ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 105, No. 3 (2018), p. 203–210
DOI  10.13080/z-a.2018.105.026

Effect of coapplication of poultry litter biochar and mineral fertilisers on soil quality and crop yield

Michał KOPEĆ, Tomáš LOŠÁK


This study evaluated the effects of poultry litter biochar application on soil quality and yield of pasture grass mixture. A micro-plot field experiment was established on an Eutric Cambisol (CM-eu) with five treatments: 1) soil without fertilisation (control), 2) mineral fertilisation (NPK), 3) NPK + poultry litter at a rate of 5 t ha-1 DM (PL), 4) NPK + poultry litter biochar at a rate of 2.25 t ha-1 DM (PLBI) and 5) NPK + poultry litter biochar at a rate of 5 t ha-1 DM (PLBII). Given the need to create comparable conditions, the following rates of mineral fertilisers were used in the experiment: 100 kg ha-1 N, 40 kg ha-1 P and 120 kg ha-1 K. In 2014–2016, soil samples were analysed for changes in biological and chemical properties. Annual biomass production of pasture grass mixture was determined at three harvests per year. To characterize the biological soil properties, the soil enzymatic (dehydrogenases and urease) activity was determined. The results indicated that PLBI and PLBII reduced the contents of available forms of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn). Significant increase in dehydrogenases activity was observed in the soil with both rates of poultry litter biochar introduced. Coapplication of PLBI or PLBII with mineral fertilisers also increased the total production of biomass of pasture grass mixture compared to the NPK treatment.

Key words: biochar, biomass yield, enzymatic activity, field experiment, heavy metals, urease activity.

Full text: 105_3_str26.pdf