The role of biochar, poultry manure, and biochar-poultry manure in improving leaf nutrient concentrations, root storage minerals, growth, and yield of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.)


  • Taiwo Michael Agbede Department of Agronomy, Adekunle Ajasin University, P.M.B. 001, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria
  • Adefemi Oyewumi Department of Agricultural Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, P.M.B. 1019, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria



Biochar, Degraded sites, Leaf nutrient concentrations, Mineral composition, Poultry manure, Sweet potato


Research information on the effects of biochar and poultry manure on the growth, yield, and concentrations of nutrients in edible portions of sweet potato is rare, as essential nutrient concentrations in crops can affect human health. The objective of this study was to examine the synergistic effects of biochar (B) and poultry manure (PM) on leaf nutrient concentrations, root storage minerals, sweet potato growth, and yield. The field experiments were conducted in the forest-savanna transition zone of southwest Nigeria at two degraded sites (Owo - site A and Obasooto - site B). The treatments each year consisted of four levels of biochar (B): 0, 10.0, 20.0 and 30.0 t ha-1 and three levels of poultry manure (PM): 0, 5.0, and 10.0 t ha-1, which were combined in a 4 × 3 factorial layouts to form a total of twelve treatments. The twelve treatments were factorially arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Data collected on sweet potato leaves, storage roots, growth, and yield were analyzed over two growing seasons (2019 and 2020). The results showed that the sole application of B and PM, as well as their combined application, improved the growth, yield, and nutritional quality parameters of sweet potatoes. As B and PM applications increased from 0 to 30.0 t ha-1 and 0 to 10.0 t ha-1, respectively, leaf nutrient concentrations, root storage minerals, growth, and sweet potato yield increased. In both years, there were significant interactions of B and PM (B × PM) on all the sweet potato variables that were determined, indicating the potential of B in enhancing PM use efficiency. It was found that the highest application rate of 30.0 t ha-1 B and 10.0 t ha-1 PM gave the highest leaf nutrient concentrations, root storage minerals, growth, and yield of sweet potato at both sites. The study indicated that B in combination with PM has the potential to improve the growth, yield and nutrient content of the edible portions of sweet potato for human health in severely degraded soils.

Author Biography

Adefemi Oyewumi, Department of Agricultural Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, P.M.B. 1019, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria

Department of Agricultural Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, P.M.B. 1019, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria

Senior Lecturer


Adekiya, A. O., Agbede, T. M., Aboyeji, C. M., Dunsin, O. and Simeon, V. T. (2019). Effects of biochar and poultry manure on soil characteristics and the yield of radish. Scientia Horticulturae, 243, 457-463.

Adeleye, E. O., Ayeni, L. S. and Ojeniyi, S. O. (2010). Effect of poultry manure on soil physico-chemical properties, leaf nutrient contents and yield of yam (Dioscorea rotundata) on Alfisol in southwestern Nigeria. Journal of American Science, 6 (10), 871-878.

Adepetu, J. A., Adebayo, A. A., Aduayi, E. A. and Alofe, C.O. (1979). Preliminary survey of the fertility status of soils in Ondo State under traditional cultivation. Ife Journal of Agriculture, 1 (2), 134-149.

Adeyemo, A. J., Akingbola, O. O. and Ojeniyi, S.O. (2019). Effects of poultry manure on soil infiltration, organic matter contents and maize performance on two contrasting degraded alfisols in southwestern Nigeria. International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture, 8, 73-80.

Agbede, T. M. (2010). Tillage and fertilizer effects on some soil properties, leaf nutrient concentrations, growth and sweet potato yield on an Alfisol in southwestern Nigeria. Soil and Tillage Research, 110 (1), 25-32.

Agbede, T. M., Adekiya, A. O. and Eifediyi, E. K. (2017). Impact of poultry manure and NPK fertilizer on soil physical properties and growth and yield of carrot. Journal of Horticultural Research, 25 (1), 81-88.

