Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Soil Amendment Related Abstracts

9 Effects of Application of Rice Husk Charcoal-Coated Urea and Rice Straw Compost on Growth, Yield, and Properties of Lowland Rice

Authors: D. A. S. Gamage, B. F. A. Basnayake, W.A.J.M. De Costa


Rice is the staple food of Sri Lankans thus; rice cultivation is the major agricultural activity of the country. The application of inorganic fertilizer has become a burden to the country. The excessive application of organic and inorganic fertilizers can potentially lead to deterioration of the quality of water. In mixing both urea and rice husk charcoal and rice straw compost in soils causes a slow release of nitrogen fertilizer, thus reducing the cost of importations of nitrogen based fertilizers per unit area of cultivation. Objective of this study was to evaluate rice husk charcoal coated urea as a slow releasing fertilizer and compare the total N,P, K, organic matter in soil and yield of rice production. Five treatments were used for twenty pots (pot size 30 cm diameter and 45 cm height) each replicated four times as: inorganic fertilizer only (Urea, TSP and MOP) (Treatment 1); rice husk charcoal coated urea, TSP and MOP (Treatment 2); inorganic fertilizer (Urea, TSP and MOP) with rice straw compost only (Treatment 3); rice husk charcoal urea, TSP and MOP with rice straw compost (Treatment 4); and no fertilizer as the control (Treatment 5). Rice grain yield was significantly higher in treatment 4 where rice husk charcoal coated urea, TSP and MOP with rice straw compost. The lowest yield was observed in control (treatment 5). The lower the value of the nitrogen to phosphorous ratio in soil, it indicates higher uptake of phosphorous. Charcoal can be used as a soil amendment and organic fertilizer, but adjustment of pH was required at high application rates. K content of soil of treatment 3 and 4 were the highest with compared to the treatment 1. Rice husk charcoal coated urea can potentially be used as a slow releasing nitrogen fertilizer.

Keywords: Soil Amendment, rice husk, charcoal, nitrogen to phosphorous ratio

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8 Effects of Soil Organic Amendment Types and Rates on Growth and Yield of Amaranthus cruentus, Southern Guinea Savannah of Nigeria

Authors: S. Yussuf Abdulmaliq


Experiment was conducted for two years (2013 and 2014) at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Teaching and Research Farm to study the effects of soil organic amendment types and rates on soil chemical fertility improvement, growth and yield of Amarathus cruentus in the southern guinea savannah, lapai, Niger state, Nigeria. Soil and manure samples were collected and analysed for physical and chemical components. The experiments were laid out in 3 x 4 factorial in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Consisting of three (3) levels of soil amendment types (Poultry manure, goat manure and cowdung) and four (4) levels of amendment rates (0, 6, 12 and 18 t ha-1). Data collected include plant height/plant (cm), number of leaves/plant, leaf area/ plant (cm2) at 2, 4, 6 and 8WAT, fresh vegetable yield/plant, fresh vegetable yield/plot and fresh vegetable yield in tons ha-1. The result obtained showed that, Amaranthus cruentus height, number of leaves and leaf area were not significantly affected by the type of organic amendment and rates at 2WAT in 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons. However, at 4, 6 and 8 WAT, significant differences were observed among the types of amendment and their rates. Application of poultry manure as soil amendment supported taller, large number of leaves and wider leaf area, and higher marketable vegetable yield in 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons (Pα 0.05) which was closely followed by goat manure in the two (2) cropping seasons. In addition, the application of 18 t ha-1 was superior to 12, 6 and the control by producing tallest amaranthus plants, higher number of leaves, wider leaf area and higher marketable vegetable yield in 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons (Pα 0.05). In conclusion, the use of 18 t ha-1poultry manure is therefore recommended as soil amendment for Amaranthus cruentus in southern guinea savannah of Nigeria.

