A comparative study of organic fertilizers with a high, effective nitrogen to total phosphorus ratio (Neff / Ptot) as a basis for developing productive and sustainable market gardening fertilization strategies

Christine Landry, researcher

Christine Landry

Researcher, agr., Ph.D.

418 643-2380
ext 640

Contact Christine Landry

Caroline Côté

Researcher, agr., Ph.D.

450 653-7368
ext 310

Contact Caroline Côté

Description

Market gardening crops have high nitrogen requirements. Organic growers, in particular, are hampered by a lack of access to efficient and sustainable nitrogen fertilization options. Most animal fertilizers currently in use are not very effective and are loaded with phosphorus. Commercial products, such as Biosol and Actisol, have gained in popularity, but still contain significant levels of phosphorus and are expensive. Farmers have turned to purchasing alfalfa meal pellets, which have better Neff: / Ptot  ratios. In this study, we will test these pellets in a broccoli crop planted on plastic-covered irrigated mounds and we will compare them with the two organic fertilizer brands mentioned above, in addition to a control treatment in which no nitrogen is added. The knowledge obtained will contribute to the development of integrated fertilization strategies that will enable farmers to make optimal use of these fertilizer products, while maintaining their market competitiveness.

Objective(s)

  • Characterize the nutrient and labile carbon content and resistance to mineralization of two commonly used farm fertilizers, as well as a new product on the market.
  • Measure treatment impacts on crop growth, NPK nutrition, and total and marketable crop yields.
  • Compare the cost of providing the necessary amounts of each fertilizer, in relation to its nitrogen efficiency.

From 2019 to 2021

Project duration

Market gardening

Activity areas

Fertilizer management, Food safety and quality

Services

This project will help determine whether alfalfa meal pellets are an effective organic farming fertilizer.

Partners

Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation – Prime-Vert Program | Club Bio-Action | Éco-Luzerne

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