Recycling manure is an important practice, especially for large livestock producers. Manure can be used as fertilizer to aid in crop production, aiding livestock producers that grow their own feed crops.
While manure does provide a rich nutrient source for crops, it also can contribute to nutrient leaching and runoff. This can contaminate the surrounding ecosystem and lead to eutrophication of waterways. The desire for farmers to be able to recycle manure in an environmentally safe manner while providing a sufficient supply of nutrients to their crops without reducing profit, is an ongoing struggle.
Scientists at USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Penn State used computer simulated farms with the support of field research to compare the environmental impact and economic efficacy of using alternative manure application methods in farming systems. The techniques and practices being evaluated included broadcast spreading with and without incorporation by tillage, band application with soil aeration, and shallow disk injection.
By comparing predicted ammonia emissions, nitrate leaching, and phosphorus runoff losses with those measured over four years of field trials, researchers were able to accurately evaluate the model and find a good agreement. By simulating techniques that would improve the incorporation of manure, the scientist noticed reductions in ammonia emission and phosphorus runoff.
The study showed that applying manure with a shallow disk injection device allowed the lowest nutrient loss without negatively impacting the farm's profitability compared with the other techniques being studied. Band application of manure along with the use of soil aeration was less environmentally beneficial. Moreover the increased cost of production was usually greater than the overall economic benefit.
"Shallow injection of manure appears to be the best option for reducing nutrient losses to the environment. Although this additional equipment and the management required increase the cost of manure handling, the annual improvement in nutrient use can often offset this cost and in some cases may even improve farm profitability," said Al Rotz, one of the USDA-ARS scientists who conducted the study.
Results from the study were published in the March/April 2011 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.
Research is ongoing in Pennsylvania and other locations in the mid Atlantic area to further evaluate different methods for subsurface injection of manure in both liquid and solid forms. Refinement and adoption of this manure application technique is one of many potential strategies for reducing nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. Reduction in this nutrient loading is needed to help clean and improve the aquatic life in the Bay.
Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Light green plants save nitrogen without sacrificing photosynthetic efficiency
21.11.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Filling intercropping info gap
16.11.2017 | American Society of Agronomy
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Life Sciences
22.11.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.11.2017 | Life Sciences