Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 22, Issue 1, 2016; Page No.(373-385)


Seema Sharma and G. S. Saroa


The application of organic manures combined with mineral fertilizer to soil is considered as a good management practice in any agricultural production system because it improves, plant quality and soil fertility. Soil fertility is one of the important parameters for better performance of field crops. The present study aims to characterize the soil fertility as affected by the application of organic, inorganic and combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizers. The treatments to wheat crop were control, recommended fertilizer (RF), integrated nutrient management (INM1, 75% of RF + FYM,), INM2 (RF + FYM) and organic manures (FYM), vermicompost (VC) and rice straw compost (RSC) to supply 400 kg N ha-1. Prior to Basmati crop all plots except control and recommended fertilizer treatments were seeded to sunhemp green manure and raised for 8 weeks and incorporated one day before transplanting of basmati. Rice and wheat crop were raised during kharif and rabi 2010-11 and soil samples were collected after five cycles of cropping to study the effect of treatments on soil physical and chemical properties. The treatments were replicated three times in randomized block design in a sandy loam (typic Ustipsament, non-saline, slightly alkaline). Water infiltration rate was highest and soil bulk density (1.41, 1.53 g cm-3 at both soil depth) was lowest in integrated nutrient management (RF+FYM) treatment. Application of organic manures either alone or along with recommended fertilizers significantly increased water stable aggregates in soil. However, mean weight diameter (0.64, 0.51mm) was highest inINM2 treatment in surface and sub-surface soil. Among the chemical properties, the data showed that pH remained by and large in neutral range except in treatment FYM 400N at 0-15cm depth where pH (5.8) was in nearly acidic range. The highest pH was recorded in control plots and lowest pH was observed in plots receiving 400 kg N ha-1 from FYM in all the depths. Soil pH increased with depth in all the treatments. Although EC of the soil decreased in different treatments. In organic treated plots the EC values were significantly lower than control and recommended fertilizer. In surface soil the maximum SOC (0.58 g 100 g-1 soil) content was recorded in FYM 400N treatment which was significantly higher than the other organic sources. Soil organic carbon decreased with depth. Among the organic treatments FYM and RSC applied at the rate of 400 kg N ha-1 were superior in enhancing the soil physical and chemical properties of soil. The experimental results confirmed that the combination of organic and inorganic fertilizers could increase plant quality and soil fertility.

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