Soil nutrient management system characterized by reduced input of inorganic fertilizers integrated with organic amendments is one of the alternatives for reducing deleterious environmental impact of synthetic fertilizers, suppressing soil-borne pests and diseases, and improving soil health and crop yield. A hypothesis of the present study was that lower rates of urea mixed with higher rates of plant compost (PC) would improve nematode community structure, soil food web condition, soil biological, and physiochemical properties, and yield and quality of a processing carrot (Daucus carota) cultivar. Urea and PC were each applied at 135kg nitrogen (N)/ha alone or at 3:1, 1:1, and 1:3 ratios annually during the 2012 to 2014 growing seasons. A non-amended check served as a control. Nematode community was analyzed from soil samples collected approximately 4-week intervals from planting to 133 days after planting each year. Soil respiration, as a measure of soil biological activity, and soil physiochemical properties were determined from soils collected at planting and at harvest in 2012 and 2013. Results showed that PC alone, and U1:PC1 resulted in soil food web structure significantly above 50 at harvest in 2014. Urea significantly decreased end-ofseason soil pH, but increased NO3-N compared with the other treatments. While the herbivore population density was low, abundances of Tylenchus and Malenchus were negatively correlated with carrot fresh weight of marketable carrot. Overall, results suggest that integrating lower rates of urea and higher rates of PC are likely to increase soil biological activity, soil pH, and phosphorus content.
Habteweld, A, D Brainard, A Kravchencko, P S Grewal, and H Melakeberhan. n.d. “Effects of Integrated Application of Plant-Based Compost and Urea on Soil Food Web, Soil Properties, and Yield and Quality of a Processing Carrot Cultivar.” Journal of Nematology, 17. https://doi.org/10.21307/jofnem-2020-111.
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Journal of Nematology