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Over the next two years researchers at Washington State University will build and operate a mobile system to fully develop a phosphorous-rich fertilizer in Washington State. Since 2004 WSU researchers have been refining technology to capture excess phosphorous from liquid dairy cow manure in the form of struvite.

The "Mobile System for Nutrient (Phosphorus) Recovery and Cost Efficient Nutrient Transport" project will build and operate a mobile struvite system, applying fluidized bed technology, to efficiently extract phosphorous from raw manure and anaerobically digested manure.

A USDA Conservation Innovation Grant of $460, 010, and $150,000 grant from the Dairy Farmers of Washington, for a total of $610, 010 will fund the demonstration project to further develop the efficiency and effectiveness of the mobile technology.

"We take pride in our support for science-based research projects and innovative ideas that reinforce our commitment to environmental stewardship," said Scott Kinney, General Manager, Dairy Farmers of Washington. "The Washington dairy community is unified in support of research that efficiently improves farm operations, and partnerships that promote nutritious dairy products."

Phosphorus is one of the key elements in fertilization of crop land, improved production and soil health. "We are actively recruiting dairy farms to participate in the fluidized bed technology project that will efficiently develop a highly transportable phosphorous-rich fertilizer in the form of struvite," said WSU Nutrient Management Specialist Dr. Joe Harrison and project lead.

This year the USDA Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program invested $26.6M in 45 innovative conservation projects, that will extended by $32.5M in matching investments from grantees, including the Washington dairy community's $150,000 match to support the WSU mobile phosphorus recycling project.

The Washington Dairy Products Commission was created by the Washington state legislature to promote the consumption of dairy products within Washington State and to educate the people of Washington about dairy products, dairy producers and the dairy community. All Commission activities are funded entirely by dairy farmers. Washington ranks 10th in total milk production among the 50 states and is home to approximately 480 dairy farms. Dairy foods constitute the state's 2nd largest agricultural commodity with direct and indirect economic impacts estimated at $5.2 billion annually.