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Organic apple orchards benefit from green compost applications
Date:7/21/2014

fects on soil organic matter, carbon, and nitrogen concentration, and soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration.

The results showed that the use of various groundcover management systems as an orchard floor management tool can increase soil organic matter, total soil, and total nitrogen mineral soils, thereby improving soil quality. The greatest increases in these factors were associated with applications of green compost, which the authors say was a result of accelerated formation of carbon- and nitrogen-rich soil organic matter.

"Compared with conventional apple orchards managed with herbicides and fertilizers, green compost, wood chip, and shredded paper treatment may result in improved soil quality," the authors concluded. "However, care should be taken in organic apple production to ensure nutrients are not over applied, thereby protecting soil and water resources and maintaining the health of the orchard ecosystem."

According to Rom, the study has implications for sustainably and conventionally managed orchards as well as organic orchards, and demonstrates the sustainability of organically managed systems.


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

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