The importance of organic fertilizers for crop quality

Tuesday, October 09, 2018 by

A new study compared the effects of chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers on the crop yield of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). They found that while synthetic fertilizers increased the amount of biomass, organic treatment improved the concentration of plant-based compounds that made up valuable essential oil in the aromatic plant.

The University of Iasi supported this study. The results appeared in the journal Industrial Crops and Products.

  • Synthetic and organic fertilizers were applied to soil before planting the Aromat de Buzau and Violet de Buzau cultivars of sweet basil. The chemical fertilizer was Nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NHK), while the organic fertilizers were biosolids, organic treatment, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF).
  • Plants treated with synthetic fertilizers produced the highest fresh yields. They also showed the highest levels of methyl chavicol.
  • Biosolid fertilizers resulted in the highest levels of eucalyptol, (+)-camphor, terpinene-4-ol, beta-caryophyllene, germacrene D, and theta-cadinol. The 20 ton per hectare (t/ha) dosage improved tau-cadinol and gamma-cadinene present in the Aromat de Buzau cultivar, while the 40 t/ha one raised eucalyptol and delta-guaiene levels.
  • Adding AMF to the soil increased the beta-linalool, limonene, and (+)-camphor levels for the Violet de Buzau cultivar. Methyl chavicol concentrations went down.
  • The organic treatment improved limonene, (+)-camphor, terpinene-4-ol, and beta-caryophyllene in the Violet de Buzau cultivar. However, it reduced methyl chavicol.

The study showed that the type of fertilizer used to improve the soil can directly affect the plant-based compounds that comprise the essential oil from sweet basil.

If you want to learn more tips when it comes to using organic fertilizers in your farm, check out Harvest.news.

Journal Reference:

Babahmad RA, Aghraz A, Boutafda A, Papazoglou EG, Tarantilis PA, Kanakis C, Hafidi M, Ouhdouch Y, Outzourhit A, Ouhammou A. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF ESSENTIAL OIL OF JATROPHA CURCAS L. LEAVES AND ITS ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITIES. Industrial Crops and Products. 2018;121:405–410. DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2018.05.030.



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