity of landfills, according to scientists at the University of Florida.

Using organic waste as fertilizer is not a new concept. Before the 1940s, when synthetic nitrogen fertilizer became widely available, animal manure and human waste were commonly used for improving crop yields around the world. This technique is receiving renewed interest as municipalities face increasing waste disposal challenges.

In a study conducted in Florida from 1997 to 2000 and published in the November/December 2002 issue of Agronomy Journal, scientists from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences compared the effects of different kinds of sewage sludge versus commonly used synthetic nitrogen fertilizer on the forage crop bahiagrass.

Researchers Martin B. Adjei and Jack E. Rechcigl studied yield, protein content, mineral content, and digestibility. Accumulation of heavy metals and nutrients in the crops, groundwater, and soil were also evaluated.

Funded in part by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the study showed liquid forms of sludge are just as effective as traditional synthetic fertilizer. Some minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and iron were higher in crops fertilized with sludge. In a very dry year, the water in liquid sludge can also enable nutrients to reach the crop’s rooting zone more effectively than synthetic fertilizer.

“Liquid sludge if processed and applied according to specific guidelines has the potential to boost production dramatically. It is low in pathogens, inexpensive, and environmentally safe,” said Adjei. Approximately half of Florida’s 2.5 million acres of bahiagrass are fertilized with synthetic fertilizer yearly.

Adjei added, "While we did observe negligible traces of heavy metals in crops, groundwater, and soil regardless of how the crops were fertilized, this was not significant nor surprising given Florida’s small industrial base and its successful efforts to prevent industrial sources of metals from contaminating sewage."

A survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed the amount of sewage sludge generated in the United States increased from 8.5 metric tons in 1990 to more than 12 metric tons in 2000. At the same time, there has been an increase in public interest for finding alternative, environmentally sound solutions to waste disposal.

###

Agronomy Journal, http://agron.scijournals.org is a peer-reviewed, international journal of agriculture and natural resource sciences published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). Agronomy Journal contains research papers on all aspects of crop and soil science including resident education, military land use and management, agroclimatology and agronomic modeling, extension education, environmental quality, international agronomy, agricultural research station management, and integrated agricultural systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) http://www.agronomy.org, the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) http://www.crops.org and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) http://www.soils.org are educational organizations helping their 10,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy, crop and soil sciences by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society Of Agronomy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society Of Agronomy. "Using Organic Waste Presents A Win-win Situation For Municipalities, Agriculture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030203071417.htm>.
American Society Of Agronomy. (2003, February 3). Using Organic Waste Presents A Win-win Situation For Municipalities, Agriculture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030203071417.htm
American Society Of Agronomy. "Using Organic Waste Presents A Win-win Situation For Municipalities, Agriculture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030203071417.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins