Bio solids are a recyclable material resulting from the treatment of wastewater. Bio solids are rich in nitrogen and phosphorus along with other supplementary nutrients in smaller doses. Approximately 40-50 percent of the 8-9 million tons of Bio solids produced each year by municipal treatment facilities are recycled for beneficial use and reused in a variety of applications. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency statistic indicates that nearly 50 percent of the Bio solids are applied and application takes place in 46 of the 50 states. There are more than 500,000 acres that is utilized in these states. Virtually all land uses are compatible with Bio solids application.
Application rates are based on the amount of nitrogen the crop will use during the growing season. Extension staff will make nitrogen recommendations based on your cropping history, the crop you plan to plant after the application occurs, yield goal, and whether or not manure and/or fertilizer has been applied to the field. This recommendation is used to calculate the Bio solids application. Because Bio solids release nitrogen slowly, there is some nitrogen carry-over from one year to the next. Thus, you can receive Bio solids every third year at the full application rate or every year at reduced rates. Availability of the product will depend on the number of farmers interested, the number of acres permitted, and the site conditions.
Bio solids are a very good source of nitrogen, but they are not a complete fertilizer mix. Supplemental phosphate and potash may need to be added to meet soil test recommendations for the crop to be grown and desired yield goal.