Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recycled Garden Compost Reduces Build-up Of Phosphorus In Soils

Date:
June 4, 2007
Source:
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
Summary:
Broccoli, eggplant, cabbage and capsicum grown with compost made from recycled garden offcuts have produced equivalent yields to those cultivated by conventional farm practice, but without the subsequent build up of phosphorus. Scientists have found very high levels of phosphorus and low levels of organic carbon in vegetable growing soils, during a major research project designed to help vegetable growers significantly improve soil quality and productivity.

Recycled garden compost can help correct very high levels of phosphorus and low levels of organic carbon in vegetable growing soils in the Sydney Basin, says Dr Yin Chan.
Credit: Image courtesy of New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

Broccoli, eggplant, cabbage and capsicum grown with compost made from recycled garden offcuts have produced equivalent yields to those cultivated by conventional farm practice, but without the subsequent build up of phosphorus.

Related Articles


NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) scientists have found very high levels of phosphorus and low levels of organic carbon in vegetable growing soils, during a major research project designed to help Sydney Basin vegetable growers significantly improve soil quality and productivity.

According to a DPI study of 34 farms covering the major soil types in the Sydney metropolitan region, excessive cultivation, combined with high application rates of inorganic fertilisers and poultry manure, resulted in phosphorus levels well above that required for vegetable nutrition.

The study, published in the Australian Journal of Soil Research, compared the effect of vegetable production on soil chemical and physical properties with unfarmed soils in the greater Sydney metropolitan area.

Lead author, DPI principal research scientist, Dr Yin Chan, said current management practices used for producing vegetables had reduced the structural stability of the soil and increased the potential for runoff and nutrient transport.

Dr Chan said farmers in the region had relied too much on the use of poultry manure as a fertiliser.

Farmers use poultry manure as a cheap source of nitrogen but it is also high in phosphorus, which accumulates in the soil over time, he said.

The study was undertaken as part of a broader research project examining the benefits of using compost made from green matter recycled from Sydney gardens in vegetable cropping systems.

The Sydney trial has found that over time, additional nitrogen fertiliser may be required as the nitrogen from the compost is depleted, however, the overall crop need for inorganic fertiliser is reduced.

One of the next phases of the project is to undertake a costbenefit analysis of three years of soil and crop data to assess whether use of the green compost as a soil amendment is an economically viable option.

Authors of the study advocated developing strategies for improved nutrient management and tillage practices.

For example, the use of minimal tillage methods of cultivation could reduce further damage to soil structure and loss of carbon from the system.

Adding inputs high in organic matter, such as the experimental compost, may be one way of building up carbon in the soil and improving soil structural stability. In turn, this could reduce the high rates of surface runoff, sediment transport, and nutrient export reported from vegetable farms around Sydney.

The Sydney Basin is a major supplier of the fresh vegetables consumed by Sydney’s four million residents, and total agricultural production in the region is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion a year.

The study is published in the Australian Journal of Soil Research, 2007, 45, 139-146.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. "Recycled Garden Compost Reduces Build-up Of Phosphorus In Soils." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070601101106.htm>.
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. (2007, June 4). Recycled Garden Compost Reduces Build-up Of Phosphorus In Soils. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070601101106.htm
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. "Recycled Garden Compost Reduces Build-up Of Phosphorus In Soils." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070601101106.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins