The dairy industry in Saudi Arabia is producing huge quantity of Farm Yard Manure (FYM) resulting in potential environmental and health hazards. Raw FYM is processed into usable compost for increasing soil fertility and productivity. The main aim of this study was to analyze the effect of prepared Cow Manure Compost (CMC) on chemical and microbiological soil properties.
A greenhouse experiment was carried out with 3 CMC treatments (control, 25 and 50 t ha-1). The plot size was 2×2 m2 with three replications and the test crop was corn (Zea mays, an American hybrid cultivar). The irrigation source was deep well water. Crop growth parameters, such as plant height and fresh biomass were determined. The microbiological soil properties measured were Soil Microbial Biomass (SMB), Microbial Nitrogen (MN), Dehydrogenase Activity (DHA) and Alkaline Phosphomonoesterase Activity (APA). Standard analytical methods were used for soil analysis and microbiological investigation.
Addition of CMC increased significantly the mean plant height and fresh biomass. The microbial parameters such as SMB, MN, APA and DHA improved and depended on the doses application.
The study results showed that the use of CMC improved the soil microbiological properties thus resulting in improved crop production.