ISSN: 1659-2751

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Development and Evaluation of Intelligent Fertilizers based on an Organic Matrix

Abstract

The constant increase in the use of fertilizers for crop production, together with the recent increase in fertilizer costs, has generated negative implications related to the increase in the cost of food production as well as an increase in environmental pollution. The present study consisted in the development and evaluation of intelligent organic fertilizers. Two fertilizers were formulated: one of vermicompost, CNPK-Vermi, and the other a peat based fertilizer, CNPK‑Peat. These fertilizers had a composition of 4 % N, 10 % P2O5, and 10 % K2O. The fertilizer formulated with vermicompost contained 6 % C and that which was formulated with peat contain 14 % C. First, the fertilizers were evaluated in lysimeters; the intelligent fertilizers were compared to a chemical fertilizer with the same concentration of nutrients. A release curve for NH4+ y NO3 was generated which showed that the intelligent fertilizer release rate remained high until the end of the evaluation, seven weeks. Additionally, a field study was conducted, comparing the two intelligent fertilizers with the chemical fertilizer and a control, without fertilzer. Two cycles of cultivation were completed with a single application of fertilizer in the first cycle. The crops fertilized with CNPK-Turba and CNPK‑Lombri obtained more biomass as compared to the control, in the first cycle. In the second cycle, statistically significant differences (p≤0.05) also were found, in favor of intelligent fertilizers. These evaluations showed that the fertilizers developed have slow release properties.

Key words: carbon, slow release fertilizer, vermicompost, nitrogen, pellet, peat.

Artículo en español (pdf) (133)