Anne Falk Øgaard

Senior Research Scientist

(+47) 958 40 040
anne.falk.ogaard@nibio.no

Place
Ås F20

Visiting address
Fredrik A. Dahls vei 20, 1430 Ås

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Abstract

Increased nutrient cycling in the agri-food system is a way to achieve a healthier nutrient stewardship and more sustainable food production. In life cycle assessment (LCA) studies, use of recycled fertilizer products is often credited by the substitution method, which subtracts the environmental burdens associated with avoided production of mineral fertilizer from the system under study. The environmental benefits from avoided fertilizer production can make an important contribution to the results, but different calculation principles and often implicit assumptions are used to estimate the amount of avoided mineral fertilizer. This may hinder comparisons between studies. The present study therefore examines how the choice of substitution principles influences LCA results. Three different substitution principles, called one-to-one, maintenance, and adjusted maintenance, are identified, and we test the importance of these in a case study on cattle slurry management. We show that the inventory of avoided mineral fertilizer varies greatly when the different principles are applied, with strong influences on two-thirds of LCA impact categories. With the one-to-one principle, there is a risk of systematically over-estimating the environmental benefits from nutrient cycling. In a sensitivity analysis we show that the difference between the principles is closely related to the application rate and levels of residual nutrients in the soil. We recommend that LCA practitioners first and foremost state and justify the substitution method they use, in order to increase transparency and comparability with other studies. © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is one of the main limiting factors for crop productivity while rhizosphere organic anions have been hypothesized to play an important role in P acquisition. Sampling in a long-term field experiment was carried out in order to understand the impact of long-term differences in P fertilization on secretion of organic anions under field conditions. Rhizosphere organic anions were extracted and analyzed every week from three leaves stage to completed flowering stage of wheat (Triticum aestivum) grown on plots that have received 0 (P0) or 48 (P48) kg P ha−1 year−1 since 1966. The study showed that it is possible to extract and quantify rhizosphere organic anions from field plots. In P48 plots, root P concentrations decreased around 40 % at the early stages (before heading), compared with the first sampling, and then increased slightly, while plants grown in P0 plots showed the opposite trend. Malate was the main organic anion secreted throughout all the wheat growth stages. Rhizosphere citrate and malate showed negative and positive correlations (P < 0.05) respectively with root P concentrations at 29 and 42 days after emergence (DAE). Rhizosphere organic anion concentrations were quite low until 29 DAE and then increased up to 4–10-fold until 42 DAE; these concentrations declined at later stages, indicating that root-released organic anions may have been affected by developmental stage and root P concentration. The present study provides valuable information about the relationship between rhizosphere organic anions and various P concentrations of wheat grown in the field.

Abstract

Herbage yield responses to K fertilizer application are variable in Norwegian grassland. Excessive K application may increase the risk of grass tetany (hypomagnesaemia) and milk fever (hypocalcaemia). We analysed a series of K fertilizer experiments on grassland with respect to their herbage yields and mineral composition. Our results show the importance of native soil K reserves when considering the need for K application. Soils with a high content of acid-soluble K showed no response to K fertilizer application. The critical K content in grass with respect to yield was estimated to be 17.7 g K/kg DM in the first cut and 20.3 kg K/DM in the second cut, while the critical K/N relationship was found to be 0.83 when a maximum yield reduction of 2.5% was used as a criterion. In these trials, soils with a high content of acid-soluble K had the greatest risk of grass tetany and the highest values of cation–anion balance. Application of potassium chloride had little effect on the cation–anion balance, and thereby the risk of milking fever, because there was a corresponding uptake of K and Cl ions.