Agegnehu, G., Nelson, P. N. and Bird, M. I. (2016). The effects of biochar, compost and their mixture and nitrogen fertilizer on yield and nitrogen use efficiency of barley grown on a Nitisol in the highlands of Ethiopia. Science of the Total Environment, 569-570, 869-879.

Agegnehu, G., Srivastava, A. K. and Bird, M. I. (2017). The role of biochar and biochar-compost in improving soil quality and crop performance: A review. Applied Soil Ecology, 119, 156-170.

Anbuselvi, S., Kumar, M. S., Selvakumar, S., Rao, M. R. K. and Anshumita, D. (2012). A comparative study on biochemical constituents of sweet potatoes from Orissa and Tamilnadu and its curd formation. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 4 (11), 4879-4882.

Asante, K., Manu-Aduening, J. and Essilfie, M. E. (2019). Nutritional quality response of carrot (Daucus carota) to different rates of inorganic fertilizer and biochar. Asian Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 5 (2), 1-14.

Association of Official Analytical Chemists. (2019). Official methods of analysis of the association of official analytical chemists. In: Latimer, G.W. (Ed.), 21st ed. Gaithersburg, Maryland: AOAC International.

Basso, A. S., Miguez, F. E., Laird, D. A., Horton, R. and Westgate, M. 2(013). Assessing potential of biochar for increasing water-holding capacity of sandy soils. Global Change and Biological Bioenergy, 5, 132-143.

Bisht, N. and Chauhan, P. S. (2020). Excessive and Disproportionate Use of Chemicals Cause Soil Contamination and Nutritional Stress. In Soil Contamination. IntechOpen, doi:

Blanco-Canqui, H. (2017). Biochar and soil physical properties. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 81, 687-711.

Carter, M. R. and Gregorich, E. G. (2007). Soil sampling and methods of analysis. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, Florida: Canadian Society of Soil Science: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.

Chaganti, V. N. and Crohn, D. M. (2015). Evaluating the relative contribution of physiochemical and biological factors in ameliorating a saline-sodic soil amended with composts and biochar and leached with reclaimed water. Geoderma, 259-260, 45-55.

Cockell, K. A. (2011). Mineral nutrients. In: Schwab, M. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Cancer. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Cox, J., Hue, N. V., Ahmad, A. and Kobayashi, K. D. (2021). Surface-applied or incorporated biochar and compost combination improves soil fertility, Chinese cabbage and papaya biomass. Biochar, 3, 213-227.

Ewulo, B. S., Ojeniyi, S. O. and Akanni, D. A. (2008). Effect of poultry manure on selected soil physical and chemical properties, growth, yield and nutrient status of tomato. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 3 (9), 612-616.

Dimkpa, C. O. and Bindraban, P. S. (2016). Fortification of micronutrients for efficient agronomic production: a review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 36, 7. doi:/10.1007/s13593-015-0346-6

FAO. (2013). Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations. The state of food insecurity in the world 2013. The multiple dimensions of food security. Rome, Italy.

FAO. (2019). Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations.

FAO. (2021). Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations. The state of food security and nutrition in the world. Transforming food systems for food security, improved nutrition and affordable healthy diets for all. Rome, Italy.

Farrar, M. B., Wallace, H. M., Xu, C. Y., Nguyen, T. T. N., Tavakkoli, E., Joseph, S. and Bai, S. H. (2019). Short-term effects of organo-mineral enriched biochar fertiliser on ginger yield and nutrient cycling. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 19, 668-682.

Gao, S. and DeLuca, T. H. (2016). Influence of biochar on soil nutrient transformations, nutrient leaching, and crop yield. Advances in Plants & Agriculture Research, 4 (5), 348-362.

Genstat. (2005). Genstat 8th ed. Oxford, UK: Release 8.1. VSN International Ltd.

Gunes, A., Inal, A., Taskin, M. B., Sahin, O., Kaya, E. C. and Atakol, A. (2014). Effect of phosphorus-enriched biochar and poultry manure on growth and mineral composition of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv.) grown in alkaline soil. Soil Use Management, 30, 182-188.

