Phosphorous: A Vital Non-Renewable Resource - Matt Taylor (ADAS)Presentation Transcript
Phosphorus: A Vital Non-Renewable Resource Farming Futures Workshop Thursday, 11 November 2010 Matt Taylor: Environmental Scientist
P 15 30.97 Phosphorus =
Soils in the UK are naturally deficient in phosphorus So we need to add phosphorus to supply plant needs Historically livestock manures used, but more recently phosphate fertilisers
“ We can get around declining oil production by using alternatives: but we have no alternatives to rock phosphate”. Andy Barr, Farmers Weekly, June 2009
Source: Cordell, D., Drangert, J-O. and White, S. (2009).
We’ve used up the good stuff!!!
Overall phosphate application rate for Great Britain British Survey of Fertiliser Practice (2009)
There is another way….
Organic materials: a valuable source of phosphorus
Paper crumble (biological treated)
Estimated quantities of organic materials recycled to land in the UK Type Fresh weight (million tonnes) Livestock manure 90 Biosolids 3-4 Compost 1.3 Paper crumble 0.7 Digestate 0.1 Industrial ‘wastes’ 6-7
Typical total nutrient content of various organic materials (kg/tonne fresh weight) The “Fertiliser Manual (RB209)” Material type Dry matter (%) Nitrogen (N) Phosphate (P 2 O 5 ) Potash (K 2 O) Cattle FYM 25 6.0 3.2 8.0 Pig slurry 4 3.6 1.8 2.4 Biosolids 25 11 18 0.6 Green compost 60 7.5 3.0 5.5 Paper crumble 30 7.5 3.8 0.4
Population growth will increase the demand for phosphorus fertiliser
Rock phosphate reserves and quality are declining
Farming in the UK is not sustainable without phosphorus:
- We need to focus on the efficient use of renewable resources, such as livestock manures, compost, biosolids, digestate etc.
Thank you! Farming Futures Workshop Thursday, 11 November 2010 Any questions?