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Abstract

Specialized agricultural production between regions has led to large regional differences in soil phosphorus (P) over time. Redistribution of surplus manure P from high livestock density regions to regions with arable farming can improve agricultural P use efficiency. In this paper, the central research question was whether more efficient P use through manure P redistribution comes at a price of increased environmental impacts when compared to a reference system. Secondly, we wanted to explore the influence on impacts of regions with different characteristics. For this purpose, a life cycle assessment was performed and two regions in Norway were used as a case study. Several technology options for redistribution were examined in a set of scenarios, including solid–liquid separation, with and without anaerobic digestion of manure before separation. The most promising scenario in terms of environmental impacts was anaerobic digestion with subsequent decanter centrifuge separation of the digestate. This scenario showed that redistribution can be done with net environmental impacts being similar to or lower than the reference situation, including transport. The findings emphasize the need to use explicit regional characteristics of the donor and recipient regions to study the impacts of geographical redistribution of surplus P in organic fertilizer residues.

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Abstract

Minable rock phosphate is a finite resource. Replacing mineral phosphorus (P) fertilizer with P-rich secondary resources is one way to manage P more efficiently, but the importance of physicochemical and microbial soil processes induced by secondary resources for plant P uptake is still poorly understood. Using radioactive-labeling techniques, the fertilization effects of dairy manure, fish sludge, meat bone meal, and wood ash were studied as P uptake by barley after 44 days and compared with those of water-soluble mineral P (MinP) and an unfertilized control (NoP) in a pot experiment with an agricultural soil containing little available P at two soil pH levels, approximately pH 5.3 (unlimed soil) and pH 6.2 (limed soil). In a parallel incubation experiment, the effects of the secondary resources on physicochemical and microbial soil processes were studied. The results showed that the relative agronomic efficiency compared with MinP decreased in the order: manure ≥fish sludge ≥wood ash ≥meat bone meal. The solubility of inorganic P in secondary resources was the main driver for P uptake by barley (Hordeum vulgare). The effects of secondary resources on physicochemical and microbial soil processes were of little overall importance. Application of organic carbon with manure resulted in microbial P immobilization and decreased uptake by barley of P derived from the soil. On both soils, P uptake by barley was best explained by a positive linear relationship with the H2O + NaHCO3-soluble inorganic P fraction in fertilizers or by a linear negative relationship with the HCl-soluble inorganic P fraction in fertilizers.

Abstract

This study examined the P fertilization effects of 11 sewage sludges obtained from sewage treated with Al and/or Fe salts to remove P by a pot experiment with ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and a nutrient-deficient sand−peat mixture. Also it investigated whether fertilization effects could be predicted by chemical sludge characteristics and/or by P extraction. The mineral fertilizer equivalent (MFE) value varied significantly but was low for all sludges. MFE was best predicted by a negative correlation with ox-Al and ox-Fe in sludge, or by a positive correlation with P extracted with 2% citric acid. Ox-Al had a greater negative impact on MFE than ox-Fe, indicating that Fe salts are preferable as a coagulant when aiming to increase the plant availability of P in sludge. The results also indicate that sludge liming after chemical wastewater treatment with Al and/or Fe salts increases the P fertilization effect.

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Abstract

Many arable lands have accumulated large reserves of residual phosphorus (P) and a relatively large proportion of soil P is less available for uptake by plants. Root released organic anions are widely documented as a key physiological strategy to enhance P availability, while limited information has been generated on the contribution of rhizosphere organic anions to P utilization by crops grown in agricultural soils that are low in available P and high in extractable Ca, Al, and Fe. We studied the role of rhizosphere organic anions in P uptake from residual P in four common crops Triticum aestivum, Avena sativa, Solanum tuberosum, and Brassica napus in low- and high-P availability agricultural soils from long-term fertilization field trials in a mini-rhizotron experiment with four replications. Malate was generally the dominant organic anion. More rhizosphere citrate was detected in low P soils than in high P soil. B. napus showed 74–103% increase of malate in low P loam, compared with clay loam. A. sativa had the greatest rhizosphere citrate concentration in all soils (5.3–15.2 μmol g−1 root DW). A. sativa also showed the highest level of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; 36 and 40%), the greatest root mass ratio (0.51 and 0.66) in the low-P clay loam and loam respectively, and the greatest total P uptake (5.92 mg P/mini-rhizotron) in the low-P loam. B. napus had 15–44% more rhizosphere acid phosphatase (APase) activity, ~0.1–0.4 units lower rhizosphere pH than other species, the greatest increase in rhizosphere water-soluble P in the low-P soils, and the greatest total P uptake in the low-P clay loam. Shoot P content was mainly explained by rhizosphere APase activity, water-soluble P and pH within low P soils across species. Within species, P uptake was mainly linked to rhizosphere water soluble P, APase, and pH in low P soils. The effects of rhizosphere organic anions varied among species and they appeared to play minor roles in improving P availability and uptake.

