Optimizing Nitrogen Management in Food and Energy Production and Environmental Protection: 2nd International Nitrogen Conference 2001View this Special Issue
Research Article | Open Access
Alternate Nitrogen Amendments for Organic Fertilizers
The use of compost or manure in agriculture as an organic source of nutrients is common in many tropical, developing countries like Nigeria. One of the drawbacks of such materials is their low nitrogen (N) content (=1% N). Farmers commonly use chemical N fertilizers such as urea, calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), and NPK formulations to obtain better crop growth and yield. These chemical supplements may have a negative impact on the environment through nitrate leaching into water, leading to eutrophication of surface waters that can affect public health. Gliricidia sepium, a fast-growing, tropical, perennial hedge plant was tested as a source of N in organo-mineral fertilizer formulations. Average nutrient content of Gliricidia is 3.8% N, 0.32% P, 1.8% K, 0.8% Ca, and 0.2% Mg. Using a sand culture and Amaranthus caudatus as a test crop, it was shown that amending commercial composts with 30% Gliricidia prunings would benefit many small-scale farmers and control environmental pollution.