The effect of increasing doses of meat and bone meal (MBM) applied every second year on maize grown for grain
Recently, due to the detection of cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, it has become necessary to use animal meals differently. The EU Council Decision of 4 December 2000 forbade use of processed animal protein to make feeds for cattle, swine, and poultry. Meat and bone meal (MBM) is rich in macro- and microelements as well as in organic substance, and hence it can be a viable alternative to mineral fertilizers containing N and P. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of increasing doses of MBM applied every second year as an organic fertilizer on maize (Tea mays L.) grown for grain. A two-factorial field experiment with a randomized block design was carried out in 20102011, in north-eastern Poland. Experimental factor I was MBM dose (2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 Mg ha-1 applied every second year), and experimental factor II was the year of the study (two consecutive years). Increasing MBM doses applied every second year increased maize grain yield and improved grain plumpness, in comparison with mineral fertilization. The highest yield-forming effect was observed when MBM was applied at 3 Mg ha-1. Macronutrient uptake by maize plants and macronutrient concentrations in maize grain were affected by the year of the study rather than MBM dose. The results of a 2-yr experiment indicate that MBM is a valuable source of N and P for maize grown for grain, and that it is equally or more effective when compared with mineral fertilizers.