Paper clip: Flagging interesting research

Urine-fertilised plants invariably resulted in higher yields than non-fertilised plants.

Published: May 6, 2015 4:40 am

Authors:  Helvi Heinonen-Tanski and Others
Volume  2, Issue 1,
January 2010

Human urine and faeces are products formed every day in every human society. The volume and fertilisation value of urine is higher than that of faeces.

The paper reviews data to show urine has been used successfully as a fertiliser for cereals and vegetables. Urine-fertilised plants may have produced higher, similar or slightly lower yields than mineral fertilized plants, but they invariably resulted in higher yields than non-fertilised plants.

No microbiological risks have been associated with any product. Taste and chemical quality are similar to plants treated with mineral fertilisers.

So-called ‘separating toilets’, where urine and faeces are separated in the toilet itself, could be beneficial in both poor and industrialized countries.

Authors:  Surendra K Pradhan and Others
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, American Chemical Society, January 2010

The objective of the study was to evaluate effects of human urine and wood ash fertilisation on the yield and quality of red beet by measuring microbial, nutrient, and antioxidant content of the roots.

Red beets were fertilised with 133 kg of N/ha as mineral fertiliser, urine and ash, and only urine with no fertiliser as a control. The mineral-fertilised plants and urine- and ash-fertilised plants also received 89 kg of P/ha.

Urine and ash, and only urine fertiliser produced 1,720 and 656 kg/ha more root biomass respectively, versus what was obtained from the mineral fertiliser.
All of them had comparable nutrient contents and, according to a blind taste-testing panel, their beety taste was undistinguishable.

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