EFFECT OF ORGANIC AND CONVENTIONAL FARMING SYSTEMS ON SOIL PROPERTIES: SPECIAL REFERENCE TO YAVATMAL DISTRICT OF MAHARASHTRA, INDIAP.R. Damre, O. Challa, T.K. Sen and M.V. Venugopalan
A survey was made on certified organic farms in the Yavatmal district to ascertain the comparison of the soil properties under organic and conventional production system, practiced in a cluster of villages in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra. Random surface soil samples were collected from different sites under both farming systems of Yavatmal district having different land uses. Fifty two surface (0-15 cm) soil samples (41 organic and 11 conventional) were studied and the results indicated that soils under both the systems were alkaline. However, the mean organic carbon (9.2 g kg-1) in the surface soils under organic system was higher than the conventionally cultivated soils (7.0 g kg-1). The soils under organic system had a higher Zn content (0.82 ppm) as against 0.61 ppm in the conventional system. In the surface soil samples, SMBC content of organically managed soils was higher than conventionally managed soils. The surface soil samples of organic farming system have a higher SMBC content and SMBC/SOC ratio than conventional farming system. The study indicates beneficial effect of organic production system on those soil properties that improved nutrient status and microbial activity.
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