Keywords: Soil Amendment, poultry manure, Amaranthus cruentus, cowdung, goat manure

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7 Effect of Poultry Manure and Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (15:15:15) Soil Amendment on Growth and Yield of Carrot (Daucus carota)

Authors: Benjamin Osae Agyei, Hypolite Bayor


This present experiment was carried out during the 2012 cropping season, at the Farming for the Future Experimental Field of the University for Development Studies, Nyankpala Campus in the Northern Region of Ghana. The objective of the experiment was to determine the carrot growth and yield responses to poultry manure and N.P.K (15:15:15). Six treatments (Control (no amendment), 20 t/ha poultry manure (PM), 40 t/ha PM, 70 t/ha PM, 35 t/ha PM + 0.11t/ha N.P.K and 0.23 t/ha N.P.K) with three replications for each were laid in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Data were collected on plant height, number of leaves per plant, canopy spread, root diameter, root weight, and root length. Microsoft Excel and Genstat Statistical Package (9th edition) were used for the data analysis. The treatment means were compared by using Least Significant Difference at 10%. Generally, the results showed that there were no significant differences (P>0.1) among the treatments with respect to number of leaves per plant, root diameter, root weight, and root length. However, significant differences occurred among plant heights and canopy spreads. Plant height treated with 40 t/ha PM at the fourth week after planting and canopy spread at eight weeks after planting and ten weeks after planting by 70 t/ha PM and 20 t/ha PM respectively showed significant difference (P<0.1). The study recommended that any of the amended treatments can be applied at their recommended rates to plots for carrot production, since there were no significant differences among the treatments.

Keywords: Growth, Yield, Soil Amendment, poultry manure, carrot, N.P.K

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6 Application of Metarhizium anisopliae against Meloidogyne javanica in Soil Amended with Oak Debris

Authors: Mohammad Abdollahi


Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.

Keywords: Biological Control, Soil Amendment, nematode management, organic soil, Quercus branti, root knot nematode

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5 The Preliminary Exposition of Soil Biological Activity, Microbial Diversity and Morpho-Physiological Indexes of Cucumber under Interactive Effect of Allelopathic Garlic Stalk: A Short-Term Dynamic Response in Replanted Alkaline Soil

Authors: Ahmad Ali, Muhammad Imran Ghani, Haiyan Ding, Zhihui Cheng, Muhammad Iqbal


Background and Aims: In recent years, protected cultivation trend, especially in the northern parts of China, spread dynamically where production area, structure, and crops diversity have expanded gradually under plastic greenhouse vegetable cropping (PGVC) system. Under this growing system, continuous monoculture with excessive synthetic fertilizers inputs are common cultivation practices frequently adopted by commercial producers. Such long-term cumulative wild exercise year after year sponsor the continuous cropping obstacles in PGVC soil, which have greatly threatened the regional soil eco-sustainability and further impose the continuous assault on soil ecological diversity leading to the exhaustion of agriculture productivity. The aim of this study was to develop new allelopathic insights by exploiting available biological resources in the favor of sustainable PGVC to illuminate the continuous obstacle factors in plastic greenhouse. Method: A greenhouse study was executed under plastic tunnel located at the Horticulture Experimental Station of the College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi Province, one of the prominent regions for intensive commercial PGVC in China. Post-harvest garlic residues (stalk, leaves) mechanically smashed, homogenized into powder size and incorporated at the ratio of 1:100; 3:100; 5:100 as a soil amendment in a replanted soil that have been used for continuous cucumber monoculture for 7 years (annually double cropping system in a greenhouse). Results: Incorporated C-rich garlic stalk significantly influenced the soil condition through various ways; organic matter decomposition and mineralization, moderately adjusted the soil pH, enhanced the soil nutrient availability, increased enzymatic activities, and promoted 20% more cucumber yield in short-time. Using Illumina MiSeq sequencing analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal 18S rDNA genes, the current study revealed that addition of garlic stalk/residue could also improve the microbial abundance and community composition in extensively exploited soil, and contributed in soil functionality, caused prosper changes in soil characteristics, reinforced to good crop yield. Conclusion: Our study provided evidence that addition of garlic stalk as soil fertility amendment is a feasible, cost-effective and efficient resource utilization way for renovation of degraded soil health, ameliorate soil quality components and improve ecological environment in short duration. Our study may provide a better scientific understanding for efficient crop residue management typically from allelopathic source.