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Abstract

This review summarizes current knowledge from the literature and experimental studies on the role of cover crops (CCs) in reducing nitrogen (N) leaching and phosphorus (P) losses to waters under the marine and humid continental climate conditions of southern Scandinavia and Finland. Field leaching studies from 11 sites indicate that undersown ryegrass (Lolium spp.) CCs are robust, with average N uptake in aboveground CC biomass of 7 to 38 kg N ha−1 (6.2 to 34 lb N ac−1). Use of CCs sown at harvest (e.g., crucifers) is restricted to southern Scandinavia for climate reasons. The mean relative reduction in N leaching reported for all CCs investigated was 43%, but it ranged between 62% increase instead of a reduction after a red clover (Trifolium pratense) CC on a clay soil to a reduction of 85% to 89% with a perennial ryegrass CC on sandy soils in Denmark (36 to 51 kg ha−1 [32 to 46 lb ac−1]). The data indicate that CCs do not substantially reduce total P losses by runoff and leaching. The effects of CCs on total P leaching varied between a relative increase of 86% and a decrease of 43%. Climate conditions involving freezing-thawing during winter increased the risk of losses of dissolved P from CC biomass. CCs have been implemented to varying degrees into agri-environmental programs. They are mandatory in Denmark and subsidized in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. CCs are grown on 8% of arable land in Denmark, 5% in Sweden, 1% in Finland, and 0.5% in Norway, but CC area is now increasing dramatically in Finland due to a new subsidy program. In all countries there is a need, and potential, for increased use of CCs, but there are several constraints, particularly reduced interest among farmers. There is a clear need to identify CC systems and develop implementation strategies for appropriate distribution of CCs on different soils and regions with respect to required reductions in N leaching and P losses. For this, more knowledge is required, especially about the effect of CCs on P losses (e.g., the effect of species with different partitioning between shoot and root biomass and the effects of CC systems with harvesting of biomass). There is also a need to devise balanced solutions for maintaining and increasing the frequency of CCs in crop rotations to exploit the possible benefits of CCs in reducing nutrient losses.

Abstract

Mineable rock phosphate is a limited resource. Replacing mineral phosphorus (P) fertiliser with P-rich secondary resources is one way to manage P more efficiently. The Norwegian potential to replace mineral P fertiliser with total P in secondary resources was analysed here using substance flow analysis. The results obtained were integrated with data on P plant-availability in secondary resources and showed that, theoretically, plant-available P in manure alone could fulfil the Norwegian demand for P fertiliser. However, P in manure is inefficiently utilised due to the geographical segregation of animal husbandry and arable farming, which contributes to considerable P over-application to agricultural soil. In Norway, agriculture and aquaculture drive P consumption and losses at similar levels, and the amount of P in fish excrement and feed losses from off-shore aquaculture pens (fish sludge) is of the same order of magnitude as P in manure. Fish sludge is currently not collected or utilised, but lost to coastal marine waters. All other secondary resources represent relatively small amounts of P, but may still be important regionally. Political incentives are thus needed in current regulations to efficiently close P cycles. To achieve P recycling in practice, it is essential to know the relative agronomic efficiency (RAE) of secondary P products compared with mineral fertiliser. Nine secondary P products were analysed here: Two biomass ashes, meat bone meal, fish sludge, catering waste, two food waste-based digestate products, dairy manure and chicken manure. The RAE of these secondary products studied in a bioassay with ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) varied widely, partly depending on soil pH. Fertilisation effects were mainly attributable to the solubility of the inorganic P species contained in the secondary products. Combining sequential chemical fractionation and non-destructive speciation methods revealed that P was mainly present as calcium phosphates of differing solubility. Further analysis showed that microbial and physicochemical soil processes induced by the secondary P products studied were of little overall importance for total P uptake in barley (Hordeum vulgare). Based on the results obtained, two chemical extraction methods for predicting the RAE of secondary products with unknown fertilisation effects are suggested: At soil pH <6.5, RAE should be predicted by the fraction of inorganic P in the secondary product (% of total P) that is extractable in H2O. At soil pH >6.5, RAE should be predicted by the fraction of inorganic P (% of total P) that is extractable in 0.5 M NaHCO3 (Olsen P).

