Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.
Biomass such as corn and cassava wastes if left to decay will release significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) including carbon dioxide and methane. The biomass wastes can be converted into biochar via thermochemical process such as slow pyrolysis. This approach can reduce the biomass wastes as well as preserve its carbon content. Biochar has the potential to be used as a carbon sequester and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome in order to identify their potential as pyrolysis feedstocks for biochar production. This was achieved by using the proximate and elemental analyses as well as calorific value and lignocellulosic determination. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar produced. A fixed bed slow pyrolysis reactor was used to pyrolyze the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome. The pyrolysis temperatures were varied between 400 °C and 600 °C, while the heating rate and the holding time were fixed at 5 °C/min and 1 hour, respectively. Corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome were found to be suitable feedstocks for pyrolysis process because they contained a high percentage of volatile matter more than 80 mf wt.%. All the three feedstocks contained low nitrogen and sulphur content less than 1 mf wt.%. Therefore, during the pyrolysis process, the feedstocks give off very low rate of GHG such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Independent of the types of biomass, the percentage of biochar yield is inversely proportional to the pyrolysis temperature. The highest biochar yield for each studied temperature is from slow pyrolysis of cassava rhizome as the feedstock contained the highest percentage of ash compared to the other two feedstocks. The percentage of fixed carbon in all the biochars increased as the pyrolysis temperature increased. The increment of pyrolysis temperature from 400 °C to 600 °C increased the fixed carbon of corn cob biochar, cassava stem biochar and cassava rhizome biochar by 26.35%, 10.98%, and 6.20% respectively. Irrespective of the pyrolysis temperature, all the biochars produced were found to contain more than 60 mf wt.% fixed carbon content, much higher than its feedstocks.
Field experiments were conducted during 2013, 2014 and 2015 cropping seasons at Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State, southwest Nigeria. The objective of the investigation was to determine the effect of Cocoa Pod Ash (CPA) and Poultry Manure (PM) applied solely and their combined form, as sources of fertilizers on soil properties, leaf nutrient composition, growth and yield of yam. Three soil amendments: CPA, PM (sole forms), CPA and PM (mixture), were applied at 20 t ha-1 with an inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15-15-15) at 400 kg ha-1 as a reference and a natural soil fertility, NSF (control). The five treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The test soil was slightly acidic, low in organic carbon (OC), N, P, K, Ca and Mg. Results showed that soil amendments significantly increased (p = 0.05) tuber weights and growth of yam, soil and leaf N, P, K, Ca and Mg, soil pH and OC concentrations compared with the NSF (control). The mixture of CPA+PM treatment increased tuber weights of yam by 36%, compared with inorganic fertilizer (NPK) and 19%, compared with PM alone. Sole PM increased tuber weight of yam by 15%, compared with NPK. Sole or mixed forms of soil amendments showed remarkable improvement in soil physical properties, nutrient availability, compared with NPK and the NSF (control). Integrated application of CPA at 10 t ha-1 + PM at 10 t ha-1 was the most effective treatment in improving soil physical properties, increasing nutrient availability and yam performance than sole application of any of the fertilizer materials.
An experiment was carried out for three consecutive years at Owo, southwest Nigeria. The objective of the investigation was to determine the effect of Cocoa Pod Ash (CPA) and Poultry Manure (PM) applied solely and their combined form, as sources of fertilizers on soil properties, leaf nutrient composition, growth and yield of cocoyam. Three soil amendments: CPA, PM (sole forms), CPA and PM (mixture), were applied at 7.5 t ha-1 with an inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15-15-15) at 400 kg ha-1 as a reference and a natural soil fertility, NSF (control), arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Results showed that soil amendments significantly increased (p = 0.05) corm and cormel weights and growth of cocoyam, soil and leaf N, P, K, Ca and Mg, soil pH and organic carbon (OC) concentrations compared with the NSF (control). The mixture of CPA+PM treatment increased corm and cormel weights, plant height and leaf area of cocoyam by 40, 39, 42, and 48%, respectively, compared with inorganic fertilizer (NPK) and 13, 12, 15 and 7%, respectively, compared with PM alone. Sole or mixed forms of soil amendments showed remarkable improvement in soil physical properties compared with NPK and the NSF (control). The mixture of CPA+PM applied at 7.5 t ha-1 was the most effective treatment in improving cocoyam yield and growth parameters, soil and leaf nutrient composition.
In the era of sustainability, utilization of livestock wastes as soil amendment to provide micronutrients for crops is very economical and sustainable. It is well understood that livestock wastes are comparable, if not better, nutrient sources for crops as chemical fertilizers. However, the large concentrated volumes of animal manure produced from livestock operations and the limited amount of available nearby agricultural land areas necessitated the need for volume reduction of these animal wastes. Composting of these animal manures is a viable option for biomass and pathogenic reduction in the environment. Nevertheless, composting also increases the potential loss of available nutrients for crop production as well as unwanted emission of anthropogenic air pollutants due to the loss of ammonia and other compounds via volatilization. In this study, we examine the emission of ammonia and nitrous oxide from swine manure windrows to evaluate the benefit of biomass reduction in conjunction with the potential loss of available nutrients. The feedstock for the windrows was obtained from swine farm in Kentucky where swine manure was mixed with wood shaving as absorbent material. Static flux chambers along with photoacoustic gas analyzer were used to monitor ammonia and nitrous oxide concentrations during the composting process. The results show that ammonia and nitrous oxide fluxes were quite high during the initial composting process and after the turning of each compost pile. Over the period of roughly three months of composting, the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) decreased by about 90%. Although composting of animal waste is quite beneficial for biomass reduction, composting may not be economically feasible from an agronomical point of view due to time, nutrient loss (N loss), and potential environmental pollution (ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions). Therefore, additional studies are needed to assess and validate the economics and environmental impact of animal (swine) manure composting (e.g., crop yield or impact on climate change).
Land degradation is of concern in many countries. People more and more must address the problems associated with the degradation of soil properties due to man. Increasingly, organic soil amendments, such as compost are being examined for their potential use in soil restoration and for preventing soil erosion. In the Czech Republic, compost is the most used to improve soil structure and increase the content of soil organic matter. Land reclamation / restoration is one of the ways to evaluate industrially produced compost because Czech farmers are not willing to use compost as organic fertilizer. The most common use of reclamation substrates in the Czech Republic is for the rehabilitation of landfills and contaminated sites.
This paper deals with the influence of reclamation substrates (RS) with different proportions of compost and sand on selected soil properties–chemical characteristics, nitrogen bioavailability, leaching of mineral nitrogen, respiration activity and plant biomass production. Chemical properties vary proportionally with addition of compost and sand to the control variant (topsoil). The highest differences between the variants were recorded in leaching of mineral nitrogen (varies from 1.36mg dm-3 in C to 9.09mg dm-3). Addition of compost to soil improves conditions for plant growth in comparison with soil alone. However, too high addition of compost may have adverse effects on plant growth. In addition, high proportion of compost increases leaching of mineral N. Therefore, mixture of 70% of soil with 10% of compost and 20% of sand may be recommended as optimal composition of RS.