Guo, M., Song, W. and Tian, J. (2020). Biochar-facilitated soil remediation: Mechanisms and efficacy variations. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 8, 521512.

Gwenzi, W., Nyambishi, T. J., Chaukura, N. and Mapope, N. (2018). Synthesis and nutrient release patterns of a biochar-based N-P-K slow-release fertilizer. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 15, 405-414.

Hernández Suárez, M., Montes Hernández, A. I., Rodríguez Galdón, B., Hernández Rodríguez, L., Medina Cabrera, C. E., Ríos Mesa, D. and Díaz Romero, C. (2016). Application of multidimensional scaling technique to differentiate sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam) cultivars according to their chemical composition. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 46, 43-49.

Hoover, N. L., Law, J. Y., Long, L. A. M., Kanwar, R. S. and Soupir, M. L. (2019). Long-term impact of poultry manure on crop yield, soil and water quality, and crop revenue. Journal of Environmental Management, 252, 109582.

Inal, A., Gunes, A., Sahin, O., Taskin, M. B. and Kaya, E. C. (2015). Impacts of biochar and processed poultry manure, applied to a calcareous soil, on the growth of bean and maize. Soil Use and Management, 31 (1), 106-113.

International Biochar Initiative (1BI). (2011). Standardized Product Definition and Product Testing Guidelines for Biochar that is used in Soil. (Accessed November 2015).

IUSS Working Group WRB. (2015). World reference base for soil resources 2014, Update 2015. International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resources Reports No. 106. FAO, Rome.

Jirka, S. and Tomlinson, T. (2015). State of the biochar industry 2014. International Biochar Initiative Rep., May (2015). Canandaigua, NY: International Biochar Initiative.

Joseph, S., Anawar, H. M., Storer, P., Blackwell, P., Chia, C., Lin, Y., Munroe, P., Donne, S., Horvat, J., Wang, J. and Solaiman, Z. M. (2015). Effects of enriched biochars containing magnetic iron nanoparticles on mycorrhizal colonisation, plant growth, nutrient uptake and soil quality improvement. Pedosphere, 25 (5), 749-760.

Kihara, J., Bolo, P., Kinyua, M., Rurinda, J. and Piikki, K. (2020). Micronutrient deficiencies in African soils and human nutritional nexus: opportunities with staple crops. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 42, 3015-3033.

Liao, J., Liu, X., Hu, A., Song, H., Chen, X. and Zhang, Z. (2020). Effects of biochar-based controlled release nitrogen fertilizer on nitrogen-use efficiency of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). Scientific Reports, 10 (1), 1-14.

Lehmann, J. and Joseph, S., Editors. (2015). Biochar for environmental management: Science, technology and implementation. 2nd ed. London, UK: Routledge.

Major, J., Rondon, M., Molina, D., Riha, S. J. and Lehmann, J. (2012). Nutrient leaching in a Colombian savanna Oxisol amended with biochar. Journal of Environmental Quality, 41, 1076-1086.

Mohanraj, R. and Sivasankar, S. (2014). Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) - A valuable medicinal food: A review. Journal of Medicinal Food, 17 (7), 733-741.

Ndoung, O. C. N., de Figueiredo, C. C. and Ramos, M. L. G. (2021). A scoping review on biochar-based fertilizers: enrichment techniques and agro-environmental application. Heliyon, 7, e08473.

Neela, S. and Fanta, S. W. (2019). Review on nutritional composition of orange-fleshed sweet potato and its role in management of vitamin A deficiency. Food Science and Nutrition, 7, 1920-1945.

Novak, J. M., Ippolito, J. A., Watts, D. W., Sigua, G. C., Ducey, T. F. and Johnson, M. G. (2019). Biochar compost blends facilitate switchgrass growth in mine soils by reducing Cu and Zn bioavailability. Biochar, 1, 97-114.

Obia, A., Mulder, J., Hale, S. E., Nurida, N. L. and Cornelissen, G. (2018). The potential of biochar in improving drainage, aeration and maize yields in heavy clay soils. PloS One, 13 (5), e0196794.

