Assessing the agronomic value of hog manure-derived struvite as a phosphorus source for spring wheat
Recovery of phosphorus (P) from liquid hog manure is one option for minimizing P loss from hog operations to surface water bodies, where it can cause eutrophication. The P, recovered as magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate (MgNH4PO4∙6H2O), commonly known as struvite, has slow-release properties, which could improve P use efficiency in cropping systems. This greenhouse bioassay evaluated the effectiveness of struvite as a P source for spring wheat. Struvite, monoammonium phosphate (MAP), and polymer-coated monoammonium phosphate (CMAP) were applied at rates of 25 and 50 kg P2O5 ha-1 either in the seed-row or in a side-band in the first of three crop cycles. Results for Cycle 1 indicated no significant P source, rate, application method, and soil main effects on aboveground wheat dry matter yield (DMY). Phosphorus uptake (PU) in Cycle 1, averaged across soils, rates, and applications methods, was significantly greater with MAP (5.1 mg kg-1) and CMAP (4.9 mg kg-1) than with struvite (4.1 mg kg-1) application. Similarly, P uptake efficiency (PUE) was greater for MAP (21%) and CMAP (18%) than for struvite (12%). For the second and third crop cycles in which wheat followed canola, DMY, PU, and PUE were similar for the P sources, regardless of rate, placement, or soil. These results suggest that while struvite was as good as the commercial P fertilizers with respect to DMY and, in Cycles 2 and 3, PU and PUE, it did not exhibit the beneficial residual effects that typically characterize slow release fertilizers. Nonetheless, it is encouraging to note that the unrefined struvite, which is a by-product of manure management for environmental goals, can perform as well as commercial fertilizers that are optimized for agronomic performance.
phosphorus use efficiency
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