Sign up for email alerts of new Fluid Journal issues!
Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2005-2007
FALL 2007 Fluid Journal 11 and 10 refineries would require 10 million tons per year or 6 to 7 million acres supplying corn stover. Switchgrass Once cellulosic ethanol production is commercialized, energy crops such as switchgrass are bound to enter the scene in short order. These are often described as “low input” species not requiring fertilization, or at most, minimal fertilization. However, studies have shown these species are highly responsive to N fertilization and can remove large quantities of nutrients, especially K, though content is extremely variable. For example, at the assumed K2O content of 46 lbs/ton, 10 million acres of 6-ton/A switchgrass would remove a quantity of K equivalent to 27 percent of total U.S. K fertilizer consumption. The question remains of what large nutrient removal by biomass crops and crop residue harvest means to the fertilizer industry. At first glance it appears to represent a potentially large increase in Welcome and thanks! The Fluid Fertilizer Foundation New members since December 2006: Farmers Cooperative of El Campo Chemical Dynamics, Inc. Horizon Ag Products Martin Resources J. D. Skiles Inc. Enviropac, Inc. Georgia-Pacific Corporation Kahler Automation Corp. AGRI Services of Brunswick LLC Borregaard LignoTech USA, Inc. Nalco PhosCan Chemical Petrobras Argentina Companies increasing pledges: Can Grow Coop Solutions Inc. Morral Companies LLC Nachurs Alpine Solutions MFA Incorporated Wagner Seed & Fertilizer Corp. Great Salt Lake Minerals Corporation Precision Tank & Equipment Co. Wilbur-Ellis Acadian Seaplants Limited Frit Industries Glynn Dodson, Inc. Cone Ag, Inc. Ouachita Fertilizer Company Migl Feed & Grain Co. Tri-County Chemical, Inc. Brownfield Farmers Cooperative Station Orrick Farm Service, Inc. Cartersville Elevator, Inc. Crop Service Center, Inc. Omex Agriculture Ltd. O’Grady Chemical Corp. Assure Crop. fertilizer demand.Yet when one considers the fate of the nutrients being removed, the vision of these removed nutrients as raw material for a new fertilizer source or sources appears. Potential impact Potential impact of biofuels on fertilizer use is offered in Table 2. This table does not include the impact higher crop prices and accelerated development of crop genetic potential might have on nutrient management across all planted acres. The across-the- table impact will likely be felt on both fertilizer product use and on the knowledge-based services associated with using those products effectively. What this article has attempted to do is connect reference points of biofuel growth to fertilizer use impact and potential opportunities. Dr. Fixen is senior vice president of the International Plant Nutrition Institute, Brookings, SD. % of annual U.S . 1,000 tons fertilizer (’04-’06) Ethanol source N P2O5 K2O N P2O5 K2O Grain (10 mil ac from soy)1 934 158 134 7.6 3.5 2.6 Grain (3 mil ac from cotton)1 95 30 14 0.8 0.7 0.3 10 refin. Stover – 10 mil tons2 80 29 200 0.6 0.6 3.9 BE (10 mil ac, 6 t/ac)3 550 134 690 4.5 2.9 13.5 Total 1,659 351 1,038 13.5 7.7 20.3 1Net increase in fertilizer use. 2Nutrient removal; represents 16 percent of sustainable, collectable stover based on 1995-2000 production with no change in tillage (Graham, et al., 2007) 3BE = bioenergy crops such as switchgrass; 50% of removal for P and K; 110 lbs/A of N. Table 2. Reference points for the potential impact of biofuels on fertilizer use in the U.S.
Fluid Journal 2002-2004
Fluid Journal 2008-2009