The characterises freshwater lakes sapropel and agronomic results of sapropel usage
Freshwater lakes sapropel (hereinafter - the “Organic sapropel”) is a complex sediment of organic and mineral materials, which accumulated in freshwater lakes for the last 10.000 years. Organic sapropel is ecologically clean natural resource, rich of active biological materials and consisting mainly from biomass of water plants and residues of planktonic creatures.
Organic sapropel resources accumulate only on the bed of lakes located Northern Hemisphere territories due to anaerobic conditions with the amount of approx. 2mm per year. Large deposits of clean organic sapropel suitable for organic fertilizer and ameliorant production are found in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Canada, Russia and others. According to preliminary calculations, lakes in the Republic of Lithuania alone contain about 1.5-2 billion m3 of clean organic sapropel and it is the largest source of organic sapropel available in the Europe Union.
Following the initiative lead by Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, sapropel was included in Annex I to the European Commission Regulation (EC) No. 889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/ 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control in 2014. It means that sapropel-based fertilizers can be used in organic farming activity in EU.
Organic sapropel contains biochemically active nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, trace elements, as well as organic materials important for plant development (humic acids, vitamins, enzymes and others). After insertion into the soil organic sapropel slowly mineralises creating a source, ensuring sufficient amounts of main nutrition components necessary for the plant vegetation process for the period up to 5 years.
At the same time the usage of organic sapropel results in the following effects:
- (1) Onetime insertion of soil improver based on organic sapropel creates a fertile soil up to 5 years During scientific researches and field tests in Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Bahrain it was proved, that due to the slow mineralisation process onetime insertion of soil improver based on organic sapropel into the desert sand is effective and ensures the sufficient source for formation of main oranic nutrition materials necessary for the plant vegetation for period up to 5 years.
- (2) The use of soil improver based on organic sapropel significantly increases the crop yield in the soil created in desert as well as in restored degraded soil The scientific experiments has shown that the use of soil improver based on organic sapropel in the desert allows to reach substantially higher results in comparison to other soil improvement materials. In particular, harvested yields of land plots of Egypt desert with inserted soil improver based on organic sapropel correspond to the level of yields of Nile Delta.
- (3) Soil improver based on organic sapropel inserted into the soil reduces watering consumption norm Soil improver based on organic sapropel significantly increases soil susceptibility to water and reduces the watering norm up to 50 percent, from the standard amounts necessary to grow the agro cultures in desert conditions. Furthermore, organic sapropel as the clean natural resource has a wide range of other utilisation areas. Organic sapropel may be added as the supplement for domestic animal feed as well as applied in health promotion activities.