Guano

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GUANO

GUANO, nitrate-rich bat dung that is an excellent fertilizer, was first imported into the United States in 1824 by John S. Skinner, a proponent of progressive agriculture and the editor of the first U.S. farm journal, American Farmer. The agricultural press, picking up on progressive farming techniques that made use of various fertilizers (composed of bones, seaweed, rock phosphate, night soil, or various manures) to boost production, began to focus attention on the value of guano as an almost magical fertilizer. Its advocates urged farmers to try it, regaling them with fabulous stories of its productive power, but its use was insignificant until the 1840s and never spread far beyond the relatively small, if influential, group of progressive farmers. Its high price, owing in part to a Peruvian monopoly of the principal source, led to declining use after 1854.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Mathew, W. M. The House of Gibbs and the Peruvian Guano Monopoly. London: Royal Historical Society, 1981.

Skaggs, Jimmy. The Great Guano Rush. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.

FredCole/c. w.

See alsoAgriculture ; Fertilizers .

guano

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gua·no / ˈgwänō/ • n. (pl. -nos) the excrement of seabirds, occurring in thick deposits notably on the islands off Peru and Chile, and used as fertilizer. ∎  an artificial fertilizer resembling natural guano, esp. one made from fish.

Guano

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Guano

Manure created by flying animals that is deposited in a central location because of nesting habits. Guano can occur in caves from bats or in nesting grounds where large populations of birds congregate. Guano was frequently used as a source of nitrogen fertilizer prior to the time when nitrogen fertilizer was commercially manufactured from natural gas .

See also Animal waste

guano

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guano The accumulated droppings of birds, bats, or seals, found at sites where large colonies of these animals occur. Guano is rich in plant nutrients, especially calcium phosphate (bird guano is richer than bat or seal guano). Such deposits are found particularly on arid oceanic islands and in caves. Guano is worked industrially as a phosphate resource.

guano

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guano Dried excrement, mainly of sea birds and bats, that accumulates along coastlines and in caves. It contains phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium and is a natural fertilizer. It is found mainly on islands off South America and Africa.

guano

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guano The leached residue of profuse accumulations of bird or bat excrement, rich in calcium phosphate. Such deposits are found particularly on arid oceanic islands, and in caves. Guano is worked industrially as a phosphate resource.

guano

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guano An accumulation of the droppings of birds, bats, or seals, usually formed by a long-established colony of animals. It is rich in plant nutrients, and some deposits are extracted for use as fertilizer.

guano

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guano The accumulated droppings of birds, bats, or seals, found at sites where large colonies of these animals occur. Guano is rich in plant nutrients (bird guano is richer than bat or seal guano).

guano

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guano natural manure found on islands about Peru XVII; artificial (fish-)manure XIX. — Sp. guano — Quechua huanu dung.