Canadians turn poultry manure into hydroponic fertilizer

An Alberta project is using a bioreactor to extract nutrients from waste streams like animal manure. Described as ‘liquid composting,’ the bioreactor uses micro-organisms in an oxygen-rich environment to mineralize and dissolve the nutrients in a liquid solution. The nutrients can then be reused as plant food.

Scientists used the aerobic bioreactor to capture nutrients from raw poultry manure. They then used the dissolved organic fertilizer — or digestate — to produce vegetables and tree seedlings in a soilless growing environment.

“The results exceeded all our expectations,” said Savidov. “We demonstrated that we can produce vigorous growth of major nursery crops grown in Alberta and B.C. using poultry manure digestate.”

For example, greenhouse tomatoes grown with digestate had a 15 per cent higher yield than plants given synthetic fertilizer.

Click here for the complete article at the Alberta Farmer Express

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