Scientists have created an environmentally friendly pesticide from a byproduct of beer mixed with manure.
Researchers are now looking to reduce waste from the agricultural industry and reduce the amount of harmful chemicals used through the use of organic by-products.
In a new study, researchers at the Naker Agricultural Research and Development Institute in Spain used a byproduct of rapeseed meal and beer bagasse (spent beer grain) and fresh cow dung to be used as a potential method for decontaminating soils, preserving healthy soil microorganisms and increasing crop yields.
Both components have a high nitrogen content: it promotes the activation of beneficial microorganisms in the soil. It helps break down organic matter such as manure, and also kill nematodes and other parasites that damage crops.
The main problem that the new pesticide is fighting against is nematodes. This is a type of common soil parasite that invades the root tissue of a plant to lay eggs, and this activity causes the formation of bile or nodular tumors at the root.
To decontaminate the soil and reduce nematode populations, the authors added a new pesticide to the soil as a potential organic treatment. After the first crop treatment, the researchers found a significant reduction in irritation on the plant roots. As a result, there was an increase in yield by about 15% compared to the control plots after a year.