Looking to get rid of extra phosphorous on your farm? Washington State University (WSU) may have the ‘mobile’ solution you need.
Since 2004, WSU has been working with Multiform Harvest Inc. to research ways to capture excess phosphorous (P) from liquid dairy manure in the form of struvite.Thanks to a grant from the USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation of $461,000 and $150,000 from the Dairy Farmers of Washington (DFW), WSU is building a Mobile Struvite Recovery System.
This project will demonstrate a mobile technology that can cost-effectively transport manure nutrients from regions of dense populations of animal agriculture operations to areas that have a demand for manure nutrients.
While struvite may be considered a problem in municipalities with wastewater treatment, it is an excellent resource for fertilizer replacement.
According to Liz Whitefield with the Livestock Nutrient Management Program at WSU, there is a long list of benefits that come with reusing struvite.
“Struvite’s composition of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate make it a great fertilizer for both nurseries and crops,” stated Whitefield. “It’s also a slow release phosphorous, in a more desirable form of phosphorous that is available to crops.”
Struvite’s consistency is also a bonus. “It’s dry, so you don’t have to deal with some of challenges that that a liquid might bring. It’s great for handling and easier to transport,” stated Whitefield.
How the Mobile Nutrient Recovery System works:
Liquid dairy manure goes into a pre-treatment tank and is chemically treated to either decrease or increase the pH. Then, it goes into the cyclical cone, to form a fluidized bed of struvite. Once the bed is full, the struvite is collected and is laid out to dry.
“Our intent with this project is to determine if a regional traveling nutrient removal system can help dairy farmers in getting rid of some of their phosphorous,” stated Whitefield. “The mobile unit allows us to develop an effective regional phosphorous-recycling relationship between the Washington dairy community and forage growers.”
The project will demonstrate the phosphorous removal process on twenty dairy farms. Dairies interested in participating should have a solid separator on-site and contact Liz Whitefield using the information below.
“We, as the dairy community, are proud to support this science-based research project and are committed to taking steps to improve the environment,” said Scott Kinney, General Manager of DFW. “We are encouraging dairy farmers to participate in this research with WSU.”
If you would like to volunteer your farm to participate in this phosphorous recovery project, please fill out your contact information using the online form at the end of the page, found here: https://puyallup.wsu.edu/lnm/mobile-nutrient- recovery-system/ or contact Liz Whitefield firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-445-4638.