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Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is an important element for crop productivity and is widely applied in fertilizers. Most P fertilizers applied to land are sorbed onto soil particles, so research on improving plant uptake of less easily available P is important. In the current study, we investigated the responses in root morphology and root-exuded organic acids (OAs) to low available P (1 mM P) and sufficient P (50 mM P) in barley, canola and micropropagated seedlings of potato— three important food crops with divergent root traits, using a hydroponic plant growth system.We hypothesized that the dicots canola and tuber-producing potato and the monocot barley would respond differently under various P availabilities. WinRHIZO and liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry results suggested that under low P availability, canola developed longer roots and exhibited the fastest root exudation rate for citric acid. Barley showed a reduction in root length and root surface area and an increase in root-exudedmalic acid under low-P conditions. Potato exuded relativelysmall amounts of OAs under low P, while therewas a marked increase in root tips. Based on the results, we conclude that different crops show divergent morphological and physiological responses to low P availability, having evolved specific traits of root morphology and root exudation that enhance their P-uptake capacity under low-P conditions. These results could underpin future efforts to improve P uptake of the three crops that are of importance for future sustainable crop production.

Abstract

In Europe there is an on-going process on implementing regulations aimed at reducing pollution from agricultural production systems, i.e. the Water Framework Directive and the Framework Directive for Sustainable Use of Pesticides. At the same time, there is an increasing focus on food security possibly leading to continued intensification of agricultural production with increased use of external inputs, such as pesticides and fertilizers. Application of sustainable production systems can only be achieved if they balance conflicting environmental and economic effects. In Norway, cereal production is of large importance for food security and reduction of soil and phosphorus losses, as well as pesticide use and leaching/runoff in the cereal production are of special concern. Therefore, we need to determine the most sustainable and effective strategies to reduce loss of top soil, phosphorus and pesticides while maintaining cereal yields. A three-year research project, STRAPP, is addressing these concerns. A catchment area dominated by cereal production is our common research arena within STRAPP. Since 1992 a database (JOVA) with data for soil erosion, nutrient and pesticide leaching/runoff (i.e. concentrations in stream water), yield, and agricultural management practices (fertilization, use of pesticides, soil tillage and rotations) has been established for this catchment allowing us to compare a unique diversity in cropping strategies in a defined location. An important part of STRAPP focuses on developing ‘best plant protection strategies’ for cereal fields in the study area, based on field inventories (manual and sensor based) of weeds and common diseases, available forecast systems, and pesticide leaching risk maps. The results of field studies during the growing seasons of 2013 and 2014 will be presented, with a focus on possible integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for weeds and fungal diseases in cereal production. We will also present the project concept and methods for coupling optimized plant protection strategies to (i) modelling of phosphorus and pesticide leaching/runoff, as well as soil loss, and (ii) farm-economic impacts and adaptations. Further, methods for balancing the conflicting environmental and economic effects of the above practices, and the evaluation of instruments for increased adoption of desirable management practices will be outlined.

