Effects of lake sediment on soil chemical composition, dehydrogenase activity and grain yield and quality in organic oats and spring barley succession
¹Estonian Crop Research Institute, Department of Agrotechnology, Aamisepa 1, EE48309 Jõgeva alevik, Estonia
²Estonian Crop Research Institute, Department of Plant breeding, Aamisepa 1, EE48309 Jõgeva alevik, Estonia
³Estonian Crop Research Institute, Department of Development, Aamisepa 1, EE48309 Jõgeva alevik, Estonia
In organic farming, it is important to maintain soil fertility with organic fertilisers; often organic compost, manure, or slurry is used. However, the effects of lake sediment in maintaining and improving soil fertility are less studied. The direct and residual effects of a one-time application of 50 t ha-1 or 100 t ha-1 of lake sediment were compared to an unfertilised control for oats (Avena sativa) (2015) followed by spring barley (Hordeum vulgare) in 2016, under organic farming conditions. Soil chemical composition, microbial activity in the 0–20 cm soil layer, grain yield, and grain quality were tested. The application rate, 100 t ha-1, increased (P < 0.05) the soil organic carbon (SOC), the amount of mobile calcium (Ca), total nitrogen (Ntot), and boron (B) content in soil. Both application rates increased (P < 0.05) the amount of magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), and manganese (Mn) content in the soil. The application rate had no effect on soil pH. Soil dehydrogenase activity (DHA) was higher (P < 0.05) at 100 t ha-1 than the control and the lower application rate. Both rates of lake sediment application significantly (P < 0.05) increased the grain yield and test weight for oats in 2015. Positive residual effects on spring barely yield only occurred in the 100 t ha-1 treatments in 2016. No residual impact of lake sediment was found on spring barely quality.