|Title||Alternative solutions for soil fertility management to overcome the challenges of the Mediterranean organic agriculture: Tomato plant case study|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Cavoski, Ivana, Al Chami Ziad, Jarrar Mohammad, and Mondelli Donato|
|Journal||Soil, Land Care & Environmental Research|
Actual regulation on organic farming allows the use of a limited range of fertilizers and soil amendments in order to meet nutritional needs of the plants. Before advocating alternative strategies for fertility management their performance should be evaluated. An open field experiment was conducted in order to study the effects of different fertilization scenarios on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill, cv. San Marzano) production and soil chemical properties. The fertilization scenarios were based on the combinations of amendments (composts and biochar) with organic and/or mineral fertilizers in order to balance plant nutrient requirements. Amendments were produced from agricultural and food-industrial wastes available in the region. Most of the soil parameters remained invariable at the end of experiment, only available phosphorus slightly increased in the treatments where organic fertilizers were applied. All treatments significantly increased the yields over control and biochar alone. Different compost types showed promising results in terms of tomato production and quality, whereas biochar did not. Our study demonstrated that recycling of nutrients from on-farm or food-industry wastes might be a good strategy to increase productivity and sustainability of Mediterranean organic agriculture, when integrated fertility management is adapted. However, more studies are needed to evaluate their effect in long-term experiments.