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Soil amendments and compost derived microbial tea to improve soil health, farm productivity, hence food security and generate carbon credits: A case study from Australia
Rhonda Clare Daly

Last modified: 2017-08-24

Abstract


Improving soil health and agricultural production through the addition of soil and biological amendments may help to mitigate rising greenhouse gas emissions and sustain agricultural productivity and environmental conditions.  A three year research trial was carried out on 'Knowldale'Young NSW Australia from 2007-2009 to determine the effectiveness of biological inputs on soil health, production and productivity in gradual transition from current farming practice.  This by steadily reducing synthetic inputs compared to district recommended fertiliser and chemical use.  Soil samples, 0-15 cm, were collected from a number of plots (T1-Control and T2-T6 Biological Treatment Plots) consisting of 2 hectares each with the three pools of nutrients tested, the total, the exchangeable and soluble.  The Lab analysis was performed to assess the soil texture, soil pH and macro-nutrients reflecting soil fertility. Crops were sown using no-till equipment with microbial liquid injection supplying the compost derived microbial tea into the furrow at sowing.

Based on the findings that liquid compost derived microbial tea significantly increased crop biomass, tiller count and crop yield as well as proving that there is potintial for increasing production through the addition of soil balancing amendments and liquid compost derived microbial tea.  In addition to this, these amendments could increase soil organic carbon, hence farmers can claim Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) and generate extra income.  Thus, increasing productivity from locally derived amendments which reducing synthetic fertiliser applications would enhance the viability and profitability of farming systems as well as reduce emissions and generate soil carbon credits.

Key words:  liquid compost derived microbial tea, soil amendments, soil fertility, yield, carbon credits


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