Check it out! Are manure and beer a match made in pesticide heaven?
By Bree Rody
A new study published by Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems reveals that beer bagasse (spent brewers grain) combined with rapeseed cake, as well as fresh cow manure, can be used as a biodisinfestation treatment, reducing parasites in soil and increasing yields, while also being significantly less harmful to human health and the environment than some more conventional chemical pesticides.
As an added bonus, such a combination could reduce significant waste in the ag industry, the authors assert.
In the study, researchers from the Nieker Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development in Spain investigated the use of agricultural byproduct rapeseed cake and beer bagasse, along with fresh cow manure as two treatments. The result, according to study authors, was highly positive.
The main benefit, according to study lead author Maite Gandariasbeitia, is the high nitrogen content of the products, which promotes the activity within he soil to breakdown organic matter, killing off pests such as nematodes.
“Root-knot nematodes are a type of common soil parasite which penetrate a plant’s root tissue to lay their eggs and this activity causes galls, or knot-like swellings, to form on the root,” she says.
“This damage negatively impacts root development and means the crop can’t take up nutrients efficiently, slowing plant growth and ultimately, leading to reduced yields for farmers.”
For more on the study, click here.