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Effect of biodynamic preparations on soil properties


Higher humus levels and more soil life through fertilization with farmyard manure, when biodynamic preparations were applied additionally.

In comparison to manure fertilization without biodynamic preparations (CM), the treatment manure including all biodynamic preparations (CMBD) showed higher levels of organic matter (organic carbon). This result was found in top- and subsoil. The activity of the soil enzyme dehydrogenase was significantly increased in the treatment with biodynamic preparations.

Further results of  soil properties of this long-term experiment

Organic carbon content and dehydrogenase activity in topsoil and subsoil for manure fertilization with (CMBD) and without (CM) biodynamic preparations and with mineral fertilization (MIN)  (Bachinger, 1996)
  Fertilization
Topsoil1 rel. to MIN  
Subsoil
rel. to MIN 
Corg (%) CM
CMBD

MIN
0.99 b 2
1.21 c
0.80 a
124
151
100
0.27 a
0.37 b
0.26 a
104
142
100
DHA 3 CM
CMBD
MIN
164.0 b
184.5 c
126.8 a
129
146
100
20.8 a
29.1 b
15.3 a
137
191
100
1 topsoil: 0 - 25 cm, subsoil: 25 - 55 cm
2 values of a soil horizon with different letters differ significantly (p<0.05)
3 dehydrogenase activity (µg TPF 10g -1 24 h-1)


Mäder et al. (1996) compared the activity of dehydrogenase for different fertlizer treatments in this and two other long-term trials. The results showed, that treatments with biodynamic preparations reached the highest dehydrogenase activity in each experiment.
Concerning this effect, all trials corresponded with each other, although facing quite different site and abiotic conditions.

maederdhaen.jpg
 

References:
BACHINGER, J. (1996):
Der Einfluß unterschiedlicher Düngungsarten (mineralisch, organisch, biologisch-dynamisch) auf die zeitliche Dynamik und die räumliche Verteilung von bodenchemischen und -mikrobiologischen Parametern der C- und N-Dynamik sowie auf das Pflanzen- und Wurzelwachstum von Winterroggen. Diss. Univ. Gießen. Schriftenreihe Bd. 7, Inst. f. biol.-dyn. Forschung, Darmstadt

MÄDER, P.; PFIFFNER, L.; FLIEßBACH, A.; LÜTZOW, M.v.; MUNCH, J.C. (1996): Soil ecology - The impact of organic and conventional agriculture on soil biota and its significance for soil fertility. Proc. Vol. 1, 11th IFOAM Intern. Sci. Conf., August 11-15, 1996, Copenhagen; 24-46. 

No effect of biodynamic preparations on humus content (Corg) and microbial biomass in a multi-year trial with slurry and manure compost.

In Switzerland, a trial with slurry, manure compost and different tillage variants, each with and without application of biodynamic preparations started in 2002. After three years, no influence of biodynamic preparations on the content of soil organic matter and microbial biomass could be observed.


bernereng
Influence of biodynamic preparations, fertilisation and soil tillage on organic carbon content (left) and microbial biomass (right) in topsoil (2002-2005)
Berner et al. (no year)

Reference:
BERNER, A.; HILDERMANN, I.; THALMANN, M.; HÜGLI, C.; FREI, R.; MÄDER, P. (o.J.): Einfluss von biologisch-dynamischen Präparaten, Düngung und Bodenbearbeitung auf Bodenfruchtbarkeit und Ertrag. Bericht FiBL, Frick (Schweiz)

In a long-term trial in Järna (Central Sweden), two treatments with composted manure were applied (K1 and K2). If all biodynamic preparations were applied (K1), the humus content of the soil was higher than in the treatment which only received  the compost preparations (K2).

 

petterssoneng.jpg
C contents in topsoil after 31 years 
                        Pettersson et al., 1992

Reference:
PETTERSSON, B.D.; REENTS, H.J.; WISTINGHAUSEN, E.v. (1992): Düngung und Bodeneigenschaften. Ergebnisse eines 32-jährigen Feldversuches in Järna, Schweden. Schriftenreihe, Band 2; Institut für biologisch-dynamische Forschung, Darmstadt

The biodynamic preparations caused a higher root density in several crops.

After the long-time application of manure including biodynamic compost and spray preparations, rye displayed a more branched, denser root system, particularly in the subsoil. It can thus be concluded, that these plant can easier exploit water and nutrient ressources in the soil because of their more intense root growth. The total root biomass remained constant (Bachinger, 1996). Similar results were found in the same experiment with spring wheat (Meuser, 1989). Even with slurry treated with the preparations, plants developed a denser root system (Abele, 1978).


Root mass and density of winter rye in top- and subsoil subject to manure fertilization with (CMBD) and without (CM) biodynamic preparations and subject to mineral fertilization (MIN), April 1990; averages of 3 fertilization intensities (Bachinger, 1996) *
                          
                             Fertilization

               type
Topsoil: Subsoil:
Amount rel. to MIN Amount rel. to MIN
Ash free root
mass 1
CM              0.125 a 103 0.018 ab 120
CMBD  0.140 a 115 0.021 b 140
MIN  0.122 a 100 0.015 a 100
Root density 2 CM         400.4 a 119 35.2 a 86
CMBD 499.3 b 148 67.3 b 165
MIN 337.8 a 100 40.8 a 100
1 grams per 1000 cm3; topsoil: 0 - 30 cm; subsoil: 30 - 60 cm
2 roots per 100 cm2; topsoil: 0 - 25 cm; subsoil: 25 - 55 cm
* Mean values with different letters within a soil horizon are significantly
  different (p<0.05).



Influence of slurry fertilisation on root growth of dwarf beans
left: untreated slurry,
centre: aerated slurry with Bentonit,
right: the same with bd preps.

Abele (1978)
GülleAbele78


 
References:
ABELE, U. (1978): Ertragssteigerung durch Flüssigmistbehandlung. KTBL-Schrift 224, Landw.-Verlag, Münster- Hiltrup

MEUSER, H. (1989): Einfluß unterschiedlicher Düngungsformen auf Boden und Pflanze. Untersuchungen zum Wasser- und Nährstoffhaushalt des Bodens und zum Pflanzenwachstum. Schriftenreihe des Fachbereichs Landschaftsentwicklung der TU Berlin Nr. 67


 

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