Islas-Valdez S., Lucho-Constantino C.A., Beltrán-Hernández R.I., Gómez-Mercado R., Vázquez-Rodríguez G.A., Herrera J.M., Jiménez-González A. 2015. Effectiveness of rabbit manure biofertilizer in barley crop yield. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. DOI 10.1007/s11356-015-5665-2
The quality of biofertilizers is usually assessed only in terms of the amount of nutrients that they supply to the crops and their lack of viable pathogens and phytotoxicity. The goal of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a liquid biofertilizer obtained from rabbit manure in terms of presence of pathogens, phytotoxicity, and its effect on the grain yield and other agronomic traits of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Environmental effects of the biofertilizer were also evaluated by following its influence on selected soil parameters. We applied the biofertilizer at five combinations of doses and timings each and in two application modes (foliar or direct soil application) within a randomized complete block design with three replicates and using a chemical fertilizer as control. The agronomic traits evaluated were plant height, root length, dry weight, and number of leaves and stems at three growth stages: tillering, jointing, and flowering. The effectiveness of the biofertilizer was significantly modified by the mode of application, the growth stage of the crop, and the dose of biofertilizer applied. The results showed that the foliar application of the biofertilizer at the tillering stage produced the highest increase in grain yield (59.7 %, p?0.10). The use of the biofertilizer caused significant changes in soil, particularly concerning pH, EC, Ca, Zn, Mg, and Mn. It is our view that the production and use of biofertilizers are a reliable alternative to deal with a solid waste problem while food security is increased.