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Plant Biology Colloquium | Effects of Brewer’s Spent Grain Compared to Fertilizer on Marketable Crop Yield, Nov. 12

The Environmental & Plant Biology Colloquium Series presents Emily Estep's oral presentation for her public M.S. thesis defense “Effects of Brewer’s Spent Grain Compared to Fertilizer on Marketable Crop Yield.”

on Nov. 12 from 11:50 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.


Abstract: Nitrogen and a variety of other nutrients are necessary for proper crop growth and to maximize marketable harvest for farmers, though traditional fertilizer methods to supplement these nutrients are lacking. Conventional fertilizer can have detrimental environmental effects, can be pricey, and can damage farmers’ soil over time. Brewer’s spent grain (BSG) is a protein-rich, food-safe byproduct of the brewing industry that is available nearly worldwide and may become available nitrogen after breaking down into soil. Five common farm crops were planted, treated with two rates of BSG as well as conventional fertilizer, and harvested to compare the effects of BSG to fertilizer — to determine if BSG could be a viable alternative for farmers to supply their crops with nutrients. The marketable yield of the harvests was analyzed and revealed that fertilizer did not perform significantly better than BSG throughout the experiment, which was conducted over the course of multiple growing seasons.

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