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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

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Nitrate and Overuse of Organic Fertilizer S1

Sohn, S. M.

Faculty of Plant Resources, Dan Kook University, 330-714 Cheon An, Republic of Korea

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The overuse of organic fertilizer by some organic farmer have caused some severe problems since they apply too much organic fertilizer compared to the need of crops. Investigation showed high NO3- accumulation in vegetables grown by organic fertilizer such as Chinese cabbage (1-6 ppm) and kale (1.5-9 ppm) in Korea, and root (2.5-5 ppm) and leaf (2.5-9 ppm) of kabu in Japan, respectively. But in the case of Chinese cabbage, lettuce and radish, the NO3- contents do not increase over 1.5-2 ppm if organic fertilizer is applied in amounts just sufficient to cover the needs of the crops. And NO3- accumulation in rhizosphere of Chinese cabbage, lettuce and radish, if applied too much organic fertilizer over the long-terms period, showed the potential risk for NO3- leaching under Korean climate, soil and crop system. There is still no basic standard for organic agriculture in Korea and Japan. Organic farmers in this regions do not follow the minimum requirements of IFOAM basic standard. Most of them just practice the organic agriculture applying organic fertilizer, commercial seed even glasshouse care without legume, rotation and green manure. But they believe this system is a absolutely environmental friendly agricultural system and it produce a safe agricultural product since they are not aware of the basic standard of organic agriculture at all.
It is recommended that organic farmer have to apply an appropriate rate of organic fertilizer by soil testing to avoid NO3- accumulation in the edible part of vegetables and in rhizosphere. To Korea and Japan, it is also necessary to introduce immediately the basic standard of organic agriculture; the standards which coincides with IFOAM's.

Chambers, B. J. & Smith, K. A. (1992): Soil mineral nitrogen arising from organic manure applications. In: Archer, J. R. et al. (eds.) Nitrate and Farming systems. Aspects of Applied Biology, 30, 135-144

Scharpf, H.C. (1991): Nutrient influences on the nitrate content ofvegetables. The Fertilizer Society in London. Proceedings, No. 313, 25 p.

Sohn,S.M. (1994): Differences on the Nitrate Accumulation in EdibleParts of Chinese Cabbage and Radish Cultivated by Conventional and Organic Farming Method. Journal of Korean Society of Organic Agricullture, 3 (1), 87-97.