Digested Horticultural Residues as Alternative to Conventional Fertilisers
Avilés-Tamayo Yanelis1, Guardia-Puebla Yans1, López-Sánchez Raúl1, Yero-Montoya Alejandro1, Pichardo-Lesme Dariannis1, Mijail Bullain1, Bettina Eichler-Löbermann2
1University of Granma, Dept. of Agronomy, Cuba
The use of digestates as fertiliser in agriculture provides many advantages in comparison to chemical fertilisers, like effects against fungi and insects, better water retention, pH buffering effects and lower oxidative stress. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of digestates based on residues of horticultural crops on the growth and development of pepper (Capsicum annuum) under controlled conditions. Digestate : soil mixtures of 50:50, 40:60, 30:70, 20:80 and 10:90 were tested applying statistical process optimisation thought surface response methodology (RSM), to model the morphometric variables of growth of the pepper plant. Additionally, one treatment with compost and a treatment with mineral fertilisers (NPK) were established. Application of digestates had a positive effect on growth dynamics on all morphometric variables evaluated: plant emergence percentage, length of the roots and stem, number of leaves, fresh and dry root weights, and fresh and dry stem weights. The results of the statistical - mathematical models obtained by RSM show that a linear relationship between the proportions of digested applied and the length of the root and stem; meanwhile, the number of leaves and fresh and dry weights of the roots and stems had a non-linear behaviour. The use of the 10:90 ratio (digestate: soil) had better characteristics compared to the application of compost and mineral fertiliser. The results showed that the application of digested horticultural residues can provide adequate amount of nutrients and can have a better effect on plant growth than mineral fertilisers while contributing to nutrient cycles in agriculture. The use of the 10:90 ratio (digestate: soil) had better characteristics compared to the application of compost and mineral fertiliser. The results showed that the application of digested horticultural residues can positively influence the growth and development of the plant, as a soil improver and biostimulant, at the same time contributing to nutrient cycles in agriculture.
Keywords: Digestate, horticultural residues, plant growth
Contact Address: Bettina Eichler-Löbermann, Rostock University, Agricultural and Environmental Faculty, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18059 Rostock, Germany, e-mail: bettina.eichleruni-rostock.de