Effect of Vermicompost and Compost on Lettuce

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and T2 with a mean organic N of 1.5%, and considering that only approximately 2.5% of organic N benefits the immediate crop cycle (Ortiz and Ortiz, 1990), contribution was estimated at 278 kg
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  See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289417578 Effect of vermicompost and compost on lettuceproduction  Article   in  Chilean journal of agricultural research · October 2010 CITATIONS 37 READS 128 6 authors , including: Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects: Organic agriculture   View projectStress response in mammalian cells to below-background gamma radiation doses.   View projectAdriana HernandezAutonomous University of Chihuahua 29   PUBLICATIONS   116   CITATIONS   SEE PROFILE Hugo CastilloNew Mexico State University 15   PUBLICATIONS   94   CITATIONS   SEE PROFILE Ana María de Guadalupe Arras-VotaAutonomous University of Chihuahua 49   PUBLICATIONS   111   CITATIONS   SEE PROFILE All content following this page was uploaded by Adriana Hernandez on 14 October 2016. The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.  583 RESEARCH CHILEAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 70(4):583-589 (OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2010) EFFECT OF VERMICOMPOST AND COMPOST ON LETTUCE PRODUCTION Adriana Hernández 1* , Hugo Castillo 2 , Dámaris Ojeda 1 , Ana Arras 1 , Julio López 1 , and Esteban Sánchez 3   ABSTRACT A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate the effect on total growth and leaf nutritional content in lettuce (  Lactuca sativa  L.) in the Agrotechnology Sciences Department of the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Mexico in 2007. Three types of fertilization treatments were analyzed: two organic and one conventional or inorganic. Both vermicompost and compost were produced from cattle manure in a 25-wk process. The study included 12 experimental units made up of lettuce plantlets var. Great Lakes. A linear model was tted for statistical analysis using a completely randomized experimental design. ANOVA was performed and means were compared by orthogonal contrasts. Results showed differences in weight and leaf content for the N and K variables, and the highest mean values for these variables were in the urea treatment. Leaf content of Ca, Mg, and Mn showed higher values in organic fertilization treatments. The vermicompost treatment showed a higher contribution of Mg, Fe, Zn, and Cu, and lower Na in lettuce leaf content when compared to compost usage. Key words:  fertilization, nutrient, growth, quality. 1 Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Facultad de Ciencias Agrotecnológicas, Escorza 900. Col. Centro. 31000. Apartado Postal 24 Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México. * Corresponding author (aernande@uach.mx). 2 Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Facultad de Zootecnia y Ecología. Escorza 900. Col. Centro. 31000. Apartado Postal 24 Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México. 3 Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo A.C., Unidad Delicias, Av. 4ª Sur 3820, Fraccionamiento Vencedores del Desierto, 33089, Delicias, Chihuahua, México.  Received: 28 August 2009. Acepted: 5 January 201 0. INTRODUCTION Crop success depends on nutrient input during growth. The excessive use of chemical products in agriculture is an issue of concern for the various problems it causes, such as the level of pollutants that the fruit may contain, decrease in soil fertility, soil and groundwater pollution through the excessive use of N fertilizers (e.g. urea), and animal waste (e.g. untreated cattle manure) causing an increase in nitrate concentration (N-NO 3 ). Organic waste has traditionally been considered a source of pollution and has not been sufciently evaluated as a by-product of agricultural activity which could produce organic fertilizers by composting and vermicomposting. Furthermore, due to the high cost of substrates and imported inputs, there is a need for stable and quality material produced locally. Vermicompost and compost can meet the nutrient demand of greenhouse crops and signicantly reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers (Kowalchuk et al ., 1999; Rodríguez et al ., 2008), and for vermicompost in particular, it increases soil fertility without polluting the soil, as well as the quantity and quality of harvested products (Castillo et al .,   2002).  