Keywords: Plant Growth, Soil Amendment, soil-plant system, garlic stalk, microbial community dynamics

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4 Sugarcane Trash Biochar: Effect of the Temperature in the Porosity

Authors: Gabriela T. Nakashima, Elias R. D. Padilla, Joao L. Barros, Gabriela B. Belini, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Fabio M. Yamaji


Biochar can be an alternative to use sugarcane trash. Biochar is a solid material obtained from pyrolysis, that is a biomass thermal degradation with low or no O₂ concentration. Pyrolysis transforms the carbon that is commonly found in other organic structures into a carbon with more stability that can resist microbial decomposition. Biochar has a versatility of uses such as soil fertility, carbon sequestration, energy generation, ecological restoration, and soil remediation. Biochar has a great ability to retain water and nutrients in the soil so that this material can improve the efficiency of irrigation and fertilization. The aim of this study was to characterize biochar produced from sugarcane trash in three different pyrolysis temperatures and determine the lowest temperature with the high yield and carbon content. Physical characterization of this biochar was performed to help the evaluation for the best production conditions. Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) trash was collected at Corredeira Farm, located in Ibaté, São Paulo State, Brazil. The farm has 800 hectares of planted area with an average yield of 87 t·ha⁻¹. The sugarcane varieties planted on the farm are: RB 855453, RB 867515, RB 855536, SP 803280, SP 813250. Sugarcane trash was dried and crushed into 50 mm pieces. Crucibles and lids were used to settle the sugarcane trash samples. The higher amount of sugarcane trash was added to the crucible to avoid the O₂ concentration. Biochar production was performed in three different pyrolysis temperatures (200°C, 325°C, 450°C) in 2 hours residence time in the muffle furnace. Gravimetric yield of biochar was obtained. Proximate analysis of biochar was done using ASTM E-872 and ABNT NBR 8112. Volatile matter and ash content were calculated by direct weight loss and fixed carbon content calculated by difference. Porosity measurement was evaluated using an automatic gas adsorption device, Autosorb-1, with CO₂ described by Nakatani. Approximately 0.5 g of biochar in 2 mm particle sizes were used for each measurement. Vacuum outgassing was performed as a pre-treatment in different conditions for each biochar temperature. The pore size distribution of micropores was determined using Horváth-Kawazoe method. Biochar presented different colors for each treatment. Biochar - 200°C presented a higher number of pieces with 10mm or more and did not present the dark black color like other treatments after 2 h residence time in muffle furnace. Also, this treatment had the higher content of volatiles and the lower amount of fixed carbon. In porosity analysis, while the temperature treatments increase, the amount of pores also increase. The increase in temperature resulted in a biochar with a better quality. The pores in biochar can help in the soil aeration, adsorption, water retention. Acknowledgment: This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brazil – PROAP-CAPES, PDSE and CAPES - Finance Code 001.

Keywords: pyrolysis, Soil Amendment, proximate analysis, sugarcane straw

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3 Biochar Assisted Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Nutrient Recycling

