Effect of Jatropha curcas Seed Cake on Soil Health Parameters and Growth of Wheat Plant (Triticum aestivum L.) Grown In Sandy and Calcareous Soils

Azza Massoud, Essam Koreish, Mohamed Rashad, Mahrous Kandil

Jatropha curcas seed cake (J.S.C.) is a useful organic byproduct containing considerable amounts of nitrogen, phosphrous,  potassium  and micronutrients. It can be considered as a green economy soil amendment. Jatropha curcas seed cake was used as an attempt to enhance soil health and to sustain soil productivity. The objective of this study, therefore, was to investigate the effects of Jatropha curcas seed cake (J.S.C.) as an organic fertilizer and NPK as chemical fertilizers on the health parameters of sandy and calcareous soils cultivated with wheat (Triticum aestivum L .). The results indicated that the percentages of N, P and K in J.S.C.  were 2.63%, 0.23% and 3.1% respectively. The results assured that application of the organic fertilizer (J.S.C.) and chemical fertilizers (NPK) had positively affected soil health parameters. Using organic and chemical fertilizers decresed bulk density of sandy and calcereous soils compared with the control treatment. And increased aggregate stability index. Soil organic carbon was increased by using Jatropha seed cake as organic fertilizer. In addition, the differences in dehydrogenase activity were highly significant when combined with different levels of organic and chemical fertilization with the two used soils. The soil pH decreased as the levels of Jatropha seed cake increased, while the EC was increased. The increasing application of jatropha seed cake and mineral fertilization increased the concentration of macro and micronutrients in plant and soil. The results indicated that the decomposition of jatropha seed cake is a microbiological process, which release inorganic forms of nutrients (N, P and K). It is also that addition of jatropha seed cake to sandy and calcareous soils positively affected the physical, chemical and biological indicators of the soil health. Key words: Jatropha curcas seed cake, Soil health, Wheat, Organic fertilizer