Avilés and Tello (2001) mention the need to dene parameters for compost stability and its effects on germination and crop growth. Furthermore, various limitations of using organic fertilizers have been pointed out, such as the difcult access to trustworthy sources of information and the lack of specic research (Giulietti et al., 2008). The objective of this study was to evaluate the growth response on lettuce (  Lactuca sativa L.) plants treated with 25-wk vermicompost and compost as organic fertilizers, and then to compare them to urea, the traditional chemical fertilizer. Results will encourage farmers and vendors usage of both compost and vermicompost as organic fertilizers, as well as the increase of the consumers condence level of organic products. MATERIALS AND METHODS The experiment was initiated on August 2007 in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico in a 16 x 45 m span-type greenhouse constructed with a galvanized iron structure, and covered with berglass. Two organic fertilizers, obtained from composting and vermicomposting of cattle manure and sawdust, were employed. Raw manure of cattle was obtained from 2 to 5 yr old Holstein cows of a dairy farm,  584 CHIL. J. AGR. RES. - VOL. 70 - Nº 4 - 2010 conned in a 50 x 40 m² area and fed with rolled corn (  Zea mays  L.), wheat bran ( Triticum aestivum  L.), cottonseed meal, soybean meal ( Glycine   max  (L.) Merr.), alfalfa (  Medicago sativa  L.), and corn silage. Cattle manure was mixed with ne-particle (< 2 mm) pine ( Pinus sp.) sawdust from a local wood company as a source of C for the preparation of the initial composting mixture with a 25/1 C/N ratio which is within the range suggested as optimal for composting and vermicomposting processes (Labrador, 2001; Hansen et al., 2001). Vermicompost and compost employed had a maturity of less than 25 wk (Table 1). Three types of fertilization were evaluated: two organic types -one based on vermicompost and the other on compost- and a third type based on urea (46% N), the conventional inorganic fertilizer. Treatments were carried out in 3 L pots, with 12 replicates. Seedbeds were used to grow 10-cm high lettuce seedlings var. Great Lakes. Sandy clay loam soil supported plant growth (Table 2). Based on the criterion used by Castellanos et al. (2000) for soil texture, apparent density, and low organic matter content (0.74%), the necessary quantity of organic matter to be added to the soil to reach a high level of this enhancer (1.5% for sandy clay loam texture) was estimated and corresponded to incorporating 18.5 t ha -1  organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizer treatments were prepared in the following way: T1 with 3.5 kg soil plus 26.2 g dry weight (DW) vermicompost and T2 with 3.5 kg soil plus 26.2 g DW compost. In the case of T3, based on inorganic fertilization, pots with 3.5 kg soil were fertilized 1 wk after transplanting with 0.021 g of urea per experimental unit. In accordance with the estimated mean of N incorporated by vermicompost and compost in T1 and T2 with a mean organic N of 1.5%, and considering that only approximately 2.5% of organic N benets the immediate crop cycle (Ortiz and Ortiz, 1990), contribution was estimated at 278 kg N ha -1 . Evaluated variables The evaluation considered plant height during the rst 6 wk and was interrupted for the rosette-shaped crop growth characteristics. The aerial part of the lettuce was cut and its weight recorded at the end of the experiment. Leaf material was washed with an H 2 O plus HCl 4 N solution, rinsed with distilled water, air-dried, and then oven-dried at 60 ºC for 1 d. It was ground with a Wiley mill (Thomas Scientic 800-345-2100, New York, USA) to quantify total N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Zn, Mn, and Cu by means of the following methodologies: Total nitrogen.  It was quantied by the micro-Kjeldahl method. A 0.1 g sample of dry sieved substrate was weighed. Reagent, 0.3 g of Se, plus 3 mL of concentrated sulfuric acid were added to a Kjeldahl ask and digested until pistachio green. The digested sample was distilled for 5 min until the solution changed to turquoise. Then, titration was carried out with hydrochloric acid (HCl) 0.2 N until the color changed to brick red. Total Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Na. One gram of the sample plus 25 mL tri-acid mixture (HNO 3 , HClO 4 , and H 2 SO 4 in a 10:1:0.25 ratio) was put into a 250 mL beaker, digested, and ltered. The sample was decanted with deionized H 2 O to 50 mL. Concentration was determined by using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Perkin Elmer Analyst 100, New Jersey, USA) to read the elements Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn. Total Ca, Mg, and K . A 1 mL sample from the previous digestion was diluted to 100 mL with deionized H 2 O, and Ca, Mg, and K were read in the atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Perkin Elmer Analyst 100, New Jersey, USA).C, % 24 21N-total, % 1.6 1.4C/N 15.5 17.1N-NO 3 , mg kg -1  345 347P, % 0.014 0.016K, % 0.21 0.55Ca, % 0.62 0.60Mg, % 0.21 0.27Na, % 0.08 0.14Fe, mg kg -1  991 1049 Mn, mg kg -1  141 144Zn, mg kg -1  76 69Cu, mg kg -1  16 15pH 7.3 8.5 Table 1. Vermicompost and