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Date Last Edited:  08/27/2001


C. H. Van den Berghe1 and N. V. Hue2
1. Project on the Fertilization of Agrosystems for Food Crops on High Altitudes of Burundi,  Bujumbura, Burundi
2. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

Compost Science & Utilization, (1999), Vol. 7, No. 2, 40-46.

The adverse effect of soil acidity on plant growth and yield, and the scarcity of commercial agricultural lime (CaCO3) in Burundi necessitated a search for alternative liming materials. Thus, the liming potential of locally made composts was evaluated in a greenhouse experiment, using an acid Oxisol with sorghum (Sorghum vulgaris) as a test plant. Application rates were 10 g/kg (approximately 20 ton/ha) for the composts and 0, 0.85 and 1.70 g/kg for Verrundi lime. Results showed that the application of lime increased plant growth by reducing exchangeable Al, and by increasing soil pH and available P. So did the composts, which were more effective in correcting soil acidity when they were fresh and enriched with some nutrients during the composting process. Apparently, organic molecules produced by the composts helped to chelate and/ or precipitate Al, making the soil more suitable for plant growth. Specifically, an application of 20 ton/ha of composts was equivalent to 0.6- 1.7 ton CaCO3/ha, depending on the compost quality.

For more information regarding this page, please send e-mail to nvhue@hawaii.edu.

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