Standardization of protocol for the formulation of compost tea and its efficacy study on potato

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Amir Raza, Zahid Ali, Shahzada Asif Ali


Intensive use of chemical fertilizers to improve yield would be an unsustainable approach owing to ever rising prices and environmental concerns. Demand for organic vegetables particularly potato is on continuous rise. Situation demands to partly shift towards organic production that is constrained by non-availability of good quality organic fertilizers (compost and manures) along with transportation issues due to their bulk requirement. One viable option would be to use liquid extracts of compost but protocols for the formulation are not indigenously available. The present study was conducted with the objectives of standardizing the protocol for the development of indigenous compost tea from compost and testing its efficacy in improving potato yield. Intensive laboratory scale studies were conducted to provide the end-users with simple and easy to practice protocol for preparation, storage and field application of compost tea. It was found that compost tea brewed over a period of five days using compost and water in 1:5 ratio had highest nutritive value. Nitrogen content of compost tea tended to decline immediately after its production and at storage temperatures above 30oC. Findings from field experiments conducted during 2018-2020 at Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Peshawar, Pakistan depicted positive effect of compost tea application on yield enhancement and disease suppression in potato. The study provided data based evidence that use of indigenously developed compost tea would be economical for potato growers and this study will serve as baseline for further research in the field of compost tea development.

Keywords: Compost tea; Organic production; Potato; Protocol; Storage; Yield improvement

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