Silicate fertilizer treatment in rice tillage can improve crop growth and increase yield. In addition to applying Si to the soil, silicate fertilizer has various effects as a soil improver such as improving soil pH improvement and enhancing drainage. Blast furnace slag (BFS) is a byproduct generated during the iron making process and is used as component of silicate fertilizer. BFS is mainly used as an ingredient of concrete and is a waste that is harmless to humans. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of silicate fertilizer application on crop growth and milling characteristics. A cultivation experiment was performed to investigate the growth and quality of plants, and rice was used as the cultivated crop. When BFS is mixed with silicate fertilizer, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and available silicon dioxide (Av. SiO2) content increased but total phosphate (T-P2O5) content decreased. In the soil treated with silicate fertilizer, the pH, EC, Av. SiO2, and exchangeable cations contents increased. The results of investigating the growth of crops showed that when silicate fertilizers including BFS were treated, plant height, yield, and chlorophyll contents were significantly increased. From an analysis of taste characteristics, the protein contents of the grain increased by 10%, and there was no statistically significant difference in the other treatments. When silicate fertilizer containing BFS was applied, the proportion of head rice increased compared to other units. On the basis of these results, silicate fertilizer containing BFS is expected to have a positive effect on agricultural competitiveness by increasing crop production and contributing to a stable crop production system.
Figures & Tables
Fig. 1. Change in environmental factors (atmospheric temperature, soil temperature, and water temperature, precipitation) during the cultivation period.