Advancing Livestock Waste as Low Emission-High Efficiency Fertilisers
Lead organisation and partner organisations:
Lead: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Principal Investigator: Dr Matt Redding
Project Partners: Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Pork Limited, Chicken Meat Program of Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Australian Egg Corporation Limited, The University of Queensland
Outcomes to Industry
This Project has identified the potential of sorbers, when incorporated into livestock manures that have been applied to soils, to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Vermiculite tended to be the most efficient sorber that was studied in a series of experiments.
- Sorbers can substantially decrease GHG (notably, nitrous oxide and ammonia) emissions by up to 60% and potentially reduce the need for conventional fertiliser.
- Sorbers can potentially improve plant growth (20%) and boost carbon retention in the soil by about 50%.
The overall outcome from this major component of the project was that the sorber-based approach has strong potential to be developed into a technology to mitigate manure GHG emissions. In addition, there is potential for significant productivity gains and a reduction in the use of conventional fertilisers when sorbers are incorporated into livestock manures as they are being applied to soils. This is because significant amounts of the nitrogen derived from nitrous oxide is retained and used for plant growth.
Environmental factors such as temperature, soil moisture, the carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio, soil permeability and soil pH often have a much greater effect on GHG emission rates from livestock manure applied to soils than the type of manure or amount applied.
Pratt, C., Redding, M., Hill, J., Shilton, A., Chung, M., Guieysse, B., 2014. Good science for improving policy: greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural manures. Animal Production Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN13504
Pratt, C., Redding, M., Hill, J., Mudge, S.R., Westermann, M., Paungfoo-Lonhienne, C., Schmidt, S., 2014. Assessing refrigerating and freezing effects on the biological/chemical composition of two livestock manures. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 197, 288-292.
Pratt, C., Redding, M., Hill, J., 2015. A promising and simple method to quantify soil/manure mixing on beef feedlot pens, Animal Production Science. http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/AN14771.htm
Pratt, C., Redding, M., Hill, J. Application of sorbers to mitigate GHG emissions from land-applied pig litter. Full Abstract for APSA Conference, Brisbane, November 2015.