The effect of using quail litter biochar on soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) production.

Tawadchai Suppadit1*, Nittaya Phumkokrak2, and Pakkapong Poungsuk3

Biochars can be used as soil amendments for improving soil properties and crop yield. The objective of this research was to study the plant growth, yield, yield components, and seed quality, including nutrients and heavy metals (Pb, Cd, and Hg), in the soybean plant (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) and soil. The experiment was conducted from September 2010 to January 2011 in a greenhouse located in the Dan Khun Thot District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. The research comprised six treatments with four replicates in a completely randomized design. Quail litter biochar (QLB) at rates of 0, 24.6, 49.2, 73.8, 98.4 and 123 g per pot mixture were provided to soybean cv. Chiang Mai 60. The results showed that QLB could be used as a soil fertility improvement and amendment for soybean production with an optimum rate of 98.4 g per pot mixture, which gave the best performance in terms of the number of nodes, height, DM accumulation, total yield, and seed quality. After the experiment, the nutrient contents in the soil increased as the QLB content increased, but the heavy metal residues in the leaves and seeds did not change. However, QLB at levels higher than 98.4 g per pot mixture is not advisable because QLB is alkaline in nature, which may affect soil pH.

Keywords: Crop yield, element, nutrient uptake, pyrolysis, soil fertility.
1Graduate School of Social and Environmental Development, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10240, Thailand. *Corresponding author (stawadchai@yahoo.com).
2Duangkamol Farm, Hin Dard Sub-District, Dan Khun Thot District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30210, Thailand.
3King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Faculty of Industrial Education, Ladkrabang, Bangkok