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Abstract

In some parts of the world, the soil selenium (Se) content is too low to ensure the Se level recommended for human or animal consumption in the crops produced. In order to secure a desired concentration of Se in crops, Se has been applied as mineral fertilizer to agricultural fields. Since only a minor part of the inorganic Se applied is utilized by plants and small increases in Se concentrations in, e.g., drinking water, may be toxic, the method is somewhat controversial. As an alternative to Se-enriched mineral fertilizer, different seafood-processing wastes have been examined as a source for Se in crop production. Both in greenhouse pot experiments and field trials the Se in seafood waste was not plant-available during the first growing season. There was no significant difference between the Se concentration in wheat growing in soil without added Se and in soil receiving Se from seafood waste in amounts ranging from 0.9 to 9 g ha(-1). Neither was any residual effect of Se in seafood waste seen during a second year growth period. Thus, seafood-processing waste cannot be regarded as a potential source of Se in crop production. Possible mobilization of formerly applied Se, as seafood-processing waste or Se enriched mineral fertilizer due to changes in soil redox conditions were examined in a leaching experiment. The mobility of formerly applied Se was generally very low, but the results indicated that under permanently wet soil conditions leaching of Se may occur in plant dormant periods in soils with low organic matter content and high pH.

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Abstract

The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of soil organic matter content and pH on plant availability of both inorganic and organic selenium (Se) fertilisers. Further, the risk of Se leaching after application of inorganic Se fertiliser was evaluated. A new interpretation of an older field study at different sites in Southern Norway showed that organic C was correlated with grain Se concentration in wheat, barley and oats, explaining up to 60% of the variation in Se concentration. Pot experiments with a peat soil, a loam soil and a peat/loam soil mixture were conducted for the present study at a range of pH values between pH 5 and 7. Below pH 6, Se uptake from added Se fertiliser was higher in the soil types with high organic matter content than in the loam. The opposite occurred at a soil pH above 6, where Se uptake was higher in the loam than in the peat soil. A simple leaching experiment after one growing season confirmed the findings of the pot experiments that Se availability in the loam soil with a relatively low organic matter content increased with increasing pH, whereas it decreased in the peat soil. Neither Se yeast, nor pure Se methionine, used as organic Se fertiliser, resulted in any significant uptake of Se when added at concentrations similar to the inorganic Se applications.

Abstract

In parts of the world, Se availability in the soil is so low that Se contents in the crops produced there are well below recommended values. Since the difference between Se essentiality and toxicity is very small, the addition of Se via fertiliser is controversial. Therefore, it is important to utilise the Se added in the best possible way. The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of soil organic matter on the one hand, and addition of organic material (slurry) on the other hand on plant availability of selenium (Se) in soil. Pot experiments with the Se addition in the form of selenate were conducted with a peat, a loam and a peat/loam mixture at a range of pH values between 5 and 6.8. Se uptake from added Se fertiliser was higher in the soil types with high organic matter content than in the loam at pH 6 and below. The opposite occurred at a soil pH above 6.4, where Se uptake was higher in the loam than in the peat. In a pot experiment using only peat and loam at two pH levels, cattle slurry added together with selenate was found to increase the Se concentration in grain at the higher pH. At the lower pH there was no significant effect of slurry on Se concentration in grain. Application of slurry also increased the residual effect of Se that had been applied to the loam in the preceding growing season. In the peat, no residual effect of Se was found either with or without the addition of slurry.

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Abstract

The aim of the present investigation was to study the effect of manure on retention of selenium (Se) in soil. Addition of cattle manure in combination with selenite and selenate reduced the adsorption of both anions to a loam soil in a batch experiment. The results were explained by the content of low-molecular-weight organic acids in the manure which compete with Se for the sorption sites. In a pot experiment with loam and peat soils and with two pH levels within each soil, cattle slurry added together with selenate was found to increase the Se concentration in grain at the highest pH level (6.1 and 6.8 for the loam and peat, respectively). At a lower pH (5.4 and 6.0 for the loam and peat, respectively) there was no significant effect of slurry on Se concentration in grain. Application of slurry also increased the residual effect of Se applied to the loam soil in the preceding growing season. In the peat soil, no residual effect of Se was found either with or without the addition of slurry.