By Bruce Cochrane
A nutrient management specialist with Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development says solid-liquid separation offers a viable manure treatment option if the economics can be made work.
Nutrient management in cropping systems will be discussed during a nutrient and water management field day Friday at the Glenlea Research Station.
Mitchell Timmerman, a nutrient management specialist with Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development, says solid-liquid manure separation appears to hold promise but its cost and complexity makes adoption a challenge.
Mitchell Timmerman-Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development:
With respect to treating manure via solid-liquid separation, that enables an operation to concentrate phosphorus as it naturally does in the solids and then separate that phosphorus in the solids from the liquids and then allow these two fertilizer streams to be managed separately.
In order to achieve that, options could relate to the construction of storage systems, and at a later stage to processing the manure to achieve that separation via various technologies involving mechanical action, as well as chemical, in the form of the use of flocculants.
The implications are, if these technologies work and are feasible to adopt, with the phosphorus concentrated it enables an operation in theory to haul that phosphorus concentrated manure farther than is economically feasible without the treatment and the reason to haul it is to take it out of a geographic area that has too much phosphorus for what is removed by the crops that are grown in that area.
Timmerman says because moisture content of the phosphorus concentrated stream will be different than producers are used to, there could be a need for a different type of application equipment and application rates will change because of the different makeup of that fertilizer.