Historically, animal manures rich in nutrients were amended to nearby agricultural lands to maintain soil health. However, when manures are applied in excess of crop nutrient demands, elevated levels of phosphorus, nitrogen, salts, and potentially pathogens, may contribute to air and water quality degradation. Increased attention is being paid to the development of commercially viable nutrient recovery technologies that may reduce environmental loading, and decrease the rising cost of dairy manure nutrient management. Emerging nitrogen and phosphorus recovery technologies have the potential to partition nutrients in forms that are more easily transported off-dairy to croplands that are in need of nutrients, with benefits for dairies, crop farms, and the environment.
Nutrient recovery work at CSANR includes research and extension efforts aimed both at dairies, and at crop farms and others who are potential users of dairy-derived nutrients.