On-Farm Production of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Inoculum in Compost and Vermiculite Mixtures: Results of On-Farm Demonstrations and Impact of Compost Microbiological Quality
Abstract, Journal of the NACAA, 2014
The sustainability and profitability of many agricultural systems can be enhanced through the utilization of inoculum of arbuscular mycorrhizal [AM] fungi. Inocula are commercially available, but inoculum can also be produced on-farm in mixtures of compost and vermiculite with a nurse host plant. Demonstration of the on-farm system at a network of cooperating farms produced inocula with an average potency of 297 ± 43 propagules of AM fungi cm-3 (mean ± SEM, n= 40 site years). Spread of colonization in host roots was greater for bacterial- vs. fungal-dominated compost, but compost dilution ratio with vermiculite was a more important determinant of AM fungus spore production than compost type.