An ancient article in the Journal of Agricultural Science (from the 1930s) details an experiment in which ground up horn meal (keratin) was added to soil and observed. The keratin underwent “decomposition resulting in a slow, but steady accumulation of ammonia and nitrate. 35–40 per cent, of its nitrogen was transformed into nitrate after 120 days… Two strains of actinomycetes were isolated and found capable of thriving on keratin in pure culture, decomposing the keratin with the formation of ammonia.”
The abstract for this article (though the article is available for purchase, or in many libraries through interlibrary loans) is available at the link below.
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