In situ olive mill residual co-composting for soil organic fertility restoration and by-product sustainable reuse

  • Teresa Casacchia CRA, Centro di Ricerca per l’Olivicoltura e l’Industria Olearia, Italy.
  • Adriano Sofo | adriano.sofo@libero.it Università della Basilicata, Italy.
  • Samanta Zelasco CRA, Centro di Ricerca per l’Olivicoltura e l’Industria Olearia, Italy.
  • Enzo Perri CRA, Centro di Ricerca per l’Olivicoltura e l’Industria Olearia, Italy.
  • Pietro Toscano CRA, Centro di Ricerca per l’Olivicoltura e l’Industria Olearia, Italy.

Abstract

The addition of organic matter in the form of compost improves overall physical, chemical and biological properties of soils but, to be really sustainable, the composting process should be carried out using the by-products available in situ. Two different soils of a Mediterranean olive orchard, one managed traditionally (NAS) and the other amended with compost (AS), were investigated in a two-year experiment. Increases in total organic matter, total nitrogen and pH, were detected in AS if compared to NAS. Significant increases in total and specific microbial counts were observed in AS, with a clear amelioration of microbiological soil quality. The results demonstrated that soil amendment using compost deriving from olive mill by-products can be an important agricultural practice for supporting and stimulating soil microorganisms and, at the same time, for re-using these byproducts, so avoiding their negative environmental impact.

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Author Biographies

Teresa Casacchia, CRA, Centro di Ricerca per l’Olivicoltura e l’Industria Olearia
Research Assistant
Adriano Sofo, Università della Basilicata

Dipartimento di Scienze dei Sistemi Colturali, Forestali e dell'Ambiente

 

Published
2012-06-04
Section
Short communications
Keywords:
compost, Olea europaea L., olive mill wastewater, olive pomace, pruning residues, soil microbial fertility
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How to Cite
Casacchia, T., Sofo, A., Zelasco, S., Perri, E., & Toscano, P. (2012). In situ olive mill residual co-composting for soil organic fertility restoration and by-product sustainable reuse. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 7(2), e23. https://doi.org/10.4081/ija.2012.e23