Improving Water Hyacinth-Based Compost for Crop Production

Dennis Beesigamukama, John Baptist Tumuhairwe, John Muoma, John M. Maingi, Omwoyo Ombori, Dative Mukaminega, Josephine Nakanwagi2 and Alice Amoding


Full Length Research Paper  I Published May,2018


Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Technology  Vol. 4 (3), pp.52-63




A study was carried out to hasten maturity, improve nutrient content and determine agronomic performance of water hyacinth-based composts. Water hyacinth (WH) was composted using pile method and six treatments: WH + cattle manure (WH+CM), WH + poultry manure (WH+PM), WH + effective microorganisms, WH + molasses at 25% total sugar content, WH + molasses at 50% total sugar content and WH composted singly. Macro nutrients, C/N ratio, mineral nitrogen, temperature and pH were monitored. The composts obtained were applied at rates of 3 and 6 t ha-1 using maize (LONGE 4) as test crop. All compost treatments reached maturity after 6 weeks and the highest total contents of 2.2%, 1.3% and 1.5% of N, P and K respectively were determined in WH+PM. Grain yields of 6.8 t ha-1 harvested in (WH+CM) applied at 6 t ha-1 and 6.5 t ha-1 harvested in (WH+PM) applied at 3 t ha-1 were statistically similar, and the highest in the experiment. Co-composting with poultry manure shortened maturity period and improved nutrient concentrations of mature compost. Highest grain yield was obtained at 6 t ha-1 but (WH+PM) compost applied at 3 t ha-1 was the most effective.

Key Words: Delayed compost maturity, maize yield, nutrient losses, pile composting, water hyacinth


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