Crop response to alternative organic treatments

The aim of the research is to assess the effects of novel wastes, composts and biochar on commercial arable and horticultural crops, and the impact on soil quality. The research will focus on determining the benefits of replacing inorganic fertilisers with novel wastes and compost (such as chicken manure and olive mill waste (OMW)) along with the carbon sequestering properties of biochar.

The field trials in 2013 were carried out on two crops; oilseed rape (OSR) and winter wheat (WW) within a commercially sown field. There were 5 treatments applied to the crops with six replicates of each, each single plot being 24m2. Measurements taken included chlorophyll within the leaves on a weekly basis for 5 months, soil properties and at the end of the season a yield (kg/m2) from each plot. The quality of the OSR crop was assessed by measuring the glucisinolates present within the seeds. During the field trials of 2013 the differences in the yield and quality of the crops between treatments suggests that the alternative fertilisers to the standard inorganic fertiliser can perform favourably. The yield for best and worst treatments in the OSR had a difference of 0.9 tonnes/ha (between 3.2 and 4.1 tonnes/ha); for WW the difference was 1.3 tonnes/ha (between 11.8 and 13.2 tonnes/ ha). The trials are being repeated on the same plots in 2014 following the commercial farm’s crop rotation; in 2014 the crops are WW and potatoes. In 2014 horticultural trials with strawberries will be completed in polytunnels.



Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Source: Orbit 2014 (Juni 2014)
Pages: 0
Price: € 0,00
Autor: Natasha Mortimer
Dr. Louise A. Fletcher

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