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Potential uses for bracken (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn) in organic agrculture

Donnelly, E; Robertson, J and Robinson, D (2006) Potential uses for bracken (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn) in organic agrculture. In: Atkinson, C; Ball, B; Davies, D H K; Rees, R; Russell, G; Stockdale, E A; Watson, C A; Walker, R and Younie, D (Eds.) Aspects of Applied Biology 79, What will organic farming deliver? COR 2006, Association of Applied Biologists, pp. 289-290.

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Summary

Bracken is a weed species due to its toxic nature and adverse effects on agriculture and ecology. This poster reviews research into historical uses for fronds and litter harvested as part of organically approved control methods. The use of bracken as an over winter mulch reduced losses of nitrogen and potassium from bare soil and maintained soil temperatures. Bracken litter was found to be a viable biofuel, with a calorific value comparable to wood and low ash and alkali metal contents. The contents of frond ash were investigated, with high concentrations of potassium found giving them a value as organic fertiliser. The addition of frond ash to soil significantly increased clover growth and number of nodules. The addition of frond ash to soil significantly increased the yield of saleable main crop potatoes. These finding have shown that bracken has a value especially within organic agriculture.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Bracken, mulch, ash fertiliser, potassium, clover, potatoes
Subjects: Soil > Nutrient turnover
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Root crops
Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Research affiliation: UK > Other organizations
UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2006
Deposited By: MILLMAN, Mrs Carol A
ID Code:10254
Deposited On:20 Dec 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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