ISSN: 1659-2751

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Effect of the Application of Compost Produced from Pineapple Leaves on the Production of Corn (Zea mays)

Abstract

At harvest, pineapple production in Costa Rica generates about 300 Mg/ha of aerial biomass residues. Compost produced from pineapple aerial biomass was previously developed and the effectiveness of its use in crop production needs to be established. The effectiveness of the use of the pineapple compost in corn production was evaluated in a greenhouse and a field study. In both studies, compost was applied at rates of (0, 5, 10 and 20) Mg/ha. Foliar biomass and its N, P and K contents were determined eight weeks after planting in the greenhouse study and foliar and grain biomasses and their N, P and K contents were determined at harvest in the field study. In both studies, chemical fertilizer (FERT) was applied at the recommended rate for corn production. In the greenhouse, pineapple compost produced significantly lower foliar biomass than FERT but no significant differences in N, P and K contents were found among treatments. The results of this study suggest that a time of eight weeks is too short to evaluate the potential of the pineapple compost to produce biomass in comparison with FERT. In the field study, application of 10 Mg/ha of pineapple compost produced a grain biomass equal to 20 Mg/ha or FERT but significantly higher than 5 Mg/ha. No significant differences in N, P and K contents were found among treatments. In conclusion, use of 10 Mg/ha of pineapple compost is a viable alternative to the use chemical fertilizer in crop production.

Key words: corn foliar biomass, corn grain biomass, pineapple compost.

Artículo en español (pdf) (118)