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Montemurro F.,Cra Research Unit For The Study Of Cropping Systems
Journal of Plant Nutrition | Year: 2010

Despite the importance of fertilizing practices in the crop yield improvement, nitrogen (N) utilization, and N status, their management by farmers is still rather empirical, especially when new organic materials are applied. Therefore, the aim of this research was to study the possible bioproducts (anaerobic digestates and on-farm compost) applications and to evaluate their effects on lettuce performance, N efficiency and soil properties. The plant and soil N indicators were also investigated to reduce the N supply in lettuce production. To accomplish these objectives a three-year field experiment was carried out comparing the following N fertilization strategies: organic, with anaerobic digestates, based on stabilized wine distillery wastewater (SAD) and not stabilized wine distillery wastewater (NSAD) and on-farm compost, based on olive pomace compost (OPC); mineral (MIN), with ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate; mineral-organic, with a slow N release commercial fertilizer (CORG). All treatments received 140 kg N ha -1 and they were compared with an unfertilized control (CONTR). The organic material application increased the marketable yield of 25.6, 20.3 and 10.1% for SAD, NSAD, and OPC treatments, respectively, in comparison with the CONTR. No significant reduction was found for both anaerobic digestates in respect to conventional fertilizers, while the OPC application significantly decreased the crop yield compared to MIN and CORG treatments. Moreover, the marketable head weight showed no significant difference among MIN, CORG, and SAD treatments, while a significant reduction of the weight was observed for NSAD and OPC. These findings highlighted the importance of organic fertilizer choice to sustain lettuce yield. The anaerobic digestates also enhanced head weight of 18.9 and 11.9% for SAD and NSAD, respectively, compared to CONTR, pointing out that the by-products application could be a valid agricultural practice to provide nutrients. Besides, no significant difference in N utilization parameters was found between SAD, MIN and CORG, indicating the effectiveness of the stabilized wine wastewater. Among the plant and soil N indicators tested, our results suggested that the leaves green index and nitrate contents in the leafstalks not only were the most reliable methods for evaluating N status, but they also offered potential advantages of both an easier sampling and a higher positive correlation with lettuce performance. Finally, since the agro-industrial residues did not significantly increase the soil potentially toxic elements level, the findings of this research pointed out that the organic materials can be usefully applied, at least in the short-term period. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source


Ferri D.,Cra Research Unit For Cropping Systems In Dry Environments | Montemurro F.,Cra Research Unit For The Study Of Cropping Systems | Debiase G.,Cra Research Unit For Cropping Systems In Dry Environments | Fiore A.,Cra Research Unit For Cropping Systems In Dry Environments | And 2 more authors.
Fresenius Environmental Bulletin | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of organic amendment on the evolution of soil organic matter content and humification rates, under fodder crops land utilization system. To accomplish this objective a research (autumn 2004 to summer 2007) was carried out at Foggia (Southern Italy) applying one agro-industrial anaerobic di-gestate and a on-farming compost on these three fodder crops (Italian clover, proteic pea and Italian ryegrass). In a split-plot experimental design with three replications the following fertilizing treatments were compared: i) mineral fertilization with chemical fertilizers (Min); ii) organic fertilization, with stabilized anaerobic digestate coming from wine distillery (Org-B); iii) organic fertilization, with olive-pomace compost (Org-C); iv) organic-mineral fertilization (Mix), with a commercial product. These treatments were compared with an unfertilized control (F0). After three years of organic amendments application (2004-2007), the Org-C treatment reached the highest content of soil total organic matter and it also increased total extract carbon by 11 % compared to with the Min one. Furthermore, on the Org-B treatment the stabilised organic matter (fulvic and humic acids) increased by 3.3% versus the F0 treatment. The on-farming compost applications enhanced the total N and available P by 18.8% and 51.4% compared to unfertilized control. These results suggest that organic amendments in the agro-ecosystems of Southern Italy could support soil fertility, with the possibility to reduce the risks of soil degradation and desertification. Source


Lopedota O.,Cra Research Unit For The Study Of Cropping Systems | Leogrande R.,Cra Research Unit For The Study Of Cropping Systems | Fiore A.,Cra Research Unit For Cropping Systems In Dry Environments | Debiase G.,Cra Research Unit For Cropping Systems In Dry Environments | Montemurro F.,Cra Research Unit For The Study Of Cropping Systems
Journal of Plant Nutrition | Year: 2013

A three-year field experiment (2006-2008) was carried out in Mediterranean conditions to study the effects of organic fertilizers application on yield performance and plant nitrogen (N) status of melon crops. Soil properties at the end of experiment were further investigated. In a strip-plot experimental design, two irrigations and the following four fertilizer treatments were compared: mineral fertilizer (Min); commercial stable manure (Org); anaerobic digestate (WDD); composted municipal solid organic wastes (SUW). The results showed no statistical differences among the four different treatments on melon yields. Conversely, the highest irrigation treatment showed a significantly higher total yield (34%) and fruits number (26%). During cropping cycles, the Min treatment reached the highest mean nitrate content with an increase of about 59% and 154% respectively compared with Org and mean of WDD and SUW. The WDD and SUW significantly increased soil total, extracted and humified organic carbon of the 14, 22 and 12% compared with Min. Among treatments, no significant difference was found for heavy metals excepted for Cu, which reached the highest level in WDD treatment. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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