Suitability of Black Soldier Fly Frass as Soil Amendment and Implication for Organic Waste Hygienization
Klammsteiner, Thomas and Turan, Veysel and Fernandez-Delgado Juarez, Marina and Oberegger, Simon and Insam, Heribert
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Because of its nutritious properties, the black soldier fly has emerged as one of the most popular species in advancing circular economy through the re-valorization of anthropogenic organic wastes to insect biomass. Black soldier fly frass accumulates as a major by-product in artificial rearing set-ups and harbors great potential to complement or replace commercial fertilizers. We applied frass from larvae raised on different diets in nitrogen-equivalent amounts as soil amendment, comparing it to NH4NO3 fertilizer as a control. While the soil properties did not reveal any difference between mineral fertilizer and frass, principal component analysis showed significant differences that are mainly attributed to nitrate and dissolved nitrogen contents. We did not find significant differences in the growth of perennial ryegrass between the treatments, indicating that frass serves as a rapidly acting fertilizer comparable to NH4NO3. While the abundance of coliform bacteria increased during frass maturation, after application to the soil, they were outcompeted by gram-negatives. We thus conclude that frass may serve as a valuable fertilizer and does not impair the hygienic properties of soils.
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