Effects of organic nitrogen fortifiers on some growth parameters of green amaranths ( Amaranthus caudatus L.)

Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems (Impact Factor: 1.36). 12/2009; 24(04). DOI: 10.1017/S1742170509990184


Chemical fertilizers for boosting crop production are becoming more expensive and scarce. Green amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus L.) is a fast growing and highly nutritious crop, but its common use in the diet of Nigerians is constrained by its high demand for nitrogen fertilizer. Thus, there is a need to find local fertilizer materials that are readily available to peasant farmers. A preliminary field study was conducted to evaluate urine and neem (Azadirachta indica L. juss) as alternative sources for mineral fertilizers in fortifying organic fertilizer (OF) made from cow dung and market waste compost, and OF fortified with urea and bone meal [organo-mineral fertilizer (OMF)], for yield and growth of green amaranth. Fifteen treatments, based on the percentages of N supplied, were NPK15-15-15, OMF, OF, urine, neem and ten treatments of 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90% OF supplemented with a total of 50, 40, 30, 20 and 10% urine or neem, respectively, to provide a total application rate of 100 kg N ha1 main effect and 110.8 g plot1, respectively) obtained with respect to OMF during main planting and NPK during residual planting. Results of our study reveal that 40% N urine fortification of OF was a viable substitute for synthetic fertilizers in production of amaranth, and that urine and neem cake can be alternatives to mineral fertilizer for crop production.

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    ABSTRACT: Crop production in most developing countries is faced with a dearth of resources for optimum production of which fertilizer is one. The use of human urine as well as its mixture with compost are potential solutions to this problem. Thus, this report investigated the influence of human urine and its combination with compost on yield and soil quality of land under green amaranths (Amaranthus caudatus). This study involved a field experiment to determine the response of green amaranths to the application of 100% urine, 2/3 urine N+1/3 compost N, 100% compost N, NPK (15:15:15) at the rate of 100 kg N ha−1 and control with no fertilizer treatment using farmers’ participatory approach. The vegetables produced from the experimental treatments were analyzed in the laboratory for pathogenic microbial risk as well as effects of the fertilizer on nutrient status of the experimental soils (before and after planting). Perception of farmers and consumers in the study area regarding use of urine as fertilizer for vegetable production was investigated with the aid of a structured questionnaire. The result of this investigation revealed that 100% urine resulted in 58.17 t ha−1 total plant yield, while NPK 15:15:15 gave 34.34 t ha−1 total plant yield in the two plantings. Microbial analysis of edible portion of vegetable from plot fertilized with urine did not reveal any significantly different pathological contamination compared to other fertilizer treatments used in this investigation. Urine treatment improved soil nutrient exchangeable cations and acidity. The perception study revealed that respondents perceived urine to be a good agricultural input that could be used as a fertilizer in vegetable crop production and there was no strong cultural norm that would prevent them using it for crop production. Vegetable consumers would also buy vegetable crops grown with urine if they are well informed about its safety for crop production. Since the use of urine as fertilizer for crop production improved amaranth's yield and did not show any negative implication on soil environment, human urine seems to have good potential both in crop yield and acceptability by farmers and consumers.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems