- Paperback 2672-2313
- e-ISSN 2672-2305
Innovative nutrient formulation is an approach and management strategy that seeks to increase agricultural production and quality of produce. This paper compiles results from several research experiments, which were conducted to investigate the effect of liquid nutrient formulations on the yield and chemical characteristics of cabbage, cauliflower, honeydew melon, kale, and lettuce in aggregate hydroponics. Tilapia fish effluent (TFE) and the different nutrient solutions derived from acacia (FAC), golden apple snail (FGK), kudzu (FKZ), moringa (FMY), and trichanthera (FMA) were analyzed for their nutrient composition and evaluated using different horticultural crops in randomized complete block design replicated thrice. The aggregates were composed of river sand and coconut coir mixed in 3:1 ratio by volume. The yield and chemical characteristics were measured to evaluate the efficacy of the liquid nutrient formulations.
The tilapia fish effluent (TFE) and the different ferments exhibited good macronutrient content except for phosphorus in FMA and sulfur in FKZ and FGK. Lettuce gave the highest yield (166.5 g/plant (plt) when grown with FGK and highest chlorophyll (32.6 ppm) and carotenoid content (15.9 ppm) with TFE. Cabbage (275.54 g/plt), cauliflower (91.67 g/plt), and kale (153.0 g/plt) yielded well with inorganic nutrient solution (VSU-LNF). Surprisingly, the nutrient solution derived from FMY gave comparable result in terms of the total fruit yield (960.44 g) of honeydew melon with that of the VSU-LNF (1163.22 g). Nevertheless, the chemical characteristics of these crops were enhanced by the sole application of organic ferments or in combination with the inorganic nutrient solution.
The application of month-old organic ferments showed better influence on the yield (435.9 g/plt) and chemical characteristics of kale, particularly on 1-month old FMY. It is very clear from the results that FMY can positively influence the vitamin C content (0.82–0.86 % ascorbic acid or Asc) of kale regardless of the age of the ferment. Organic ferments can be formulated as liquid nutrient solutions as an innovative approach for horticultural food production in aggregate hydroponics to support food sufficiency and build community resilience should another crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, comes.