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Short-term effect of soil disturbance by mechanical weeding on plant available nutrients in an organic vs conventional rotations experiment

Owen, D; LeBlanc, S and Fillmore, S A E (2006) Short-term effect of soil disturbance by mechanical weeding on plant available nutrients in an organic vs conventional rotations experiment. 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. 301-305.

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The question whether soil disturbance from mechanical weeding in organic systems affects nutrient release from organic matter in compost-amended soil was examined in a long-term organic-versus-conventional rotational cropping system experiment over three years. The experimental design included continuous snap beans, and a fully phased snap beans/fall rye crop rotation sequence. Treatments were combinations of yearly applied fertiliser (synthetic fertiliser, 1× compost, 3× compost) and weed control (herbicide, mechanical weeding). The 1× compost rate was calculated to deliver the equivalent of 50 kg N ha-1: equal to the rate ofN in the synthetic fertiliser treatments. Ion exchange membranes were buried for 24 hours following mechanical weeding in bean plots. Adsorbed ions were then eluted and quantified. Available ammonium-nitrogen was not affected byweeding treatment, but nitrate-nitrogen was consistently less in mechanically weeded plots than in plots treated with herbicide. Principal component analysis of NH4-N, NO3-N, P, K, Ca and Mg availabilities showed distinct groupings of treatments according to fertility treatment rather than weeding treatment. The effect of cropping sequence on available nutrients was pronounced (P ≤ 0.001) only in plots amended with synthetic fertilisers.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Mechanical weeding, compost, organic matter, nitrate, ion exchange
Subjects: Soil > Nutrient turnover
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Crop husbandry > Soil tillage
Research affiliation: Canada
UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2006
Deposited By: MILLMAN, Mrs Carol A
ID Code:10258
Deposited On:20 Dec 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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