New WRAP video helps more farmers use digestate as a renewable fertiliser

26th June 2014

A new video launched today will help more farmers use anaerobic digestate as a renewable fertiliser.

Produced by WRAP and free to use, ‘Using digestate as a renewable fertiliser’ provides practical advice for farmers and agronomists on how to maximise the supply of nutrients to crops, and how this can be balanced with standard fertilisers.

The video sets out how including digestate in nutrient management plans can increase the potential to grow healthy crops, provides advice on cost management and tips on application timings and techniques.

The video includes a tour of an anaerobic digestion plant showing the technology used to convert organic materials, including food waste, into a reliable renewable fertiliser. It outlines the benefits of using digestate which is rich in readily available nitrogen, as well as containing phosphate, potash, sulphur, magnesium and trace elements.

Ian Wardle, Head of Organics Programme WRAP said, “The potential benefits of using anaerobic digestate as a renewable fertiliser are significant. WRAP field experiments found that crop yields were greater when grown using a combination of anaerobic digestate and fertiliser, than for crops grown using standard fertilisers alone. Combined with the fertiliser savings, the increased yields could deliver an additional £300 per hectare. This video is a great way to find out more about using digestate, and shows how easy it is to use.”

David Clarke, Red Tractor Chief Executive said, “We welcome the development of this WRAP video highlighting best practice to farmers who may use anaerobic digestate as a biofertiliser. Our farm assurance standards require farmers to ensure that organic materials are applied to land in a way that minimises the risk of contamination or pollution and this video will help them understand more about how to apply digestate appropriately.”

 

Editors' notes

Quick facts about ‘Using digestate as a biofertiliser’ video

  • The video was filmed at Agrivert’s Wallingford AD Facility in Oxfordshire.
  • It provides an introduction on how to use the free online MANNER-NPK tool to integrate digestate use into nutrient management plans.
  • Following good practice not only helps to get the best performance from renewable fertilisers, it is also the best way to reduce emissions to the environment.
  • WRAP research has shown that using digestate together with conventional fertilisers can increase yields above those from using conventional fertilisers alone. 
    The video can be viewed at www.wrap.org.uk/digestatevideo.

Further help for farmers

  • Farmers interested in the potential to generate their own anaerobic digestate on their property can now apply for financial support through the On Farm AD fund, administered by WRAP. Details can be found here: http://www.wrap.org.uk/onfarm

About Red Tractor and WRAP

  • WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Visit www.wrap.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter at @WRAP_UK
  • Red Tractor is a food assurance scheme which covers production standards developed by experts on safety, hygiene, animal welfare and the environment amongst other things. The Red Tractor logo on pack means your food or drink has met these responsible production standards and is fully traceable back to independently inspected farms in the UK.
  • Red Tractor and WRAP have been working together to provide farmers with evidence based guidance on the use of digestate and other renewable fertilisers.  This new video is WRAP’s latest tool to help farmers maximise crop yields through safe digestate use.