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📄 The Effect of Various Types of Biochar Mixed with Mineral Fertilization

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-02 Wed 13:06

This paper focuses on the agronomic evaluation of a synthetic NPK (N in the form of urea, P and K in the form of phosphate monopotassium) fertilizers blended with four types of pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) wood biochar prepared at different thermal regimes (300 °C, 400 °C, 600 °C and 700 °C). The evaluation of benefits was done based on crop nutritional status and soil fertility. The pot experiment was set up with fertile Haplic Luvisol fertilized with 1.85 g kg−1 of blends of biochar (1.25 g) with urea (310 mg) and KH2PO4 (290 mg), which is equivalent to 500 kg ha−1 (biochar ~67.6%; N ~7.8%; P ~3.6%; K ~4.7%) applied before sowing. Only NPK blends made with biochar containing 75% or 85% carbon increased the biomass of 27-day old wheat seedlings from 12% to 20% in comparison to NPK applied alone. These blends raised the content of Mn and Fe in plants but decreased the contents of Ca and Mg. All the tested mixtures enhanced soil fertility by increasing the content of humic acids. Additionally, the content of potentially phytotoxic phenolic compounds was lower. In general, the addition of biochar to NPK fertilizer did not show a negative effect on crop quality. The overall results of the study suggest that the application of low doses of biochar to synthetic fertilizer can benefit crops and can support soil fertility.

📺 Fertilizer Calculator helps growers calculate fertilizer

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-24 Tue 12:20

To get the right amount of fertilizer for your plants requirements and then to change them as your plant grows, and to prepare stock solutions, needs a lot of calculations. The solution is the Fertilizer Calculator, which was created as an easy and fast solution to understanding your soil and hydroponic…

📄 Innovative Controlled-Release Polyurethane-Coated Urea Could Reduce N Leaching in Tomato Crop in Comparison to Conventional and Stabilized Fertilizers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-20 Fri 08:50

Large amounts of fertilizers are being used in agriculture to sustain growing demands for food, especially in vegetable production systems. Soluble fertilizers can generally ensure high crop yields, but excessive leaching of nutrients, mainly as nitrate, can be a major cause of water pollution. Controlled-release fertilizers improve the nutrient use efficiency and lower the environmental hazard, usually without affecting the production. In this study, an innovative controlled-release coated urea fertilizer was compared to conventional nitrogen (N) fertilizers and a soluble ammonium-based fertilizer containing a nitrification inhibitor, in a round table tomato cultivation. Both the water and N balance were evaluated for each treatment, along with the yield and quality of the production. The experiment was repeated in three different seasons (spring, autumn and summer-autumn) in a glasshouse to prevent the effect of uncontrolled rainfall. The results indicated that N leaching decreased by increasing the percentage of coated urea. The application of at least 50% total N as coated urea strongly reduced N leaching and improved N agronomic efficiency in comparison with traditional fertilizers, ensuring at the same time a similar fruit production. Due to reduced leaching, the total N amount commonly applied by growers could be lowered by 25% without detrimental effects on commercial production.

Local college students turn food waste into fertilizer

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:26

With help from local college students, Swissvale Borough will soon use discarded table scraps to make fertilizer and grow crops. The community, located east of Pittsburgh, teamed up with Ecotone Renewables to set up a food waste disposal system and greenhouse behind the borough building on S. Braddock…

Response of Soil Microbes and Soil Enzymatic Activity to 20 Years of Fertilization

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-10 Sat 14:04

Fertilization is a worldwide agricultural practice used in agronomy to increase crop yields. Fertilizer application influences overall soil characteristics, including soil microbial community composition and metabolic processes mediated by microbial enzymatic activity. Changes in the structure of microbial communities and their metabolic activity after long-term fertilization were studied in this research. We hypothesized that the different types of fertilization regimes affect nutrient levels in the soil which subsequently influence the metabolic processes and microbial diversity and community structure. Manure (MF; 330 kg N/ha), sewage sludge at two application doses (SF; 330 kg N/ha and SF3x; 990 kg N/ha) and chemical (NPK; N-P-K nutrients in concentrations of 330-90-300 kg/ha) fertilizers have been applied regularly to an experimental field since 1996. The microbial diversity increased in all soils amended with both organic (MF, SF, SF3x) and chemical (NPK) fertilizers. The shifts in microbial communities were observed, which were mainly caused by less abundant genera that were mostly associated with one or more fertilization treatment(s). Fertilization also influenced soil chemistry and the activity of β-xylosidase, β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG), acid phosphatase and FDA-hydrolases. Specifically, all fertilization treatments were associated with a higher activity of β xylosidase and lower NAG activity. Only the NPK treatment was associated with a higher activity of acid phosphatase.

Testing a Bovine Blood-Derived Compound as Iron Supply on Cucumis sativus L.