compost nutritional parameters for 25-week process.NutrientCompostVermicompost Sand, % 57.94Lime, % 20.82Clay, % 21.24pH 6.76Organic matter, % 0.74CaCO 3 , % 1.045Apparent density, g mL -1  1.38Electrical conductivity, dS m -1  1.5 Table 2. Physical-chemical description of soil used in pots to evaluate different organic fertilizers.CharacteristicValue  585A. HERNÁNDEZ et al. - EFFECT OF VERMICOMPOST AND COMPOST ON LETTUCE… Total P. A 5 mL aliquot was taken from the extract resulting from the previous determination and 10 mL of ammonium vanadate with molybdenum were added [22.5 g (NH 4 )6MoO 24  in 400 mL of deionized H 2 O, 1.25 g of ammonium vanadate (NH 4 VO 3 ) were dissolved in 300 mL of boiling deionized H 2 O. Then, 250 mL of HNO3 were added and decanted to 1 L]. It was decanted to 50 mL. Determination was carried out by UV-visible spectrophotometry. Statistical analysis The study was carried out with a completely randomized design with three treatments and 12 replicates, and a pot was the experimental unit for a total of 36 units. A linear model was constructed, using the fertilization type as the xed effect. Means comparison was carried out by the following orthogonal contrasts: conventional based on inorganic fertilization vs.  organic fertilization treatments, and vermicompost vs. compost. ANOVA was executed with the PROC GLM command of the SAS version 8.2 (SAS Institute, Cary, North Carolina, USA). RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONPlant height Plants in T1 and T2 (vermicompost and compost) showed greater growth during the rst 4 wk as compared to plants in T3. As of week 5, plant growth and development in T3 exceeded T1 and T2 which showed a small increase in growth and development during the following 3 wk. This effect could be due to the presence of phytohormones in organic fertilizers that stimulate plant growth (Blandon et al . , 1999; Gajalakshmi et al., 2001; Nogales et al., 2005). Weight Weight of the harvested lettuce showed signicant differences for T3 (mean 72.34 ± 2.76 g) as compared to T1 and T2. There were no signicant differences between organic treatments with means of 37.72 ± 2.76 g and 35.42 ± 2.76 g for T1 and T2, respectively. These results concur with those presented by Añez and Espinoza (2003) who reported that the short lettuce cycle (transplanting-harvesting), the high C/N ratio of the vermicompost and compost used (15.5 and 17.1, respectively), and the mean environmental temperature around 18 ºC explain the low mineralization range of the organic fertilizers present and added to the soil, and its slight contribution in crop production. Total nitrogen Leaf N concentration in T3 (mean 2.75 ± 0.2%) was signicantly higher than in T1 (1.44 ± 0.2%) and T2 (1.58 ± 0.2%), while without any signicant differences between T1 and T2 (Figure 1). No treatment reached the N sufciency level according to the classication proposed by A&L Agricultural Laboratories (1990) which register an optimal content range of 3.5 to 6.0% for leaf crops. Reduced growth of lettuce in this study was directly related to its leaf N content due to the action of this nutrient on the process since N is necessary for cell multiplication and plant organ development. Furthermore, N is the main yield factor and considered as the characteristic constituent of functional plasma, an integral part of chlorophyll molecules, proteins, amino acids, nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), nucleotides, phosphotides, alkaloids, enzymes, coenzymes, hormones, and vitamins (Castellanos et al.,  2000). Organic fertilizers and soil enhancers are used for their organic matter contribution and nutrients, mainly N and P (Fuente et al., 2006) since around 98% N (Castellanos et al ., 2000) and 33 to 67% total P (Ortiz y Ortiz, 1990) found in soils are associated with organic matter. For Melgarejo et al. (1997), availability of nutrients in organic fertilizers does not depend on its total content in the material but on the dynamics of the process; thus, some elements can become more available because of pH, moisture, and aeration, or in composting for the temperature allowing the development of specialized organisms. Likewise, the earthworm’s action can affect, in one way or another, the availability of an element. Furthermore, organic matter decomposition rate and nutrient regeneration are regulated by a series of factors including environmental conditions, hydrological regime, substrate quality, soil microbial biomass, and electron receptor availability (McLatchey and Reddy, 1998). Moreover, compost must be “mature” to decrease the risk of crop growth and yield reduction due to N immobilization caused by a high C/N ratio. According Vertical bars indicate mean standard error; DM: dry matter. Figure 1. Mean leaf N content of lettuce under different fertilization treatments.
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