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Open AccessArticle

Distillery Anaerobic Digestion Residues as Fertilizers for Field Vegetable Crops: Performance and Efficiency in Mid-term Successions

1
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
2
Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Science (Di4A), University of Udine, Via delle Scienze 206, 33100 Udine, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(8), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9080463
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Fertilization in Vegetable Crops)
Understanding nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crops plays an important role in achieving sustainable production. Intensive agriculture has adversely affected social and environmental issues worldwide over the past few decades. Anaerobic digested residues from the distillery industry (DADRs) can be used in agriculture, thereby recycling valuable organic materials that can supply organic N. An experiment using DADRs in horticulture was conducted to evaluate the performance of different treatments on yield and NUE. The experiment was conducted for five years, growing lettuce, cauliflower, chicory, potato, Swiss chard, catalogna chicory, tomato, pepper, and melon in two different succession schemes. Five fertilization treatments were designed, including a mineral fertilization control, in which nitrogen (N) was supplied according to standard recommendations in the area. The other treatments were an unfertilized control and three treatments in which 50%, 75%, and 100% of the N were supplied by DADRs and the remaining with common chemical fertilizer. Major findings were: (1) Spring–summer crops showed the lowest N-uptake and N recovery, during this period high chemical fertilization can cause environmental problems such as N leaching, and fertilization with 100% DADRs is a viable alternative; (2) fall–winter crops can be fertilized by combining 50% mineral N and 50% organic N, supplying the nutrients required by the crops during the growing cycle. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic fertilizer; nitrogen use efficiency; sustainable horticulture; agronomic efficiency; physiological efficiency; apparent recovery efficiency organic fertilizer; nitrogen use efficiency; sustainable horticulture; agronomic efficiency; physiological efficiency; apparent recovery efficiency
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Nicoletto, C.; Dalla Costa, L.; Sambo, P.; Zanin, G. Distillery Anaerobic Digestion Residues as Fertilizers for Field Vegetable Crops: Performance and Efficiency in Mid-term Successions. Agronomy 2019, 9, 463.

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