Dan M. Sullivan, Abigail Tomasek, Deirdre Griffin LaHue, Betsy Verhoeven, Amber Moore, Linda Brewer, Andy I. Bary, Craig G. Cogger and Biswanath Dari
PNW 508 | Revised April 2022, Reviewed 2023


Biosolids can be used to supply nutrients to crops. The nutrient content and fertilizer replacement value of biosolids and the relationship between biosolids nutrient inputs and crop removal of nutrients are described. Discusses the effects of biosolids processing on nitrogen (N) forms, organic N mineralization rates, and ammonium-N retention and explains how to convert N-availability estimates to application rates. Covers biosolids quality factors (trace element concentrations and pathogen levels), the effects of biosolids applications on soil pH and soil quality, applicable regulations, and questions about biosolids safety and application practices. Includes sources for additional information.

About the authors

Deirdre Griffin LaHue
Sustainable soil management specialist and assistant professor
Crop & Soil Sciences, Washington State University
Andy I. Bary
Soil scientist and senior scientific assistant
Crop & Soil Sciences, Washington State University
Craig G. Cogger
Extension soil scientist and professor (emeritus)
Crop & Soil Sciences, Washington State University
Biswanath Dari
Agriculture and Natural Resources specialist
North Carolina A&T

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