Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 76, Issue 2–3, pp 183–191 | Cite as

Meat and bone meal as nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer to cereals and rye grass

  • Alhaji S. JengEmail author
  • Trond Knapp Haraldsen
  • Arne Grønlund
  • Per Anker Pedersen


Meat and bone meal (MBM) contains appreciable amounts of total nitrogen (~8%), phosphorus (~5%) and calcium (~10%). It may therefore be a useful fertilizer for various crops. This paper shows results from both pot and field experiments on the N and P effects of MBM. In two field experiments with spring wheat, increasing amounts of MBM (500, 1000, 2000 kg MBM  ha−1) showed a linear yield increase related to the N-supply. A similar experiment with barley gave positive yield increase for 500 kg MBM  ha−1 and no further yield increase for larger amounts of MBM. Supply of extra mineral P gave no yield increase when 500 kg MBM  ha−1 or more was applied. Meat and bone meal as P fertilizer was studied in greenhouse experiments using spring barley and rye grass as test crops. N applications were 100 N kg ha−1 to barley and 200 kg N ha−1 to rye grass, either from mineral fertilizer or assuming that 80% of total N in MBM was effective. Four different P deficient soils were given increasing doses of MBM and compared with compound NPK fertilizer 11-5-18, mineral N fertilizer (0 kg P ha−1) and a control (0 kg N ha−1, 0 kg P ha−1). In barley there was no significant yield difference between the NPK treatment and MBM treatment with equal N supply, and both had significant higher yield than the treatment receiving the same amount of mineral N without P-supply. The positive yield response of MBM was even larger in rye grass. Both in barley and rye grass a significant residual effect of P from MBM applied the year before was found when the treatments received the same amount of mineral N fertilizer (0 kg P ha−1). The pot experiments confirmed the assumed N effect of MBM. When MBM is used according to the N demand of the crops, the P supply will be more than sufficient and residual P will be left in the soil. Since a part of this residual P was utilized by the crops of the following year, it is not recommended to apply P-fertilizer the year after MBM application.


Meat and bone meal Nitrogen Phosphorus Residual effects 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alhaji S. Jeng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Trond Knapp Haraldsen
    • 1
  • Arne Grønlund
    • 1
  • Per Anker Pedersen
    • 2
  1. 1.Norwegian Centre for Soil & Environmental ResearchNorway
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesNorwegian University of Life SciencesNorway

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