Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient required for plant growth and at the same time a costly pollutant, which can cause eutrophication of water bodies. Modern agriculture relies heavily on mineral fertilisers, which contain phosphorus derived from phosphate rock, because, without regular applications, crop yields would be limited. Since phosphate rock is a non-renewable resource, there are growing concerns regarding future phosphorus scarcity and the sustainability of modern agriculture. For many farmers, animal manure was once a means of maintaining soil fertility, but now it presents a major operational problem. This study evaluated the possibility of recycling phosphorus on a national and regional scale in Italy, using major sources of manure and wastewater. These results were successively compared with an estimate of the agricultural demand for phosphorus. Considering the quantity of phosphorus fertilizer that was applied to the soil–plant system, for the years 2001–2010, the annual phosphorus requirement of Italian crops was about 101,000 t of P. Therefore, the phosphorus source comprising animal manure and civil/industrial waste (117,500 t of P and 40,000 t of P, respectively) could potentially satisfy the average annual agronomic phosphorus demand. Regarding the geographical distribution of phosphorus supply and demand on a regional scale, areas with a large deficit of phosphorus included Calabria, Puglia and Marche. However, when only livestock waste was considered, Sicily, Umbria and Friuli could also be considered to be regions experiencing a phosphorus deficit.

The Balance Between Capturing Phosphorus from Manure and Wastewater and the Demand for Crop Fertilizer in Italy

Donatella Caniani
Project Administration
;
Mauro Viccaro
;
Carmine Schiavone
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
LO PONTE, MARIA CARMELA
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Salvatore Masi
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Ignazio M. Mancini
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Marianna Caivano
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Mario Cozzi
Methodology
2019

Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient required for plant growth and at the same time a costly pollutant, which can cause eutrophication of water bodies. Modern agriculture relies heavily on mineral fertilisers, which contain phosphorus derived from phosphate rock, because, without regular applications, crop yields would be limited. Since phosphate rock is a non-renewable resource, there are growing concerns regarding future phosphorus scarcity and the sustainability of modern agriculture. For many farmers, animal manure was once a means of maintaining soil fertility, but now it presents a major operational problem. This study evaluated the possibility of recycling phosphorus on a national and regional scale in Italy, using major sources of manure and wastewater. These results were successively compared with an estimate of the agricultural demand for phosphorus. Considering the quantity of phosphorus fertilizer that was applied to the soil–plant system, for the years 2001–2010, the annual phosphorus requirement of Italian crops was about 101,000 t of P. Therefore, the phosphorus source comprising animal manure and civil/industrial waste (117,500 t of P and 40,000 t of P, respectively) could potentially satisfy the average annual agronomic phosphorus demand. Regarding the geographical distribution of phosphorus supply and demand on a regional scale, areas with a large deficit of phosphorus included Calabria, Puglia and Marche. However, when only livestock waste was considered, Sicily, Umbria and Friuli could also be considered to be regions experiencing a phosphorus deficit.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/134959
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