ISA team recently launched a new field experiment at Cholda Farm (Santarem, Portugal) under the research line “Use of organic materials for fertilization of maize growth under conventional or no tillage practice” of the Nutri2cycle project. The use of organic fertilisers decreases the use of mineral fertilisers like rock phosphate. Besides, the application of organic fertiliser helps to sequester carbon in the soil and close the carbon cycle. On the other hand, soil conservation practices as no-tillage has a strong impact on carbon sequestration and also increase the nutrient use efficiency besides better use of water. The main objective of this new experiment is to promote the use of organic fertilizers (compost and pig slurry) for cereals, in this specific case study, Maize, production combined with soil conservation practices. A large scale experiment was set up in March in a commercial farm. The use of composted chicken manure and pig slurry as substitute of mineral fertilizer for basal fertilization is studied in three different fields with different management practices: 1) a sandy soil receiving compost as basal fertilization for more than 10 years; 2) a sandy loam soil with no previous application of organic materials; 3) a sandy loam soil with no previous application of organic materials and under no tillage practices for more than 10 years. All field operations were performed by farmers following regular practices. Greenhouse gas emissions (methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide) will be monitored during the whole maize growth. The yield and plant quality obtained with each treatment and in each field will be evaluated at harvest. Furthermore, soil sampling will be performed at harvest for a full characterization (physical chemical characteristics with special emphasis on NPC and enzymatic activity).
An open day will be organized in September to host a meeting of the Portuguese NTF.