Wood residues amendment: A sustainable approach to improve soil quality for agriculture in the boreal region of Canada

Citation

Abstract in the18th international RAMIRAN conference 2023

Résumé en langage clair

Climate change has resulted in warmer temperatures and the potential for boreal regions of Canada to become more suitable for agricultural production. However, challenges from climate change induced weather variability and the poor quality of soils need to be over come. The application of organic material rich in carbon and lignin content, such as wood residues could be a sustainable approach to rapidly improve soil properties. However, limited information is available on how these materials impact the quality of these boreal region soils

The aim of this study presented during RAMIRAN conference was to show that a single application of wood residues with liquid dairy manure had a positive effect on soil properties in our field study located in Normandin (in northern Quebec), such as aggregate stability, carbon content and soil respiration, at the end of the first season in 2021. The beneficial effect of wood residues on these parameters was also maintained in the second year (end of 2022), especially with the addition of 48 t C ha-1 as wood residues.

Our preliminary results suggest that the addition of wood residues combined with manure can improve could be a sustainable and economic alternative to improve the soil quality for agriculture in boreal regions.

Résumé

Introduction: Climate change has resulted in warmer temperatures and the potential for boreal regions of Canada to become more suitable for agricultural production. However, challenges from climate change induced weather variability and the poor quality of soils need to be overcome. The application of organic material rich in carbon and lignin content, such as wood residues (WR) could be a sustainable approach to rapidly improve soil properties. The objective of this field study was to evaluate the effect of wood residues co-applied with liquid dairy manure (LDM) amendment, as a source of nitrogen, on soil quality for agricultural production.

Methodology: Five treatments were compared: (i) unamended soil; (ii) inorganic fertilized; (iii) liquid dairy manure (LDM); (iv) LDM + 24 t C ha-1 as WR; and (v) LDM + 48 t C ha-1 as WR. Each treatment was replicated four times for a total of 20 experimental units. The plots were sowed with barley under seeded with a grass-legume crop mixture in spring 2021.

Results & Discussion: Results indicated that the addition of WR had a positive effect on soil properties, such as aggregate stability, organic carbon content and soil respiration, at the end of the first season in 2021. The beneficial effect of WR on these parameters was also maintained in the second year, especially with the addition of 48 t C ha-1 as WR. The preliminary results suggest that the addition of WR combined with manure could be a sustainable and economic alternative to improve the soil quality for agriculture in boreal regions.