From the perspective of sustainable agri-food production, farmers need to make the best use of natural resources. Biochar can be a solution to adopt a more sustainable way of farming. Despite its environmental and agronomic advantages, biochar has a low plant nutrient value. This study evaluated the effect of biochar and the co-application of an inorganic or organic fertilizer on the soil properties, growth and nutrient content of Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cycla, Caryophyllales order, Chenopodiaceae family). The experiment consisted of two factors: biochar type (from vineyard prunings and wood chips) and fertilizing source (ammonium nitrate and vermicompost). Biochars were applied at a 2% rate (w/w) and fertilizers at a dose providing 280 kg N ha−1. The soil properties (pH, EC, extractable anions, cations, total N, Corg and C/N ratio) were measured before the plants were transplanted and at the end of the growing cycle, along with the growth parameters (leaf number, length and fresh weight) of each leaf cut, the productive parameters (total number of leaves and yield per plant) at the end of the growing cycle and the leaf content of anions (NO3−, P2O43−, SO42−), cations (NH4+, Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+) and total N. The co-application of biochar and a fertilizing source had a positive effect on soil properties and leaf nutrient content. Vermicompost increased plant growth by 22% and plant yield by 116%, in contrast to biochar, and increased limited leaf NO3− accumulation by about 81% in comparison to ammonium nitrate. The co-application of biochar and vermicompost is the better option to increase Swiss chard yield while preserving the nutritional and health qualities of the product.

Effect of Biochar and Inorganic or Organic Fertilizer Co-Application on Soil Properties, Plant Growth and Nutrient Content in Swiss Chard

Anna Rita Rivelli;Angela Libutti
2022-01-01

Abstract

From the perspective of sustainable agri-food production, farmers need to make the best use of natural resources. Biochar can be a solution to adopt a more sustainable way of farming. Despite its environmental and agronomic advantages, biochar has a low plant nutrient value. This study evaluated the effect of biochar and the co-application of an inorganic or organic fertilizer on the soil properties, growth and nutrient content of Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cycla, Caryophyllales order, Chenopodiaceae family). The experiment consisted of two factors: biochar type (from vineyard prunings and wood chips) and fertilizing source (ammonium nitrate and vermicompost). Biochars were applied at a 2% rate (w/w) and fertilizers at a dose providing 280 kg N ha−1. The soil properties (pH, EC, extractable anions, cations, total N, Corg and C/N ratio) were measured before the plants were transplanted and at the end of the growing cycle, along with the growth parameters (leaf number, length and fresh weight) of each leaf cut, the productive parameters (total number of leaves and yield per plant) at the end of the growing cycle and the leaf content of anions (NO3−, P2O43−, SO42−), cations (NH4+, Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+) and total N. The co-application of biochar and a fertilizing source had a positive effect on soil properties and leaf nutrient content. Vermicompost increased plant growth by 22% and plant yield by 116%, in contrast to biochar, and increased limited leaf NO3− accumulation by about 81% in comparison to ammonium nitrate. The co-application of biochar and vermicompost is the better option to increase Swiss chard yield while preserving the nutritional and health qualities of the product.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/423047
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