Fields & Row Crops

The majority of biosolids applied to fields and row crops in Virginia are materials composed of water and solids (15 to 25 percent).  This material has the consistency of damp soil. A tractor pulls a spreader that distributes the material evenly across a field. The application rate is determined by a nutrient management plan prepared by a certified nutrient planner who determines the crop needs based on specific soil types and other environmental conditions. Biosolids application rates vary with the soil and the crop. Typical application rates are about 15-20 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.