Sustainable assessment of a vegetable farm using grass mulch in Japan

Eri Matsuura, Rahmatullah Hashimi, Daisuke Muramatsu, Masakazu Komatsuzaki


Grass mulch is a traditional farming practice until the 1900’s and now only organic farmers use this practice. Farmers believes it has many benefits sush as preventing soil erosion, decreasing weed pressure, supplying nutrients to soil and preserving soil moisture. However, there is little study on grass mulch. Therefore the effects on soil properties, soil fauna and yield by grass mulch with different farming practices were examined at an experimental field in Ibaraki Universiry in Japan in 2014. The study revealed additional grass mulch and dead leaves compost increased eggplant yields  with increases of soil earthworm population and micrbiological activities. Additions of these organic matters provided habitats for soil animals improved soil aggregate structure. As a result, it accelerated mineralization of nitrogen and reduced N2O emissions in NT sites. Therefore grass mulch could be a good practice to promote sustainable agriculture.

Keywords: grass mulch, soil biodiversity, vegetable, environmentally-friendly farming

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