Effect of Nitrate Enriched Biochar on Cassava (ManihotesculentaCrantz.) Growth and Fertilization Efficiency
Field experiment was carried out to study the effect of enriched biochar on cassava growth and soil qualities. The experiment was carried out on severely eroded soil at Batu, Malang, Indonesia. The treatments tested were: (i) control (without nitrogen without biochar), (ii) No biochar with nitrogen, Nitrogen; (iii) poultry litter biochar, PLbiochar; (iv) corncob biochar, Ccbiochar; (v) Nitrogen enriched poultry litter biochar, and (vi) Nitrogen enriched corncob biochar. These treatments were arranged in a Randomized Block Design with 4 replications. Biochar was enriched with Nitrate acid. To observe the efficiency of nitrogen fertilization, nitrogen content in aerial biomass and tuber was also measured. The experimental results showed that cassava planted on nitrogen enriched biochar soil grew faster and yielded a higher aerial biomass than that of planted on non biochar and biochar treated soil. They also produced a higher tuber yields compared to the cassava grown in non biochar and biochar treated soils. The highest yield (40.35/ha) was obtained by cassava grown in nitrogen enriched poultry biochar, but this was not significantly different with that of grown in nitrogen enriched corncob biochar (36.72). The yield of non biochar (control), poultry biochar and enriched biochar was 13.29, 32.42 ton/ha, and 40.35 ton/ha respectively. Biochar and enriched biochar application increased nitrogen fertilization efficiency. However, application of enriched biochar was much more efficient than when biochar and nitrogen were applied separately. This indicated that biochar, regardless of its feedstuffs, can be used as the carrier for nitrogen fertilizer.
Index terms - Nitrogen Carrier, Slow Release Fertilizer, Soil Amendment, Organic Farming