Fields & Row Crops

In Virginia, biosolids are typically applied to hayfields, pastures and land that will grow such row crops as corn and soybeans that will be used for animal feed.

The majority of biosolids applied to fields and row crops in Virginia are de-watered materials (15 to 25 percent solids), which have the consistency of damp soil. A tractor pulls a spreader that distributes the material on the field. The application rate is determined by a nutrient management plan prepared by a certified nutrient planner that determines the needs of the crops being grown on specific soils. Biosolids rates vary with the soil and the crop. Typical application rates are about 20 wet tons per acre or 3-5 tons per acre on a dry weight basis. This rate is somewhat less than the amount of cow manure that would typically be used to fertilize a field. Application rates for liquid biosolids are also determined by an approved  nutrient management plan.