International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

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Composting Method of Agricultural Refuse
and Effects of Compost on the Wheat and Corn Yield in Iranian Drylands

Akbar Gandomkar

Department of Soil and Water Research
Isfahan Agricultural and Natural Resource Research Center, Isfahan, Iran



Composting is a biological treatment in which aerobic thermophilic and mesophilic microorganisms transform the most easily biodegradable organic matter (OM) into CO2 and H2O, as well as into more stable OM such as humic material. Burning of crop residues terminates soil microorganisms, soil OM, salinization and increased soil erosion. In this research the farmers, experienced the aerobic composting method of wheat, corn, sugar-can refuse (were used as composting raw materials) and compost effects on wheat and corn yield. The fields located in southern Iran. Composting was done for 90 days and parameters monitored over this period included temperature, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), C/N ratio and inorganic N. Changes in temperature, pH and EC during composting were consistent with those generally observed with other composting systems. Plant residues cut into to small parts. Fresh animal manure (10%) added to residues as source of microorganisms. The C to N ratio adjusted between 20 – 30 by urea application. Water was then added until a moisture content of approximately 100% (wet basis) was reached. Moisture adjustment was done whenever the moisture content of compost mixture dropped below 80%. For aerobic decomposition, the residues were converted every two weeks. The compost improved growth and yield of wheat, corn and potato. Wheat seed yield increased 20% in one field and 13.4% in another field. Also corn seed yield increased 8.7% in one field by compost application. Compost residual effects were determined significantly in the second crops. Producing different kinds of compost and subsidizing extension compost using in the country and improved soil organic matter.

Keywords: Agricultural refuse, compost, wheat , corn, yield, drylands