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Use of urea to correct immature urban composts for agricultural purposes

AuthorsMadrid Díaz, Fernando ; Murillo Carpio, José Manuel ; López Núñez, Rafael ; Cabrera, Francisco
Issue Date2000
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 31(15-16): 2635-2649 (2000)
AbstractMunicipal solid waste composts are often inadequately stabilized for agricultural purposes. In addition, compost quality may be even more reduced by loss of nitrogen (N) during the composting process. We have utilized a compost with a high content of soluble sugars (11 mg g-1, DM, indicating immaturity) and a low N concentration (0.95%, DM). The compost had a low level of heavy metals. Results obtained in a germination bioassay conducted with cress, ryegrass and sunflower in a compost-sand mixture reflected the immaturity of the compost. Such composts should be fortified with N (in a complete fertilizer, when possible), at the same time avoiding an intimate contact with the soil (e.g., plowing down). When the compost (and raw wastes and wastes at the 4th week of composting) was mixed with a soil at a heavy rate (2.5 % w:w), ryegrass seedling emergence in pots was not affected, but the plantlets' fresh weight in the compost treatment was significantly lower than that in the control (soil) and lower than that in the raw wastes, probably due to the lower N concentration. As expected, plantlet fresh weight was notably increased by the combination of compost and wastes with a complete fertilizer. The application of compost in combination with a complete fertilizer or urea did not affect either dry matter production or nutrient uptake of ryegrass, despite the combination's being applied just at sowing (in pots). Results obtained in these experiments indicate that combining immature composts with urea [supplemented with phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), when possible] at a ratio of about 50:1 (about 200 kg urea per 10 t compost) could be sufficient to prevent negative results in crop establishment. Such practices could contribute to overcoming the limited fertilizing capacity of the composts.
Description15 páginas, 1 figura, 6 tablas, 25 referencias.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00103620009370614
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
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