e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 45 (3) Aug. 2022 / JTAS-2448-2022


Temporal Effects of the Combined Use of Cricket Frass and Eucalyptus Biochar on the Yield and Tissue Nitrate Content in Chinese Kale

Somchai Butnan, Janista Duangpukdee and Pranee Sriraj

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 45, Issue 3, August 2022


Keywords: Cricket faeces, Eucalyptus branch-derived charcoal, nitrification inhibition, nitrogen transformation, vegetable nitrate

Published on: 8 August 2022

A greenhouse experiment was conducted to estimate the influence of various application rates of eucalyptus-derived biochar combined with cricket frass on the soil properties and soil N transformation, and, in turn, affecting both shoot biomass yield and nitrate (NO3-) contents of Chinese kale (Brassica oleracea). Two consecutive kale crops were grown to investigate the temporal effect of the combined amendments of cricket frass and biochar. Six rates of biochar, 0%, 0.125%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1%, and 2% w/w in combination with 0.55% w/w of cricket frass, were applied only once at the start of the experiment in sandy loam soil. Shoot biomass significantly increased under treatments of 0.125% to 0.5% w/w in the first kale crop and 0.125% to 0.25% w/w in the second crop compared to the cricket frass alone. However, the higher rates of 0.25% and 0.5% w/w within the first and second crops decreased shoot biomass relative to their lower rates in each crop. Tissue NO3- concentrations of the first kale crop significantly decreased under all biochar rates, whereas the opposite effect was observed in the second crop. These contrasting effects of biochar on tissue NO3- concentrations were attributed to nitrification inhibition in the first crop and nitrification stimulation in the second crop. The 0.125% w/w rate of eucalyptus-derived biochar was, therefore, recommended to be combined with cricket frass to improve yield and reduce tissue NO3- content in the production of Chinese kale.

  • American Standard of Testing Material. (2012). ASTM D7582-12 - Standard test methods for proximate analysis of coal and coke by macro thermogravimetric analysis. ASTM.

  • Antal, M. J., Allen, S. G., Dai, W., Shimizu, B., Tam, M. S., & Gronli, M. (2000). Attainment of the theoretical yield of carbon from biomass. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 39(11), 4024–4031.

  • Azeez, J. O., & van Averbeke, W. (2012). Dynamics of soil pH and electrical conductivity with the application of three animal manures. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 43(6), 865–874.

  • Borchard, N., Spokas, K., Prost, K., & Siemens, J. (2014). Greenhouse gas production in mixtures of soil with composted and noncomposted biochars is governed by char-associated organic compounds. Journal of Environmental Quality, 43(3), 971–979.

  • Bremner, J. M., & Mulvaney, C. S. (1983). Nitrogen — Total. In D. L. Spark (Ed.), Methods of soil analysis. Part 2: Chemical and microbiological properties (2nd ed., pp. 595–624). The American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America.

  • Butnan, S., Deenik, J. L., Toomsan, B., Antal, M. J., & Vityakon, P. (2015). Biochar characteristics and application rates affecting corn growth and properties of soils contrasting in texture and mineralogy. Geoderma, 237–238, 105-116.

  • Cataldo, D. A., Maroon, M., Schrader, L. E., & Youngs, V. L. (1975). Rapid colorimetric determination of nitrate in plant tissue by nitration of salicylic acid. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 6(1), 71–80.

  • Chakatrakarn, S., & Jala, A. (2015). การเจริญเติบโตของต้นกล้าผักกวางตุ้งดอกบนวัสดุที่เติมปุ๋ยหมักมูลไส้เดือนดิน [Seedling growth of flowering chinese cabbage on the media supplemented with vermicompost]. Thai Journal of Science and Technology, 4(3), 236-243.

  • Clough, T. J., Bertram, J. E., Ray, J. L., Condron, L. M., O’Callaghan, M., Sherlock, R. R., & Wells, N. S. (2010). Unweathered wood biochar impact on nitrous oxide emissions from a bovine-urine-amended pasture soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 74(3), 852–860.

  • Darby, H., Gupta, A., Cummings, E., Ruhl, L., & Ziegler, S. (2017). Cricket frass as a potential nitrogen fertility source.

  • Deenik, J. L., Diarra, A., Uehara, G., Campbell, S., Sumiyoshi, Y., & Antal, M. J. (2011). Charcoal ash and volatile matter effects on soil properties and plant growth in an acid Ultisol. Soil Science, 176(7), 336–345.

  • Dempster, D. N., Gleeson, D. B., Solaiman, Z. M., Jones, D. L., & Murphy, D. V. (2012). Decreased soil microbial biomass and nitrogen mineralisation with eucalyptus biochar addition to a coarse textured soil. Plant and Soil, 354(1-2), 311–324.

  • Ebesu, R. (2004). Home garden oriental leafy greens.

