In recent years, in the literature, there have been frequent reports of insuffcient amounts of copper in the diet of various groups of the inhabitants of our country. This is disturbing as the adequate input of copper is signifcant from the point of view of prevention of cardiovascular diseases. At the same time, grain of wheat cultivated in Poland is characterized by low content of this element. Considering that the main source of Cu is bread and cereal preparations, the important issue is to increase the content of Cu in the grain of wheat. If the defciency in the diet is accompanied by the defciencies in the soil, biofortifcation through fertilization is a favourable solution. Pot experiments have shown the pos-sibility to signifcantly increase Cu content in the grain of wheat as a result of soil fertilization with copper. It was also found that a small difference between the defciency and surplus of Cu in the grain may lead to some copper excess content, especially on the soils with low organic matter content. For this reason, biofortifcation of wheat with copper requires a precise determination of soil fertilization doses under the conditions of feld experiments.
The aim of the study was to compare the toleration of Poa pratensis, Lolium perenne and Festuca rubra to cadmium contamination as well as the phytoremediation potential of these three species of grass. The pot experiment was conducted in four replications in pots containing 2.0 kg of soil. The soil was contaminated with three doses of Cd – 30, 60 and 120 mg·kg−1. After two months, the aerial parts of plants were harvested. The roots were dug up, brushed off from the remaining soil and washed with water. The biomass was defined and the cadmium concentration was determined in aerial parts and roots. The phytoremediation potential of grasses was evaluated using biomass of grasses, bioaccumulation factor (BF) and translocation factor (TF). All three tested species of grasses had TF < 1 and BF-root > 1. It indicates their suitability for phytostabilisation and makes them unsuitable for phytoextraction of Cd from the soil. Comparing the usefulness of the tested grasses for phytoremediation has shown that the phytostabilisation potential of P. pratensis was lower than that of L. perenne and F. rubra. P. pratensis was distinguished by higher TF, smaller root biomass and lower tolerance for Cd excess in the soil in comparison with the two other test grasses. At the same time, L. perenne was characterised by the smallest decrease in biomass and the largest Cd accumulation in roots at the lowest dose of Cd. It indicates good usefulness for phytostabilisation of soils characterised by a relatively small pollution by cadmium.
To implement the Mehlich 3 method in Polish agro-chemical laboratories, limit values for deficiency of B, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn in soil for wheat were developed. The values were developed on the basis of 1921 fields with wheat, evenly distributed throughout Poland. Soil samples were collected from these fields in 2016, together with the plants growing on them, at the stage of stem elongation (BBCH 30/31). The concentration of micronutrients was determined in all soil and plant samples. In addition, pH, texture, and the content of organic carbon and available phosphorus were determined in soil samples. Moreover, grain yield after wheat harvest was estimated for all fields. Limit values were developed by two independent methods: 1) the regression equation method and 2) the so-called high yield method. In the first case, the limit microelement concentration in soil was calculated from the equation describing the relationship between the bioaccumulation factor (R/G) and a specific soil feature (n=1921). The bioaccumulation factor is the quotient of the concentration of a micronutrient in a plant (R) and its concentration in the soil (G) determined by the Mehlich 3 method. The equations were constructed using the Stagraphics program. For each micronutrient, 8 models were tested in search for the equation with the highest determination coefficient r2. Limit values were calculated after substituting the critical value of microelements in the plant (R) to the selected model and transforming the equation accordingly. The basis of the second method was to separate the “high yield group” ≥7.0 t ha−1 (n=578) from the entire data set. In this group, lower quintiles for the Mehlich 3-concentration of individual microelements in soil were calculated. The lower quintiles (QU1) were taken as limit values. It was assumed that QU1 is a good indicator of the lowest micronutrient concentration in the soil at which a yield of 7.0 t ha−1 or higher can be obtained. The comparison of the values calculated with the regression equations method and the high yield method showed their similarity, which confirmed the reliability of these values. The proposed values define the limit for low microelements concentration in soil determined with the Mehlich 3 method, below which wheat fertilization with these nutrients is recommended.
