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Influence of biodynamic preparations on compost development and resultant compost extracts on wheat seedling growth.

Plants, Soils, and Climate, 4820 Old Main Hill AGS 332, Logan, UT 84322, USA.
Bioresource Technology (Impact Factor: 5.04). 03/2010; 101(14):5658-66. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.01.144
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Biodynamic (BD) agriculture, a form of organic agriculture, includes the use of specially fermented preparations, but peer-reviewed studies on their efficacy are rare. Composting of a grape pomace and manure mixture was studied in two years (2002 and 2005) with and without the BD compost preparations. Water extracts of finished composts were then used to fertigate wheat seedlings, with and without added inorganic fertilizer. BD-treated mixtures had significantly greater dehydrogenase activity than did untreated (control) mixtures during composting, suggesting greater microbial activity in BD-treated compost. In both years there was a distinct compost effect on wheat shoot and root biomass irrespective of supplemental fertilizer. Shoot biomass was highest in all treatments receiving 1% compost extract. Wheat seedlings that received 1% compost extract in 2005 grew similar root and shoot biomass as fertilized seedlings, despite only containing 30% as much nitrogen as the fertilizer treatment. In both years seedlings that received fertilizer plus 1% compost extract produced 22-61% more shoot biomass and 40-66% more root biomass than seedlings that received fertilizer alone, even at higher rates. In 2002 a 1% extract of BD compost grew 7% taller wheat seedlings than did 1% extract of untreated compost. At 0.1% only BD extract grew taller plants than water, but in 2002 only. No effect on shoot or root biomass was seen at 0.1%. Our results support the use of compost extracts as fertilizer substitutes or supplements, testimonial reports on the growth promoting effects of compost extracts, and the occasional superiority of BD compost to untreated compost.

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Available from: Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, Jul 25, 2015
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    • "For instance, Siddiqui et al. (2011) observed that the application of compost tea and inorganic fertiliser (NPK) at a rate of CT 50: NPK 50 significantly enhanced the vegetative growth, yield and antioxidant content of the medicinal herb Centella asiatica (L.) urban. Similarly, Reeve et al. (2010) reported a synergistic effect when using compost tea in combination with inorganic fertiliser, resulting in a higher shoot (22–61%) and root (40–66%) biomass of wheat seedlings relative to that observed when inorganic fertiliser was applied alone. Hargreaves et al. (2009a) found that NCTs made from municipal solid waste and ruminant composts provided equivalent levels of nutrients to strawberries as supplied by an inorganic fertilizer. "
    01/2015;
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    • "For instance, Siddiqui et al. (2011) observed that the application of compost tea and inorganic fertiliser (NPK) at a rate of CT 50: NPK 50 significantly enhanced the vegetative growth, yield and antioxidant content of the medicinal herb Centella asiatica (L.) urban. Similarly, Reeve et al. (2010) reported a synergistic effect when using compost tea in combination with inorganic fertiliser, resulting in a higher shoot (22–61%) and root (40–66%) biomass of wheat seedlings relative to that observed when inorganic fertiliser was applied alone. Hargreaves et al. (2009a) found that NCTs made from municipal solid waste and ruminant composts provided equivalent levels of nutrients to strawberries as supplied by an inorganic fertilizer. "
    Advances in Fertilizer Technology: Synthesis (Vol.1), Edited by Sinha, S, Pant, K.K., Bajpai, S, 01/2015: chapter Effects of compost and vermicompost teas as organic fertilisers.: pages 301-318; , ISBN: 1-62699-044-1
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    • "Similar observations were made by Prakash and Karmegam (2010) in vermicompost and Dayana Amira et al. (2011) in Trichoderma inoculated compost. Furthermore, at higher pH (8.2) ammonia is volatilized from the compost and nitrification is also inhibited (Reeve et al., 2010), this resulted in lowest TKN in the uninoculated compost. "
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    ABSTRACT: Efforts were made to test for efficient composting methods of bixa (Bixa orellana L.) shell residues and assess their performance as soil amendment for valuable crop production. Five bioinoculants: earthworms (T-1), Trichoderma (T-2), Trichoderma + Phanerochaete (T-3), effective microorganisms (EM) (T-4) and biodynamic preparations (T-5) were used in the study. The control consisted of composting without bioinoculants (T-6). Bixa capsule shells were mixed with cow dung in 3:1 (w:w) proportion and the mixture was composted using the bioinoculants. The performance of the resulting composts was tested by using them as soil amendment with NPK fertilizers and cattle manure as controls and growing two valuable crops: Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) and bixa. The decomposition period was reduced by 85 days when earthworms and EM were used as compared to uninoculated composting. Composting with bioinoculants resulted in an increase in total N (from 47.5% to 161%), available P (from 36% to 150%), exchangeable K (from 25% to 88%) and calcium (from 19.4% to 94.4%). T-1, T-3 and T-4 recorded larger nutrient content. Furthermore, these composts increased root yield (from 59% to 94%) and withanolide content (from 24% to 100%) in Ashwagandha and bixin content in bixa (22% and 28% over farmers practice in 3 and 4 year age plantations, respectively). The increased micro and macronutrient contents in the bioinoculated compost might be responsible for the higher yield and quality. Thus, earthworms, EM and Trichoderma + Phanerochaete were effective bioinoculants for the preparation of nutrient rich compost from bixa capsule shells. Furthermore, on farm research revealed that vermicomposting is an efficient, easy and fast method of composting and that the final product is a potential plant nutrient source for sustainable crop production. The on farm research shows the practical value of composting recalcitrant bixa shells for satisfactory nutrient recycling and for the restoration of fragile agroecosystems.
    Ecological Engineering 12/2013; 61:235-244. DOI:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2013.09.013 · 3.04 Impact Factor
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