Advances in soil amendment: vermicomposting, alumina refinery residue and cotton production in Australia

Fergusson, Lee (2016) Advances in soil amendment: vermicomposting, alumina refinery residue and cotton production in Australia. International Journal of Environmental & Agriculture Research, 2 (2). pp. 1-11. ISSN 2454-1850

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Abstract

Cotton production is an important primary industry in Australia. However, the industry faces several challenges, including access to fresh water, disposal of cotton waste, and the ability of Australian soil to sustain pesticide-intensive cultivation. Research programs into a variety of techniques aimed at amending soil with fertilisers, particularly those produced from novel organic sources rather than industrial fertilisers, have also been developed. This paper therefore considered the relationship of worm castings produced from a municipal vermicomposting facility and a modified form of alumina refinery residue (MARR) as a possible nutrient source for cotton farming, and examined their combined potential as a biological fertiliser to amend agricultural soil and improve cotton yields. The study found the addition of MARR enhanced the chemical and biological properties of worm castings, for example improving caution exchange capacity and increasing the total microbial biomass of castings by 38%, and the combined effect of applying 240 L/ha of this non-traditional organic fertiliser increased cotton yields by 9% over a nine-week growing period.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2018 04:26
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2018 04:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: cotton farming, vermicomposting, worm castings, alumina refinery residue, soil amendment
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070306 Crop and Pasture Nutrition
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34567

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