Special Issue "Impact of Biochar and Compost on Soil Quality and Crop Yield"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil and Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Tomasz Głąb
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Machinery Exploitation, Ergonomics and Production Processes, University of Agriculture in Krakow, ul. Balicka 116B, 31-149 Krakow, Poland
Interests: soil physics; soil water retention; grassland; turfgrass; organic soil amendments; root morphology; organic farming

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is widely recognized that composting and pyrolysis are two processes for reducing organic waste storage, with products used as soil amendments. Compost application has a beneficial impact on the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils that is reflected in crop yields. However, compost application creates some risks, e.g., water repellency or heavy metal contamination, especially when municipal wastes or sewage sludge are used as feedstock. During the past decade, biochar has been recognized as a very promising soil amendment, resulting in higher soil quality and carbon sequestration. Biochar is characterized by high sorption capacity, which benefits plants by reducing the availability of heavy metals in soil. However, the high sorption of biochar may result in nutrient deficiency and further inhibition of plant growth. Little information is available concerning the long-term effects of compost and biochar application; the effects of their combined usage (including co-composting); and the interactions between feedstocks, soil characteristics and crop species.

This Special Issue will focus on the “Impact of Biochar and Compost on Soil Quality and Crop Yield”. Original research, reviews, or opinions on compost, biochar, compost–biochar mixtures or the application of their co-composting products in crop production are welcome. Long-term experiments and field trials with different soils or crops are exceptionally valuable.

Dr. Tomasz Głąb
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Waste management
  • Biomass
  • Municipal wastes
  • Pyrolysis
  • Co-composting
  • Soil quality
  • Crop production

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Potential of Biochar to Alternate Soil Properties and Crop Yields 3 and 4 Years after the Application
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060889 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Several studies have reported that biochar can improve soil properties which are linked with higher crop yields and this effect is long-term. This paper aimed to study the effects of biochar (0, 10 and 20 t ha−1) and its combinations with [...] Read more.
Several studies have reported that biochar can improve soil properties which are linked with higher crop yields and this effect is long-term. This paper aimed to study the effects of biochar (0, 10 and 20 t ha−1) and its combinations with N-fertilization (zero, first and second level of N-fertilization) after 3 and 4 years of its application on improving soil characteristics of loamy Haplic Luvisol and crop yields (Dolná Malanta, Slovakia). The results indicated an increase in soil pH (+7%), improvement in sorption properties (hydrolytic acidity decreased by 11%, sum of basic cations and base saturation increased by 20% and 5%, respectively) and soil organic carbon rose by 27% with increasing biochar rate in the soil. N-fertilization applied to biochar treatments was a stabilizing moment in C sequestration even in the case of its labile forms. Overall, humus stability and quality were not significantly changed, however in biochar treatments without N-fertilization, the humus stability and quality decreased 3 and 4 years after biochar application. Yield parameters differed with relation to climate conditions during both vegetation crop seasons, however the combination of 20 t ha−1 of biochar with the first and second level of N-fertilization had the highest potential to increase the grain yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Biochar and Compost on Soil Quality and Crop Yield)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of ZnO Nanoparticles and Biochar of Rice Straw and Cow Manure on Characteristics of Contaminated Soil and Sunflower Productivity, Oil Quality, and Heavy Metals Uptake
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060790 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Contaminated soils can cause a potential risk into the health of the environment and soil as well as the quality and productivity of plants. The objectives of our study were to investigate the integrative advantageous effects of foliar ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) (60 mg [...] Read more.
Contaminated soils can cause a potential risk into the health of the environment and soil as well as the quality and productivity of plants. The objectives of our study were to investigate the integrative advantageous effects of foliar ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) (60 mg Zn NPs L−1), rice straw biochar (RSB; 8.0 t ha−1), cow-manure biochar (CMB, 8.0 t ha−1), and a combination thereof (50% of each) on sunflowers grown in agricultural land irrigated with polluted wastewater for the long term (≈50 years). The availability of heavy metals (HMs) in soil, HMs accumulation in whole biomass aboveground, growth, productivity, and quality characteristics of the sunflower were investigated. The combination treatment significantly minimized the availability of HMs in soil, and, consequently, substantially lessened the uptake of HMs by the sunflower, compared to treatments of ZnO NPs and control (i.e., untreated soil). The application of the combination treatment reduced the availability of Pb, Cr, Cu, and Cd in the soil by 78.6%, 115.3%, 153.3%, and 178.5% in comparison to untreated plots post-harvest, respectively. Compared to untreated plots, it also reduced the Pb, Cr, Cu, and Cd in plant biomass by 1.13, 5.19, 3.88, and 0.26 mg kg−1 DM, respectively. Furthermore, combination treatment followed by biochar as an individual application caused a significant improvement in sunflower productivity and quality in comparison to untreated soil. For instance, seed yield ha−1, 100-seed weight, and number of seeds per head obtained from the combination treatment was greater than the results obtained from the untreated plots by 42.6%, 47.0%, and 50.4%, respectively. In summary, the combined treatment of NPs and both RSB and CMB is recommended as a result of their positive influence on sunflower oil quality and yield as well as on minimizing the negative influences of HMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Biochar and Compost on Soil Quality and Crop Yield)
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