Innovative applications in horticulture: electromagnetic fields treatment of soil and seeds

B. Bisceglia
Electromagnetic fields can be used in soil disinfestation as an alternative, non-polluting method instead of conventional methods. This technology ensures effective soil disinfestation without polluting the groundwater. On the other hand, low power MW fields can also be used in facilitate germination and growth rate of seeds ensuring more abundant crops in poor areas. Using advanced heating technologies based on microwave and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields can play a great role in improving sustainability of food processing. The potential for microwave heating to be applied to a process is dependent on the dielectric properties of the target material. Microwave treatments of agricultural soil samples were performed for evaluation of their effects on soil quality, seed germinability and sterilization efficiency as well as soil and seed disinfection and evaluate if MW treatments may be useful for agricultural practices. Moreover, some experiments were realized for evaluating the dosimetric parameters and the response of the soil (baula) in situ, giving also an estimation about economic benefits connected with MW treatments for soil disinfection with no mechanically complex apparatus, and without chemical compounds. Exposure of seeds of Eruca sativa to extremely low frequency magnetic fields are in progress. Some results from lab exposures will be shown and discussed highlighting the peculiarity of the procedures. The MW exposition clearly influences germination of the assayed seeds, consequently this methodology might be particularly effective in weed and pest control of agricultural soils.
Bisceglia, B. 2017. Innovative applications in horticulture: electromagnetic fields treatment of soil and seeds. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1164:85-92
microwaves, germination, soil, sterilization, sustainable development, innovative technology

Acta Horticulturae