Short communication. Growth and nodulation of cowpea after 5 years of consecutive composted tannery sludge amendment

Ana R. L. Miranda, Luis A. P. L. Nunes, Mara L. J. Oliveira, Wanderley J. Melo, Ademir S. F. Araujo


Tannery industry releases high amounts of tannery sludge which are currently composted and used in agricultural soils. The consecutive amendment of such composted tannery sludge (CTS) may affect soil microrganisms, such as rhizobia. In this study, we evaluated the effects of 5-year repeated CTS amendment on growth, nodulation, and yield of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) CTS was applied in different amounts (0, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 Mg/ha) to a sandy soil. Amendment of CTS increased soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), sodium and chromium content. Plant growth, nodulation, N accumulation, and cowpea yield increased up to 10 Mg/ha; however, above this rate, these variables decreased. After 5 years of CTS amendment, the increase in soil chemical properties, particularly EC and Na content, exerted negative effects on the growth, nodulation, and yield of cowpea.


wastes; sandy soil; rhizobia; composting; Vigna unguiculata L.

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014124-6282