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Tracking phosphorus runoff from livestock manure
Date:6/13/2010

This release is available in Chinese.

MADISON, WI, June 14th, 2010 Nutrient runoff from livestock manure is a common source of agricultural pollution. Looking for an uncommon solution, a team of scientists has developed an application of rare earth elements to control and track runoff phosphorus from soils receiving livestock manure. In addition to reducing the solubility of phosphorus, this method shows particular promise for researchers interested in tracking the fate of manure nutrients in agricultural settings.

Led by Anthony Buda, a team of scientists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the Chinese Academy of Sciences applied two rare earth chlorides (lanthanum chloride and ytterbium chloride) to poultry, dairy, and swine manures. The goals were to evaluate the effects of rare earth elements on phosphorus solubility in manures and to describe the fate of phosphorus and rare earth elements in surface runoff when manures were surface-applied to packed soil boxes and subjected to simulated rainfall.

The study was reported in the May/June 2010 edition of the Journal of Environmental Quality, published by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Common uses for rare earth elements include industry, technology, and agricultural production, but there is a growing trend for using them in environmental research, particularly to label and track soil erosion and sedimentation during storm events on agricultural and rangeland watersheds.

The results of the study showed that rare earth elements had a remarkable ability to reduce soluble phosphorus in livestock manures. In particular, adding lanthanum resulted in maximum reductions of water extractable phosphorus from dairy and poultry manures.

While these soluble phosphorus re
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Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@sciencesocieties.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

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