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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: 4.49). 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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    • "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. "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 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. "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2015
    • "Nevertheless, this effect has not been so decisive in our final results because compost teas were applied only at the time of sowing. The potential of compost teas for supplementing or replacing other fertilizers seems promising and warrants further testing both in greenhouse conditions and in open fields (Reeve et al., 2010). Many other studies have reported variable effects, but there is considerable evidence that compost extracts can improve plant production by decreasing disease incidence, improving plant nutrient status and generally promoting plant growth (Weltzien et al., 1990;Ingham, 2005;Arancon et al., 2007;Hargreaves et al., 2008;). "
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    ABSTRACT: Suppressive effects of different compost teas were evaluated against the phytopathogens P. capsici and P. parasitica, isolated from diseased plants from commercial sweet pepper farms in Almería (Spain), during 2011. Aerated compost tea and non-aerated compost tea were prepared from spent mushroom compost, grape marc compost, crop residues compost and vermicompost. In vitro inhibition of mycelial growth of the two tested pathogens was assessed, and in vivo effects of compost teas on disease severity, caused by P. capsici and P. parasitica were evaluated on pepper plants, in greenhouse experiments. Different morphological parameters were also measured for plants treated with compost teas, to determine growth promotion effects on pepper plants. The compost teas controlled the two tested pathogens in vitro and in vivo. Non-aerated compost teas (NCT) were more beneficial in increasing growth of pepper plants than aerated compost teas. This study demonstrates the clear effect of compost tea on disease suppression and plant growth promotion. These compost extracts may be used as alternatives to inorganic fertilizers/fungicides to enhance plant growth, reduce disease incidence and increase crop yields.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Phytopathologia Mediterranea
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