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-27 Sun 13:21

A new powder formulation obtained from bovine blood (Fe-heme) was tested on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) to investigate its effectiveness as iron supply in comparison with two synthetic iron-chelates fertilizers: ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA/Fe3+) and ethylenediamine-N’N’-bis(2-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid) (o,oEDDHA/Fe3+). Green stressed cucumber plants were evaluated in their recovery (SPAD index and weight variations) and to test the iron reduction capacity of the roots at pH 7.5 and 6.0 using each iron treatment as iron supply. The blood-derived product showed similar effects on decreasing iron-deficiency symptoms: SPAD increments and the weights of plants were similar. Noteworthy, the average of Fe3+ reduction capacity in roots was higher for EDTA/Fe3+, while it was similar for o,oEDDHA/Fe3+, and Fe-heme at pH 7.5. Fe-heme showed a complex behavior due to aggregation and low solubility at pH 6 and showed an unexpectedly high contribution of root exudates to iron reduction.

Effect of Bacterial Inoculum and Fertigation Management on Nursery and Field Production of Lettuce Plants

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-26 Sat 23:26

Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria have been applied to different vegetable crops but there is still no information on the effect of bacterial biostimulant application under variable nutritional level on lettuce seedlings and their performance after transplanting in the field. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a bacterial biostimulant to enhance growth and quality of lettuce seedlings fertigated with increasing nutrient rates and to assess the efficacy of these treatments on lettuce head production. Lettuce seedlings were inoculated with 1.5 g L−1 of TNC BactorrS13 (a commercial biostimulant containing 1.3 × 108 CFU g−1 of Bacillus spp.) and fertigated with a nutrient solution containing 0, 1, 2, and 4 g L−1 of NPK fertilizer (20-20-20). At the end of transplant production, the plants were evaluated for greenhouse cultivation. The effect of fertigation rate on seedling height, dry biomass, dry matter percentage, and water use efficiency was evident up to 2 g L−1 of fertilizer in the non-inoculated seedlings, whereas fresh biomass and nitrogen use efficiency changed up to 4 g L−1 of fertilizer. The use of the bacterial biostimulant modified seedling growth and its response to nutrient availability. The inoculation of the substrate with Bacillus spp. promoted plant growth and allowed seedlings to reach the highest height and biomass accumulation. The physiological age of lettuce seedlings showed a strong influence on plant growth and production after transplanting. The bacterial treatment positively affected the yield and nitrate content of lettuce plants.

A Typological Concept to Predict the Nitrogen Release from Organic Fertilizers in Farming Systems

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-22 Tue 09:44

The prediction of nitrogen (N) mineralization or immobilization in organic fertilizers is an important tool to optimize fertilizer use, especially in intensive agricultural systems. Our aim was to derive a model to predict the N mineralization/immobilization from readily available information on the properties of organic fertilizers in farming practice. On the basis of a literature review, a characterization of organic fertilizers was performed, revealing a large variance in fertilizer properties within the defined categories and subcategories. A partial linear model was derived and used for the prediction of N mineralization/immobilization based on the type of fertilizer and the carbon (C) to organic nitrogen (Norg) ratio. Depending on the previously defined category, a strong mineralization (e.g., plant- and animal-based commercial fertilizers) or a predominant immobilization (e.g., compost and slurries) was detected. For a total of seven main categories and their subcategories, individual models were developed. This work shows that the mineralization properties of organic fertilizers can be sufficiently predicted through a simple classification into a fertilizer category and through the C to Norg ratio.

Medium-Term Influence of Organic Fertilization on the Quality and Yield of a Celery Crop

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-18 Fri 00:35

For some years now, part of society has been demanding the implementation of circular economy models and so the use of organic matter as a source of nutrients is once again taking center stage. In this scenario, the aim of this work was to implement an integrated management model for a farm and to study the influence on a celery crop of organic amendments (animal and vegetable) obtained on the farm, as opposed to inorganic fertilization. This influence was evaluated for the yield and the nutritional, organoleptic, and sanitary quality of the resulting crops. The yield and size of the marketable parts of the celery plants were greater with the inorganic treatment; however, the nutritional and sanitary quality was better in the organic treatments, while the chromatic attributes, as well as the total P and Ca, were not affected by the different fertilization treatments applied. It is therefore concluded that the organic management model is environmentally and economically sustainable.

'Microorganisms can be a great tool to achieve more efficient agriculture'

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-13 Thu 10:08

A research project developed by Ideagro to reduce the application of fertilizers in agriculture through the contribution of microorganisms is obtaining important results in melon, tomato, broccoli, apricot, and citrus crops in an experimental farm located in the Murcian district of Yechar. The Minister…

Plant-based fertilizers on par with conventional fertilizers in lettuce

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-11 Tue 09:38

Growing lettuce on water Biota Nutri's 100% plant-based fertilisers gives the same yield and quality as using conventional fertilisers. This was shown by a series of tests conducted at the HAS University of Applied Sciences in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. Left: conventional fertilizers; right:…