Tag Archives: soil conditioner

xxx V. Novák, K. Křížová and P. Šařec
Biochar Dosage Impact on Physical Soil Properties and Crop Status
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Biochar Dosage Impact on Physical Soil Properties and Crop Status

V. Novák¹*, K. Křížová¹² and P. Šařec¹

¹Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Machinery Utilization, Kamýcká 129, CZ16500 Prague, Czech Republic
²Crop Research Institute, Division of Crop Protection and Plant Health, Drnovská 507/73, CZ16106 Prague, Czech Republic
*Correspondence: novakvaclav@tf.czu.cz

Abstract:

In the context of climate change and the ongoing population growth, current agriculture inevitably faces many challenges. Long periods of drought are often followed by shorter periods of heavy precipitation and degraded soil is often unable to retain the rainfall water properly. Apart from common organic fertilizers, soil amendments are currently considered a promising solution that might improve soil quality. The most discussed one is biochar, a natural soil conditioner that might under certain conditions improve soil properties. This study is based on the experiment that was established in 2017 in order to determine the impact of biochar dosage and it’s effect over time. Four parcels approximately 15×30 m were designed in Rapotín, Czech Republic. Each of them was treated with a specific dose of biochar (15, 30, 45, 60 t ha-1), and selected soil physical properties such as penetration resistance and reduced bulk density were then measured at the beginning of the cropping season 2019. In addition, vegetation properties were investigated with the use of handheld sensors repeatedly during the season on winter wheat. The dataset contained information about chlorophyll and nitrogen content as well as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index estimations. Acquired values were later compared with the results obtained from the fifth variant founded in 2014 with a 15 t ha-1 dose and from the control variant. Although the dosage levels applied were quite substantial, no significant difference was found when evaluating selected soil properties. Crop response gave similar results. Any of the examined characteristics differed among the 2017 variants and control. Nevertheless, when compared to the 2014 variant, clearly different results were detected. Thus, this study concluded that the effect of biochar dosage is might not be as significant factor, however, the time effect likely is. Therefore, the study has to continue and soil/crop properties will be observed in the upcoming season as well.

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850–861 K. Stankevica, Z. Vincevica-Gaile and M. Klavins
Role of humic substances in agriculture and variability of their content in freshwater lake sapropel
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Role of humic substances in agriculture and variability of their content in freshwater lake sapropel

K. Stankevica*, Z. Vincevica-Gaile and M. Klavins

University of Latvia, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, Department of Environmental Science, Jelgavas street 1, LV-1004, Riga
*Correspondence: karina.stankevica@lu.lv

Abstract:

The term ‘humic substances’ (HS) refers to a general category of naturally occurring, biogenic, heterogeneous organic substances. They create the most widespread natural organic matter found in sediments, soils and waters. Organic carbon in soil (up to 70%) and peat (up to 90%) usually occurs in the form of HS. HS influence the formation process of fossil fuels, as well as they are involved in the plant nutrition process, have an influence on availability and toxicity of metallic and other elements. Furthermore, HS play a significant role in the global carbon geochemical cycle. Properties and application efficiency of humus depend on the source of HS. Freshwater sapropel is a huge reservoir of HS with superior biological activity, although their total content is lower than in peat. The aim of this paper, firstly, was to present the information about the options of HS in agriculture and their main effects on plant growth. Secondly, determination and characterization of HS content in freshwater lake sapropel was performed as sapropel nowadays becomes a popular natural organic-mineral fertilizer and soil conditioner. Sapropel samples were derived from Lake Pilvelis, Lake Pilcines, Lake Vevers, Lake Liducis and Lake Padelis situated in Eastern Latvia. Investigation of HS content in sapropel is significant for the Baltic States and Northern Europe due to wide distribution and availability of sapropel in freshwater bodies. That promotes a search for new ways of extraction methods and bioeconomically effective utilization of this natural resource, obtainable in economically significant amounts, with high opportunities of its use especially in agriculture. Contemporary agriculture strongly desiderates in new products of high effectivity enhancing soil and crop productivity and quality hand in hand with sustainable development and careful attitude to the nature and surrounding environment, thus, one of the ways how it can be achieved is understanding how, where and how much HS preparations can be applied.

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