  • Fulton, W., Gray, M., Prahl, F., & Kleber, M. (2013). A simple technique to eliminate ethylene emissions from biochar amendment in agriculture. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 33(3), 469–474.

  • Halloran, A., Hanboonsong, Y., Roos, N., & Bruun, S. (2017). Life cycle assessment of cricket farming in north-eastern Thailand. Journal of Cleaner Production, 156, 83–94.

  • Halloran, A., Megido, R. C., Oloo, J., Weigel, T., Nsevolo, P., & Francis, F. (2018). Comparative aspects of cricket farming in Thailand, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 4(2), 101–114.

  • Hanboonsong, Y., Jamjanya, T., & Durst, P. B. (2013). Six-legged livestock:Edible insect farming, collection and markekong in Thailand. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

  • Hartz, T. K., & Johnstone, P. R. (2006). Nitrogen availability from high-nitrogen-containing organic fertilizers. HortTechnology, 16(1), 39–42.

  • Mengel, K., & Kirkby, E. A. (2001). Principles of plant nutrition (5th ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  • Miller, J. J., & Curtin, D. (2007). Electrical conductivity and soluble ions. In M. R. Carter & E. G. Gregorich (Eds.), Soil sampling and methods of analysis (pp. 161–171). CRC Press.

  • Nelson, D. W., & Sommers, L. E. (1983). Total carbon, organic carbon, and organic matter. In D. L. Spark (Ed.), Methods of soil analysis. Part 2: Chemical and microbiological properties (2nd ed., pp. 539–579). The American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America.

  • Pansu, M., & Gautheyrou, J. (2006). Handbook of soil analysis: Mineralogical, organic and inorganic methods. Springer-Verlag.

  • Sahrawat, K. L. (1980). On the criteria for comparing the ability of compounds for retardation of nitrification in soil. Plant and Soil, 55(3), 487–490.

  • Santamaria, P. (2006). Nitrate in vegetables: Toxicity, content, intake and EC regulation. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 86(1), 10–17.

  • SAS Institute Inc. (2004). SAS/STAT® 9.1: User’s guide. SAS Publishing.

  • Spokas, K. A., Baker, J., & Reicosky, D. (2010). Ethylene: Potential key for biochar amendment impacts. Plant and Soil, 333(1), 443–452.

  • Spokas, K. A. (2013). Impact of biochar field aging on laboratory greenhouse gas production potentials. GCB Bioenergy, 5(2), 165–176.

  • Spokas, K. A., Novak, J. M., Stewart, C. E., Cantrell, K. B., Uchimiya, M., DuSaire, M. G., & Ro, K. S. (2011). Qualitative analysis of volatile organic compounds on biochar. Chemosphere, 85(5), 869–882.

  • Stevenson, F. J. (1983). Nitrogen — Inorganic forms. In D. L. Spark (Ed.), Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 2: Chemical and microbiological Properties (2nd ed., pp. 643–698). The American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America.

  • Suksawang, O. (2016). Enhance balanced SEED with BEST ACTIONS. Universal Journal of Management, 4(2), 64–71.

  • Treelokes, R. (2013). ผลของการใช้ปุ๋ยสูตรที่ดีต่อการเจริญเติบโตและผลผลิตของพืชผักบางชนิด[Effect of fertilizers application on growth and yield of some vegetable crops]. Pawarun Agriculture Journal, 10(1), 19–28.

  • Umar, A. S., & Iqbal, M. (2007). Nitrate accumulation in plants, factors affecting the process, and human health implications. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 27(1), 45–57.

  • Usman, A. R. A., Abduljabbar, A., Vithanage, M., Ok, Y. S., Ahmad, M., Ahmad, M., Elfaki, J., Abdulazeem, S. S., & Al-Wabel, M. I. (2015). Biochar production from date palm waste: Charring temperature induced changes in composition and surface chemistry. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 115, 392–400.

  • Verheijen, F., Jeffery, S., Bastos, A., Van Der Velde, M., & Diafas, I. (2010). Biochar application to soils - A critical scientific review of effects on soil properties, processes and functions. European Communities.

  • Weil, R. R., & Brady, N. C. (2016). The nature and properties of soils. Pearson Education Limited.

  • Wu, H., Yip, K., Kong, Z., Li, C.-Z., Liu, D., Yu, Y., & Gao, X. (2011). Removal and recycling of inherent inorganic nutrient species in mallee biomass and derived biochars by water leaching. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 50(21), 12143–12151.

  • Yuan, J.-H., Xu, R.-K., & Zhang, H. (2011). The forms of alkalis in the biochar produced from crop residues at different temperatures. Bioresource Technology, 102(3), 3488–3497.

  • Zhang, W., Niu, J., Morales, V. L., Chen, X., Hay, A. G., Lehmann, J., & Steenhuis, T. S. (2010). Transport and retention of biochar particles in porous media: Effect of pH, ionic strength, and particle size. Ecohydrology, 3(4), 497–508.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Recent Articles