Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 81, Issue 3, pp 267–278 | Cite as

Meat bone meal and fox manure as P sources for ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) grown on a limed soil

  • Kari Ylivainio
  • Risto Uusitalo
  • Eila Turtola
Research Article


Phosphorus (P)-rich by-products, such as meat and bone meal (MBM) and fur animal manures, are potential P sources in plant production systems. However, the solubility of P and its availability to plants in these forms has not been evaluated. We characterized P solubility in MBM, fox manures (FoxM) and dairy manure (DairyM) by Hedley fractionation and assessed P availability for ryegrass in a pot experiment. Up to 81% of P was water-soluble in DairyM, but only about 3 and 5–28% was soluble in MBM and FoxM products, respectively. Of the P in MBM and FoxM, 90 and 65–89%, respectively, was soluble only in 1 M HCl. Most of the P was inorganic; DairyM contained the highest share (14%) of organic P. Based on ryegrass yields and P uptake in a 3-year pot experiment with three P levels (25, 50 and 100 mg kg−1), P availability was equal in the DairyM and superphosphate (SP) treatments. Compared with the availability of P in DairyM and SP, 19 and 35–54% of the P in MBM and FoxM, respectively, was immediately available to the plant; for the 3-year period with ten ryegrass cuts, the respective P availabilities increased to 63 and 69–87%. Additions of the sparingly soluble P sources MBM and FoxM increased the acid-soluble P concentrations in the experimental soil, with MBM having the strongest effect. However, the acid-soluble P fraction decreased with time. Although the immediate bioavailability of P in sparingly soluble P sources was lower than that in DairyM and SP, our results suggest that their use as a long-term P supply for perennial plants in non-calcareous soils should be encouraged.


Dairy manure Fox manure Meat and bone meal P availability P fractionation Ryegrass 



We thank research assistant Pirkko Mäki and laboratory technician Anja Lehtonen for their skillful technical assistance with the pot experiment and the related analyses. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association and Honkajoki Oy are gratefully acknowledged for funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MTT Agrifood Research FinlandJokioinenFinland

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