Oh, T. -K., Shinogi, Y., Lee, S. -J. and Chol, B. (2014). Utilization of biochar impregnated with anaerobically digested slurry as slow-release fertilizer. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 177, 97-103.

O’Sullivan, J. N., Asher, C. J. and Blamey, F. P. C. (1997). Nutrient disorders of sweet potato. Monograph No. 48. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Partey, S. T., Preziosi, R. F. and Robson, G. D. (2014). Short-term interactive effects of biochar, green manure, and inorganic fertilizer on soil properties and agronomic characteristics of maize. Agricultural Research, 3 (2), 128-136.

Piash, M. I., Iwabuchi, K., Itoh, T. and Uemura, K. (2021). Release of essential plant nutrients from manure- and wood-based biochars. Geoderma, 397, 115100.

Puga, A. P., Grutzmacher, P., Cerri, C. E. P., Ribeirinho, V. S. and Andrade, C. A. (2020). Biochar-based nitrogen fertilizers: Greenhouse gas emissions, use efficiency, and maize yield in tropical soils. Science of the Total Environment, 704, 135375.

Rattanachaiwong, S. and Singer, P. (2019). Diets and diet therapy: Trace elements. Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability, 2, 143-160.

Sahin, O., Taskin, M. B., Kadioglu, Y. K., Inal, A., Pilbeam, D. J. and Gunes, A. (2014). Elemental composition of pepper plants fertilized with pelletized poultry manure. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 37, 458-468.

SAS. (2013). Statistical analysis system. User’s guide: statistics, version 9.4. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.

Shi, W., Ju, Y., Bian, R., Li, L., Joseph, S., Mitchell, D. R. G., Munroe, P., Taherymoosavi, S. and Pan, G. (2020). Biochar bound urea boosts plant growth and reduces nitrogen leaching. Science of the Total Environment, 701, 134424.

Smyth, A. J. and Montgomery, R. F. (1962). Soils and land use in central western Nigeria. Government Printer, Ibadan, Nigeria, 265 pp.

Soil Survey Staff, (2014). Keys to soil taxonomy. 12th ed. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Tel, D. A. and Hagarty, M. (1984). Soil and plant analysis. Study guide for agricultural laboratory directors and technologists working in tropical regions. Ontario, Canada: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria in conjunction with University of Guelph, 277 pp.

Tomczyk, A. Sokolowska, Z. and Boguta, P. (2020). Biochar physicochemical properties: pyrolysis temperature and feedstock kind effects. Reviews in Environmental Science and Biology/Technology, 19, 191-215.

Yan, T., Xue, J., Zhou, Z. and Wu, Y. (2020). The trends in research on the effects of biochar on soil. Sustainability, 12 (18), 7810.

Yi, S., Chang, N. Y. and Imhoff, P. T. (2020). Predicting water retention of biochar-amended soil from independent measurements of biochar and soil properties. Advances in Water Resources, 142, 103638.

Yousaf, M., Li, J., Lu, J., Ren, T., Cong, R., Fahad, S. and Li, X. (2017). Effects of fertilization on crop production and nutrient-supplying capacity under rice-oilseed rape rotation system. Scientific Reports, 7, 1270.

Yu, H., Zou, W., Chen, J., Chen, H., Yu, Z., Huang, J., Tang, H., Wei, X. and Gao, B. (2019). Biochar amendment improves crop production in problem soils: A review. Journal of Environmental Management, 232, 8-21.

Yuan, P., Wang, J., Pan, Y., Shen, B. and Wu, C. (2019). Review of biochar for the management of contaminated soil: preparation, application and prospect. Science of the Total Environment, 659, 473-490.




How to Cite

Agbede, T. M., & Oyewumi, A. (2022). The role of biochar, poultry manure, and biochar-poultry manure in improving leaf nutrient concentrations, root storage minerals, growth, and yield of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.). Scientific Reports in Life Sciences, 3(3), 48–68.



Original Article