Fertilizer produced from abattoir waste can contribute to phosphorus sustainability, and biofortify crops with minerals

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Darch, T., Dunn, R. M., Guy, A., Hawkins, J. M. B., Ash, M., Frimpong, K. A. and Blackwell, M. S. A. 2019. Fertilizer produced from abattoir waste can contribute to phosphorus sustainability, and biofortify crops with minerals. PLOS ONE. 14 (9), p. e0221647.

AuthorsDarch, T., Dunn, R. M., Guy, A., Hawkins, J. M. B., Ash, M., Frimpong, K. A. and Blackwell, M. S. A.
Abstract

Our food security depends on finding a sustainable alternative to rock phosphate for fertilizer production. Furthermore, over 2 billion people worldwide are currently affected by micronutrient deficiencies, and crop concentrations of essential minerals are declining. This paper examines whether a novel multi-element fertilizer, Thallo®, can produce crop yields comparable to conventional rock phosphate derived fertilizers, and have an additional benefit of increasing essential mineral concentrations. Thallo®, produced from abattoir and recycled industrial by-products, was tested against conventional mineral fertilizers in a pot trial with wheat and grass. In soil, yields were comparable between the fertilizer types, but, in a low-nutrient substrate, Thallo® showed a yield benefit. Elemental concentrations in the plant material typically reflected the relative concentrations in the fertilizer, and Thallo® fertilized plants contained significantly more of some essential elements, such as selenium and zinc. Furthermore, concentrations of the toxic element cadmium were significantly lower in Thallo® fertilized crops. Among the fertilizers, manganese concentrations were greatest in the Thallo®, but within the fertilized plants, they were greatest under the mineral fertilizer, showing the complexity of assessing whether nutrients will be taken up by crops. In summary, fertilizers from livestock waste have the potential to improve wheat and grass concentrations of essential elements while maintaining yields.

Keywordsrecycled fertilizers; micronutrients; trace elements; agronomic biofortification; meat and bone meal
Year of Publication2019
JournalPLOS ONE
Journal citation14 (9), p. e0221647
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0221647
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0221647 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0221647&type=printable
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 1 (WP1) - Optimising nutrient flows and pools in the soil-plant-biota system
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Open
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online04 Sep 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted12 Aug 2019
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLOS)
ISSN1932-6203

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