Sewage sludge can be used as fertiliser, offering the possibility of safely recycling this waste product as a resource in agricultural applications. As the environmental concerns related to waste recycling in agricultural applications are well-known, restrictions on the use of sewage sludge have been implemented by the EU and local authorities. This work aimed to evaluate the nitrogen leaching associated with the application of sludge and the effectiveness of the temporal restrictions on its application implemented to safeguard the environment in the Lombardy region of northern Italy (120days in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and 90days elsewhere) using the CropSyst model which was first validated. The effects of fertilisation using four different sludge types on N leaching were simulated at five sites under cultivation with maize and rice crops; six different timing schemes for sludge application were tested, three of which involved dates that were in agreement (AT) with the regulation, while the other three were not in agreement (NAT). We detected a significant effect of the sludge type and application timing, whereas the effect of their interaction was never significant. The mean annual leaching was 22 to 154kgNha-1. The higher the ammonium N content in the sludge was, the greater the potential for N leaching was found to be. For the maize crop, the distribution of sludge in the late fall period resulted in significantly greater N leaching (61kgNha-1) and led to lower yields (9t DMha-1) compared to late winter fertilisation (49kgNha-1; 10t DMha-1), whereas no differences in N leaching or yield were detected between AT and NAT, which was also observed for the rice crop. Therefore, the applied temporal constraints did not always appear to be advantageous for protecting the environment from leaching.
|Titolo:||Modelling nitrogen leaching from sewage sludge application to arable land in the Lombardy region (northern Italy)|
|Parole Chiave:||CropSyst model; Nitrogen leaching; NVZ; Sludge spreading|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/02 - Agronomia e Coltivazioni Erbacee|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.05.029|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|