Dissolved air flotation (DAF) separates phosphorus (P)-rich fine solids from anaerobically digested dairy manure, creating opportunities to export surplus P to the marketplace as a bagged plant food product. Seedlings of tomato and marigold were amended at various volume per volume (v/v) ratios with plant foods consisting of fine solids upcycled (i.e., transformed into a higher quality product) by drying and blending with other organic residuals. A plate competition assay was conducted to assess the fine solids' potential to suppress the plant pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. Plant foods were comprised of 2.0-2.1% N, 0.8-0.9% P and 0.6-0.8% K. Extractions indicated that plant foods contained a mixture of plant-available and slow-release P. At 6% v/v plant food, dry biomass of marigold and tomato were six-times greater than the unamended control and not significantly different from a market alternative treatment. Fine solids exhibited negligible potential to suppress R. solani. This study indicates that DAF-separated fine solids could be used to support horticulture, providing information for design of a circular economy approach to dairy manure nutrient management. Life cycle assessment and business model development for this nutrient recovery strategy are necessary next steps to further guide sustainability efforts.
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Porterfield KK, Joblin R, Neher DA, Curtis M, Dvorak S, Rizzo DM, Faulkner JW, Roy ED. Upcycling Phosphorus Recovered from Anaerobically Digested Dairy Manure to Support Production of Vegetables and Flowers. Sustainability. 2020 Jan;12(3):1139.