Plant-availability to barley of phosphorus in ash from thermally treated animal manure in comparison to other manure based materials and commercial fertilizer

Ksawery Kuligowski*, Tjalfe G. Poulsen, Gitte H. Rubæk, Peter Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient and a limited resource, yet excess P is applied to agricultural land and can cause environmental problems in areas with intensive animal farming. In this study, the fertilizing effects of P in several animal manure-based products (including thermal treatment) were tested after application to two agricultural soil types (Jyndevad soil: clay 5.1%, silt 4.1%, sand 88.9%, organic matter 2.1%, total C 1.2% soil dry matter (DM), total P 266mgkg-1 soil DM, pH 6.3; Rønhave soil: clay 15.4%, silt 32.6%, sand 49.6%, organic matter 2.3%, Total C 1.3% soil DM, total P 488mgkg-1 soil DM, pH 6.6). The first-year effect of P application was tested in a spring barley crop (Hordeum vulgare L.) and residual P effects were tested in a perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) crop the following year. Untreated ash from thermally gasified animal manure biogas residue (GA) and a corresponding neutralized acid extract of the ash (ExL) in liquid form were the products in focus. Other products in use were: pelletized pig manure biogas residue (PEL), incinerated PEL (IA), anaerobically digested pig slurry (DS), dried ExL, dried fraction of separated pig slurry (SS), thermally gasified SS (GAs), thermally gasified poultry manure (GAp), crushed triple super phosphate (TSP) and disodium phosphate (DSP) was used as reference P fertilizer. For application of 20kgPha-1 mineral P fertilizer replacement value (RV) in the second year in the sandy soil was 76% and 99% for GA, 79% and 123% for IA, 95% and 155% for PEL, 94% and 73% for ExL, 55% and 15% for ExD, 64% and 82% for SS, 104% and 109% for DS, 60% and 95% for GAp, 73% and 111% for GAs, where the first value is based on barley DM yield and the second on barley total P uptake. Tripling the GA application rate to 60kgPha-1 in both soils had no significant effect on barley DM yield and P uptake. The overall efficiency for liquid fertilizers was much higher than for solid ones and relative effectiveness (RE) of ExL was comparable to RE of DSP. Despite the low P level in soils, the ryegrass crop grew very well on both soils in the second year, and there was no detectable residual effect of the treatments on grass yield and P uptake. In conclusion, untreated ash and solid manures used in this study were not suitable as starter P fertilizer, but could be used to maintain the level of available P in soil, as there were indications that ash/manure P contributed significantly to plant P uptake during the growing season of barley.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-303
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Agronomy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal manure
  • Ash
  • Combustion
  • Fertilizer value
  • Gasification
  • Phosphorus uptake


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