Browsing by Author "Orendo-Smith, Richard"
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- ItemSanjeevak as a source of nutrients and phytohormones for production and propagation of plants(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03) Orendo-Smith, Richard; Rozanov, Andrei Borisovich; Kate, T.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Soil Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The use of cowdung as an organic fertilizer in Asian and African agriculture is an ancient practice. This explains its renewed interest, partly due to the financial inability of most farmers to purchase agrochemicals but also the ever increasing need to adopt greener technologies that do not adversely affect soil health, water quality, biodiversity and promote sustained or even increased food production. In this context, many innovative farmers have developed their own novel technologies based on the use of local resources. One such innovation is Sanjeevak (a mix of cow dung, cow urine, water and a handful of sugar); which showed very promising boosting effect on crop productivity. However, very little scientific work has so far been conducted to evaluate its effect as an organic product for soil amendments. The present study was subdivided into three main objectives. (i) To assess the fertilizing value, human health and ecological risk profiles of Sanjeevak; (ii) To screen Sanjeevak for phytohormones content using Salkowski colorimetric method and liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry (LC-MS) (iii) To evaluate Sanjeevak application at various rates on growth parameters and yield of various crops cultivated in glasshouse and field conditions. Sanjeevak was assessed for its micro and macro nutrients contents. The analysis showed the presence of micronutrients such as Mg, Na, Ca and Zn at variable concentrations and phosphorus (P) (0.007%) and potassium (K) (0.063%). However, Sanjeevak content in total nitrogen (TN) (0.11%), and total organic carbon (TOC) (0.71%) was very low; suggesting that it may be a viable source of nutrients only if applied at higher and consistent rates or alternatively by improving its formulation. Also, Sanjeevak was analysed for its microbiological characteristics and level of heavy metals content in comparison to the strictest legislations that regulate the use and application of wastewater sludge to agricultural land in South Africa. The findings showed that heavy metals, which averaged from 0.03±0.01 for Arsenic (As) to 4.74±0.92 mg/kg for Zinc (Zn) and feacal coliform was estimated at 1.2×102 CFU/g dry matter measured were considerably below the threshold (for Arsenic between 40 to 75 mg/kg dry weight; for Zinc between 2800 to 7500 mg/kg dry weight) and faecal coliform bacteria between 1000 to 1×107 CFU/g dry weight for application as a source of soil amendments. Studies investigating the detection and concentration of phytohormones in Sanjeevak were carried out. In using the Salkowski colorimetric method to detect and quantify auxins from Sanjeevak and its composites (cow urine and dung), the results showed the presence of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) at variable concentrations ranging from 20.38±2.1 ppm in cow urine, 20.1±6.6 ppm in cow dung, Sanjeevak 17.90±1.1 ppm to up to 138.31±12.6 ppm when LTRP was added to Sanjeevak bacterial cultures and by varying parameters such as incubaton time and temperature. Screening of the above mentioned samples for IAA using LC-MS analysis validated earlier findings. Further analysis of these results strongly emphasized the influence of bacteria in Sanjeevak in producing IAA. Trials were carried out both in the glasshouse and the field. In the greenhouse, different Sanjeevak application rates consistently confirmed its root promoting effect on crops such as tomato, cucumber and grapevine and increased wheat yield independent of the nutrients it contains. Marginal increases were recorded between treatments under field conditions; for example compost and compost + Sanjeevak 20.35 and 20.61 t/ha; and 2.46 and 2.60 t/ha compared to the control 11.67 t/ha and 1.29 t/ha respectively for tomato and maize. However, statistical analysis of the results obtained, revealed that there was no difference between treatments (control, compost, Sanjeevak and compost + Sanjeevak) for the same crop tested due to the high coefficient of variation of the data. Therefore, the use of Sanjeevak as an organic source of soil amendments may be considered as a cheaper alternative to effective microorganisms (EM) technology made up of local and natural resources. As observed in the study, it may be best used in combination with a reliable source of plant nutrients.