Investigations into the effects of a commercial organic fertilizer and of quality compost on the soil and the vines

The influences of quality compost A+ and of a commercial organic fertilizer based on dry mash from bioethanol production, blackstrap molasses, vinasse, PNC (potato nitrogen concentrate) and CSL (corn steep liquor) on the humus content, on the mineral nitrogen content in the soil, in the must and in the vine leaves, on pruning wood weight and on yield and maturity were determined with the Austrian quality vinevarieties ‘Blauburger’, ‘Blauer Burgunder’, ‘Blaufränkisch’ and ‘Riesling’ over a period of six years. Because of the annual application of 15 t/ha quality compost A+, humus content in the topsoil (0 to 30 cm) increased from 2.9 % to 3.7 % on one site and from 3.4 % to 4.1 % on the second site. The application of the annual differing amounts of 3.8 t/ha, 1.9 t/ha and 1.0 t/ha of the commercial organic fertilizer indicated no change or a slight increase of the humus content depending on the site, respectively. In the subsoil (30 to 60 cm) at no site and with no organic fertilization method significant changes of the humus content could be analyzed. At both sites significant differences between the mean values of the mineral nitrogen contents in the soil (0 to 60 cm) of all sampling dates and of all years of the three experimental variants could be determined. The mean values were 18.9 kg/ha and 41.7 kg/ha (control), respectively, 30.6 kg/ha and 44.1 kg/ha (quality compost A+), respectively, and 46.5 kg/ha and 95 kg/ha (Commercial organic fertilizer), respectively. Between the single sampling dates strong differences were recognized with the contents of mineral nitrogen in the soil depending on soil temperature and soil moisture. Depending on the grape variety and the year, the contents of yeast assimilable nitrogen and of total nitrogen in the musts increased in part significantly because of organic fertilization. On average of all grape varieties and years, nitrogen content in vine leaves of the control variant was 2.35 %. It was significantly lower than in the vine leaves of the variants quality compost A+ and commercial organic fertilizer with 2.50 % and 2.55 %, respectively. With yield, the maturity parameters and pruning wood weight significant differences between the experimental variants were recognized only in some years and with some varieties. The grapes of two varieties were microvinified and the wines organoleptically rated. With the variety ‘Blaufränkisch’ the wines from the quality compost A+ variant were rated significantly better. Whereas the application of quality compost A+ did not only positively influence the nitrogen supply of the vines, but also increased the humus content, the commercial organic fertilizer primarily contributed to the nitrogen supply of the vines.

Authors: Martin Mehofer – Federal College and Institute for Viticulture and Pomology Klosterneuburg, Austria,Bernhard SCHMUCKENSCHLAGER Karel HANAK Norbert VITOVEC Memish BRAHA Thaci CAZIM Christian BADER Ingrid HOFSTETTER  All Co-Authors: Federal College and Institute for Viticulture and Pomology Klosterneuburg

Email: martin.mehofer@weinobst.at

Keywords: nitrogen content in soil, humus content, nitrogen content in must, nitrogen content in leaves, yield parameters, ripeness

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