Effects of mineral and organic fertilization with the use of wet olive pomace on durum wheat performance


1 Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy

2 Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy

3 Department of Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro Bari, Bari, Italy


Purpose Despite durum wheat accounts for only 5% of the global wheat production, it represents an economically important species, as a basic food and primary source of daily caloric intake in the Mediterranean basin area. By-products of agricultural processing, such as pomace, can be used to increase soil fertility, as they are indeed a source of important nutrients useful for crop growth.
Method The present research was carried out on durum wheat, as part of a long-term experiment. The study aimed at assessing the effects of mineral and organic fertilization with the use of wet olive pomace on a 3-year trial with crops grown in succession (fava beans—wheat—spelt). A split-plot experimental design with three replicates was used. The cultivars (Aureo and Vespucci) were assigned to the main plots and the seven fertilization treatments to the sub-plots.
Results Our result showed that supplying wet olive pomace as soil improver was not sufficient to significantly improve soil fertility compared to the unfertilized control. However, when 60 kg ha−1 of nitrogen was supplied in coverage before tillering, in addition to 70 Mg ha−1 of wet olive pomace yield an increase of 66% in Aureo cv and of 222% in Vespucci cv, in comparison to the unfertilized crop.
Conclusion The best management of fertilizers, associated with the use of more nitrogen-use-efficient genotypes, is essential for the development of a sustainable agriculture.