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Effects of farmyard manure compost and biodynamic preparations

Long-term trial at IBDF Darmstadt (since 1980)


1988-1991 Soil organic matter and biological activity

Second period (research focus: Soil biology)


Reference (except where otherwise stated): BACHINGER (1996)

Corg contents in topsoil after 9 years (1989) of fertilization with manure (CM, CMBD) and mineral fertilizer (MIN) at three intensities
  CM CMBD MIN average
low
medium
high
0.86
0.91
0.98
0.97
1.02
1.09
0.81
0.80
0.81
0.88 a
0.91 a
0.96 b
average 0.92 b 1.02 c 0.81 a  
Mean values of a factor with different letters are
significantly different (p<0.05). BACHINGER (1996).

The highest Corg contents emerged from application of composted manure and biodynamic preparations.
The same amounts of composted manure without the preparations (CM) led to lower Corg contents. The lowest contents were observed with mineral fertilization (MIN). The results increased in step with rising manure amounts but not in step with rising amounts of mineral fertilizer (least sign. difference for the interaction of type by intensity of fertilization: 0.038; p<0.05). Note: Straw was removed in CM and CMBD and left on the plots in MIN.

  


 
  

 

 

Corg 1996

Several years passed until the new Corg levels were established, depending upon fertilization type.
A rough differentiation into 3 levels already began to emerge 1-2 years after the beginning of the trial. However, the results did not stabilize until 7 years had passed.
 
The figure shows averages of the 4 fields (cross-line in the bars) and their standard deviation s (length of the bars) at the medium fertilization intensity (Bachinger, 1996).
 
 
 
 
 
 
     

Microbiological parameters and ratios in topsoil, by type and intensity of fertilization, 1989 data (Bachinger, 1996)
  PA ¹ Cmic² DHA ³ PA/Corg Cmic/Corg DHA/Corg
  relative to MIN = 100
CM 0.27 b 34.9 b 109.1 b 116 106 123
CMBD 0.26 b 37.8 b 121.9 c 97 102 120
MIN 0.20 a 26.1 a 75.9 a 100 100 100
  relative to low = 100
low 0.25 a 30.6 a 94.5 a 100 100 100
medium 0.25 a 34.1 a 103.8 a 94 105 116
high 0.23 a 34.2 a 108.6 a 83 100 111
¹ protease activity (mg Tyr/g)
² microbial biomass (SIR; mg C/100 g)
³ dehydrogenase activity (µg TPF/10 g) 
Mean values of a factor with different letters are significantly different (p<0.05).

Higher enzyme activities and larger microbial biomass with manure fertilization.
Microbial biomass and activity parameters - both absolute values and their ratios to soil organic carbon - have been found to be higher with manure than with mineral fertilization.
 
The same effects as in 1989 (see table) have also been observed in other years (and in other fields) during the research period (see next table). In some cases the results have been further increased in the treatment with biodynamic preparations.
 
A higher dehydrogenase activity in various treatments with the preparations has also been reported from other long-term trials.

  


   

 


Soil biological parameters with manure fertilization with (CMBD) and without (CM) biodynamic preparations and with mineral fertilization (MIN), results in relation to mineral = 100; data of different fields in 1989-91, averages of 3 fertilization intensities (Bachinger, 1996)
   DHA 1 PA 2 DRA 3 ATP 4 Nmic5 Cmic6 Corg7 Nt8 DHA/Corg 
CM 129 125 118 128 115 114 115 113 112
CMBD 144 130 127 144 126 126 131 129 110
MIN 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
1  dehydrogenase activity
2  protease activity
3  dimethylsulphoxide reductase activity
4 adenosine triphosphate content
5  microbial biomass nitrogen (chloroform fumigation extraction)
6  microbial biomass carbon (substrate induced respiration)
7  organic carbon
8  total nitrogen

 

 

Positive effects of organic fertilization with preparations have been observed in the subsoil, too.
At 25-55 cm depth, the organic carbon content and dehydrogenase activity have been higher in the manure treatment with preparations than in the mineral treatment.

 

Organic carbon content and dehydrogenase activity by manure fertilization with (CMBD) and without (CM) biodynamic preparations and with mineral fertilization (MIN) in topsoil and subsoil (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 are significantly different (p<0.05)
3 dehydrogenase activity (µg TPF 10g -1 24 h-1)
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