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Wednesday, 07 October 2009

Recycling of bone meal for environmentally friendly crop protection

Phosphorus is an essential, critical and limited nutrient in crop production with no alternative substitutes. All living organisms require phosphorus to grow and it forms part of important life sustaining molecules such as DNA and RNA. Today agriculture relies on phosphorus fertilizers mostly processed from mined phosphate rock which is a non-renewable resource that takes 10-15 million years to form and current known reserves are likely to be depleting 50-100 years. The rate of production of economically available phosphate reserves will soon reach a peak, followed by a rapid steep decline and subsequent ongoing decline of productivity. There is an increasing social and ecological need for recovery, recycling and reuse of the phosphorus resources like harvested biomass, food industrial and animal wastes (food grade bone meal of hog origin) which are reach in phosphorus into natural Phosphorus fertilizers. To reduce hazards to human health and the environment from heavy metal (cadmium) loaded fertilisers and chemicals, the EU's Environmental Action Plan stipulates that food-chain organic wastes and by-products should be recycled and upgraded into bio fertilisers and biocontrol products.

Source: European Commission