One possible way to improve the solubility of phosphate rock is by co-composting it with organic substances. Four variants of composts were made in a biomass composting bioreactor. Ground phosphate rock (GPR) and shredded barley straw, pine sawdust as well as beet pulp pellets were used as compost components. The four composts were different from one another in the type and amount of organic components. The composts were granulated in a pelleting press. Changes in the solubility of phosphorus were assessed via chemical analyses and P-recovery efficiency calculated from the data achieved in a pot experiment. Solubility of ground phosphate rock was increased resulting from co-composting with organic substances, which meant that bioavailability of phosphorus increased. All the tested composts were characterized by a higher ratio of ammonium citrate soluble phosphorus to total phosphorus than non-composted GPR. Co-composting GPR with all the tested organic components yielded better effects than composting it with straw alone. The four composts were characterized by a slow release of P, which justifies our expectation that they will produce residual effects in the years following their application.
The aim of the study was to develop limit values for low microelement concentration in the soil, determined with the use of Mehlich 3 extractant for assessing their deficits in rapeseed crops. The values were prepared on the basis of 1944 fields with rapeseed, covering the whole Poland. In 2017, the samplers of Polish agro-chemical laboratories took soil samples and corresponding plant samples at the BBCH 30/31 stage. In the plant samples, the concentration of microelements was determined, and in the soil samples, apart from microelements, also pH, texture and the concentration of organic carbon and available phosphorus, were determined. Moreover, for each field, data on rapeseed yield were collected. Limit values were determined by two independent methods: 1) the method of regression equations and 2) the so-called high yield method. In the first case, the limit microelement concentration in the soil was calculated from the equation describing the relationship between the R/G bioaccumulation coefficient and a specific soil feature (n=1944). The bioaccumulation coefficient is a quotient of the concentration of a microelement in a plant (R) and its concentration in the soil determined by the Mehlich 3 (G) method. Limit values were calculated after substituting the critical concentration of microelements in the plant (R) to the equation, and subsequently, an appropriate conversion of the equation. The second method was based on the separation of a group of high yields ≥4.0 t ha−1 (n=755) from the whole data set. Then in this group, the lower quintiles (QU1) were calculated for the concentration of individual microelements in the soil determined in Mehlich 3 extract and adopted as limit values. It was found that QU1 is a good indicator of the lowest microelement concentration in the soil at which a yield of at least 4.0 t ha−1 can be obtained. The final limit values were worked out by averaging the values calculated by the equations and high yield method and their appropriate correction. In the combined soil sample collections for wheat and rapeseed (n=3865), the values were checked by evaluating the percentage of soils with microelement shortage separately for rape and wheat. The results of this evaluation were compared with the evaluation using the old system based on the 1 M HCl, which did not take into account the plant species.
The aim of this study was to compare two soil tests, 1 M HCl and Mehlich 3, to extract phytoavailable Cu forms from the soil. The evaluation of tests was performed on the basis of the correlation between soil Cu extracted by the studied extractants, and plant Cu or yield of a test plant. Data for the calculation originated from the microplot experiment with winter wheat. The experiment included three soils that differed in texture, pH level and copper content. Each of the soil was fertilized with five doses of Cu: 0, 4, 8, 12 and 16 kg • ha−1 against two pH levels. The results showed a strong correlation between the two soil tests and their similar usefulness for the extraction of copper available to plants. On the basis of Pearson correlation coefficients and equation of simple regression, it was found that Mehlich 3 was slightly more useful for heavier soils with higher pH, whereas 1 M HCl was better suitable for acid sandy soil.
For ground phosphate rock (GPR) to be applied as phosphorus fertilizer, the availability of phosphorus to plants needs to be improved. One possible way to achieve this is by adding sulphur, which will accelerate decomposition of phosphate in soil owing to the activation of microbiological processes. This study involved granulation of fertilizers composed of phosphate and sulphur mixed at 38:1 and 10:1 ratios and two analogous fertilizer variants but with added molasses as a source of organic carbon for sulphur bacteria. A small-scale industrial installation for production of multi-component fertilizers was used to make granular fertilizer by the compaction method. The granular fertilizers were then tested in an agricultural experiment. The fertilizer in which the phosphate to sulphur ratio was 10:1 produced better effects. Addition of molasses to the fertilizers did not improve their fertilizing capacity