[Digestion] dosing for crops

Les Gornall Les.Gornall at projen.co.uk
Wed Dec 7 04:59:14 CST 2011

My first point of call for any fertiliser recommendations is 'FERTILISER RECOMMENDATIONS'  otherwise known as RB209.  If there was an equivalent to the James 1st edition of the Bible in the world of agriculture and horticulture then this is it!   My take on digestate is that the form of nitrogen in digestate is mineralised ammonium  (NH4) and ammonium salts plus the slow release nitrogen from the decay of bacterial protein in the strict anaerobes (mainly methanogens).  Bottom line, compared to normal farm manure total nitrogen, the nitrogen in digestate doubles in value for the crop grown in the year of spreading.  Put another way, if manure has a fertiliser value of £1000 before digestion, after digestion it is worth £2000.... Simple in the UK and northern climates!  Actually it gets better.  From memory trials in Egypt in sandy soils crops were compared from digested and undigested manures for decades.   (Halwagi et al).   The digestate crop yield was 15% better than the undigested manure crop yield after 15 years.  In other words the soil was improving as a growing medium even in hot sandy soils.

Ref. for RB209 fertiliser recommendations:

I hope this helps.

Best Regards

Les Gornall
Process Consultant
PROjEN BioEnergy

Project Management and Engineering Solutions
DD:         01928 752 568
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Email:    les.gornall at projen.co.uk<mailto:les.gornall at projen.co.uk>
PROjEN House, Wellfield, Preston Brook, Cheshire, WA7 3AZ

From: digestion-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org [mailto:digestion-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of Wayne Zschech
Sent: 07 December 2011 05:56
To: digestion at lists.bioenergylists.org
Subject: [Digestion] dosing for crops

G'day All!

Thank you for you input and information about the liquid digestate vs worm castings.

Our biofertilizer experiment with a local carrot farmer will be commensing this next growing season.  We both understand that it will take a couple years to judge just how good our fertilizer is.  I would really appreciate some input as to how much, when and how the liquid digestate should be applied.  Obviously carrots is the current crop in question but I would like to have information for other crops too.  I wouldn't like to get off to a bad start by killing off his carrots in the first experiment. Also we may need to experiment in combinations of our fertilizer and chemical fertilizer.  I do understand that different inputs create a digestate of differing qualities. My digester will be running exclusively on restaurant kitchen/food waste.  Also does the storage method and length of storage have an effect on fertilizer qualities?


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