Organic fertilizer abrasive grits increase soil available nitrogen, plant height, and biomass

Michael Carlson, Frank Forcella, Sam Wortman, David Clay, Sharon A. Clay
2020 age  
In organic cropping systems, air-propelled abrasive grits can be used to control in-row weeds. If the applied abrasive grit is an approved organic fertilizer, these applications may serve a dual purpose of weed control and crop fertility. Laboratory soil incubations examined the N mineralization rates of several grit types with differing C/N ratios (Agra Grit [crushed walnut shells, 170:1], corncob grit [91:1], Sustane [composted turkey litter, 5.0:1], Phytaboost Plant Food [crushed and
more » ... ed soybean meal, 5.0:1]). A greenhouse study determined plant wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), kale (Brassica napus pabluaria DC), and velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medik.) growth response in soils amended with these grits. The N mineralization rates varied by grit type, soil, and application rate. The N mineralized from Phytaboost within 56 d was similar among the amounts of N a whereas the amount of N mineralized from Sustane was inversely related to the amount of N applied. Agra Grit and corncob grit immobilized soil N due to their high C/N ratios. In soils amended with Sustane, plant height and biomass were 15-43% and 34-83% greater than for plants grown in soils with Agra Grit, corncob grit, and the nontreated soil. Applications of organic fertilizer as air-propelled grit may improve crop growth; however, if weed control is imperfect, these grits may increase weed growth. Grits with high C/N ratios may immobilize soil available N but not affect plant growth.
doi:10.1002/agg2.20091 fatcat:2t45pxzi6rd2pfd654vlgfsy3i