Soil Quality and Nutrient Management
The ‘Soil Quality and Nutrient Management’ research program is mainly dedicated to the characterization and control of the intrinsic properties of both primary raw materials and organic by-products that offer potential to be used as secondary raw materials in the fertilizer industry. The ultimate goal of a thorough characterization or modification of these materials is to enhance their functionality and to enlarge their valorisation potential. More specifically, this research focuses on organic products, in both raw and finished forms, that are being used by or produced in the primary sector (i.e. agriculture and horticulture). Examples include fertilizers, soil amendments, potting media and other substrates.
- Development of new methods for chemical, physical and biological analyses of primary and secondary raw materials and finished products
- Establishment of relationships between the intrinsic characteristics of organic materials and their biochemical and microbiological effects on the environment
- Use of microbial community profiles as biological reporters of the quality of several organic materials (fertilizers, soil amendments, potting media, etc.)
- Applicability of different organic materials as a selective food base for specific functional groups of microorganisms
- Measuring and modeling of carbon and nitrogen mineralization rates from organic additions to the soil and adapting nutrient release patterns of organic fertilizers
Research conducted in this program integrates the expertise of other scientists within Scientia Terrae and periodically involves collaborators of university, government, and private research groups.
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Development of sustainable slow-release organic fertilizers
This project is the first step in the development of organic NOD-fertilizers (Nutrition On Demand), with a nutrient release pattern close to the actual needs of the plant.
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