Cattle Horn Shavings as Slow Release Nitrogen Fertilizer
Juozas Pekarskas1, Saulius Žibutis1, Violeta Gražulevičienė1, Ilona Grigalavičienė1, Romas Mažeika2
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1Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Studentų g. 11, LT-53361, Akademija, Kauno, Lithuania
2Agrochemical Research Laboratory of the Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry,
Savanorių pr. 287, LT-50127, Kaunas, Lithuania
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2015;24(2):645–650
An investigation of the chemical composition of cattle horn shavings produced in Lithuania was conducted. The horn shavings were found to consist of 86.62% dry matter, 99.16% organic matter, 39.97% organic carbon, 15.54% N (99.52% of it was in slightly soluble organic compounds), 0.165% P, 0.396% Ca, 0.09% K, 0.049% S, 0.014 % Mg, 6.68 mg kg-1 Cu, 118.0 mg kg-1 Zn, and traces of heavy metals Cr, Pb, and Cd. Elements Ni and Hg were not found in the tested samples. pH value of horn shavings was 7.2. Ammonium nitrogen (NH4–N) was a prevailing soluble nitrogen compound in the tested samples. The predominant size of horn shavings was within the range of 0.5-2.5 mm (90% of total weight). Our research evidence on the rate of release of water-soluble nitrogen compounds suggests that cattle horn shavings are suitable for use as slow release nitrogen fertilizer. Mineral nitrogen compounds are gradually released from the cattle horn shavings incorporated into soil, thus supplying the plants with nitrogen during the whole growing period.