Authors: A. Pokharel, A. Farooque, B. Acharya


Pyrolysis can be used for energy production from waste biomass of agriculture and forestry. Biochar is the solid byproduct of pyrolysis and its cascading use can offset the cost of the process. A wide variety of research on biochar has highlighted its ability to absorb nutrients, metal and complex compounds; filter suspended solids; enhance microorganisms’ growth; retain water and nutrients as well as to increase carbon content of soil. In addition, sustainable biochar systems are an attractive approach for carbon sequestration and total waste management cycle. Commercially available biochar from Sigma Aldrich was studied for adsorption of nitrogen from effluent of municipal wastewater treatment plant. Adsorption isotherm and breakthrough curve were determined for the biochar. Similarly, biochar’s effects in aerobic as well as anaerobic bioreactors were also studied. In both cases, the biomass was increased in presence of biochar. The amount of gas produced for anaerobic digestion of fruit mix (apple and banana) was similar but the rate of production was significantly faster in biochar fed reactors. The cumulative goal of the study is to use biochar in various wastewater treatment units like aeration tank, secondary clarifier and tertiary nutrient recovery system as well as in anaerobic digestion of the sludge to optimize utilization and add value before being used as a soil amendment.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, Biochar, Soil Amendment, nutrient recyling

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2 Effects of Palm Waste Ash Residues on Acidic Soil in Relation to Physiological Responses of Habanero Chili Pepper (Capsicum chinense jacq.)

Authors: Kalu Samuel Ukanwa, Kumar Patchigolla, Ruben Sakrabani


The use of biosolids from thermal conversion of palm waste for soil fertility enhancement was tested in acidic soil of Southern Nigeria for the growing of Habanero chili pepper (Capsicum chinense jacq.). Soil samples from the two sites, showed pH 4.8 and 4.8 for site A and B respectively, below 5.6-6.8 optimum range and other fertility parameters indicating a low threshold for pepper growth. Nursery planting was done at different weeks to determine the optimum planting period. Ash analysis showed that it contains 26% of total K, 20% of total Ca, 0.27% of total P, and pH 11. The two sites were laid for an experiment in randomized complete block design and setup with three replications side by side. Each plot measured 3 x 2 m and a total of 15 plots for each site, four treatments, and one control. Outlined as control, 2, 4, 6 and 8 tonnes/hectare of palm waste ash, the combined average for both sites with correspondent yield after six harvests in one season are; 0, 5.8, 6, 6, 14.5 tonnes/hectare respectively to treatments. Optimum nursery survival rate was high in July; the crop yield was linear to the ash application. Site A had 6% yield higher than site B. Fruit development, weight, and total yield in relation to the control plot showed that palm waste ash is effective for soil amendment, nutrient delivery, and exchange.

Keywords: Soil Amendment, ash, pepper, palm waste

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1 Potential of Pyrolytic Tire Char Use in Agriculture

Authors: M. L. Moyo


Concerns about climate change, food productivity, and the ever-increasing cost of commercial fertilizer products is forcing have spurred interest in the production of alternatives or substitutes for commercial fertilizer products. In this study, the potential of pyrolytic tire char (PT-char) to improve soil productivity was investigated. The use of carbonized biomass, which is commonly termed biochar or biofertilizer and exhibits similar properties to PT-char in agriculture is not new, with historical evidence pointing to the use of charcoal for soil improvement by indigenous Amazon people for several centuries. Due to minimal market value or use of PT-char, huge quantities are currently stockpiled in South Africa. This successively reduces revenue and decreases investments in waste tire recycling efforts as PT-char constitutes 40 % weight of the total waste tire pyrolysis products. The physicochemical analysis results reported in this study showed that PT-char contains a low concentration of essential plant elements (P and K) and, therefore, cannot be used for increasing nutrient availability in soils. A low presence of heavy metals (Ni, Pb, and Cd), which may be harmful to the environment at high application rates was also observed. In addition, the results revealed that PT-char contains very high levels of Zn, a widely known phytotoxicity causing agents in plants. However, the study also illustrated that PT-char is made up of a highly aromatic and condensed carbon structure. PT-char is therefore highly stable, less prone to microbial degradation, and has a low chemical reactivity in soils. Considering these characteristics, PT-char meets the requirements for use as a carbon sequestration agent, which may be useful in mitigating climate change.

Keywords: Agriculture, Physicochemical analysis, Carbon Sequestration, Soil Amendment, pyrolytic tire char

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