New data on the effective organic matter input from crop residues

Stage

New data on the effective organic matter input from crop residues

An organic matter balance at field level is set up with data on input and output of organic matter. Main items on the input side are the amounts of matter delivered by crop residues and organic manures. Only organic matter that is present in the soil one year after its addition is taken into account (the so-called effective organic matter). On the output side of the balance, an estimation of decomposition of organic matter in soil is included.

Many data on the effective organic matter input from crop residues have been collected, most of which were assessed decades ago. We want to explore if these data are still valid or need to be updated. The project will start in autumn 2018, when organic and conventional crops are harvested at Broekemahoeve in the province of Flevoland.

A major task to assess the effective matter of crop residues is to collect them in the field. This first step also involves the drying and weighing of the resideus. With these data a first attempt to improve organic matter balances can be made. The second step is to analyse the residues samples for carbon content, and to assess their humification coefficients. Than evaluation can be made of what constitutes the major improvement (if any) on the input side of the balance: dry matter content, C-content, and/or humification coefficient.

Requirements: hand-on mentality, accuracy with numbers, some excel experience

More information
Student level BSc/ Msc
Start date September/ October 2018
Duration 3 months
Location Lelystad
Compensation 250/ month (ride sharing from/ to Wageningen is possible)