Green manure production of Azolla microphylla and Sesbania rostrata and their long-term effects on rice yields and soil fertility uri icon

abstract

  • Azolla spp. and Sesbania spp. can be used as green manure crops for wetland rice. A long-term experiment was started in 1985 to determine the effects of organic and urea fertilizers on wetland rice yields and soil fertility. Results of 10 rice croppings are reported. Azolla sp. was grown for 1 month and then incorporated before transplanting the rice and 3-4 weeks after transplanting the rice. Sesbania rostrata was grown for 7-9 week s and incorporated only before transplanting the rice. Sesbania sp. grew more poorly before dry season rice than before wet season rice. Aeschynomene afraspera, which was used in one dry season rice trial, produced a larger biomass than the Sesbania sp. The quantity of N produced by the Azolla sp. ranged from 70 to 110 kg N ha-1. The Sesbania sp. produced 55-90 kg N ha-1 in 46-62 days. Rice grain yield increases in response to the green manure were 1.8-3.9 t ha-1, similar to or higher than that obtained in response to the application of 60 kg N ha-1 as urea. Grain production per unit weight of absorbed N was lower in the green manure treatments than in the urea treatment. Without N fertilizer, N uptake by rice decreased as the number of rice crops increased. For similar N recoveries, Sesbania sp. required a lower N concentration than the Azolla sp. did. Continuous application of the green manure increased the organic N content in soil on a dry weight basis, but not on a area basis, because the application of green manure decreased soil bulk density. Residual effects in the grain yield and N uptake of rice after nine rice crops were found with a continuous application of green manure but not urea.

publication date

  • 1993
  • 1993
  • 1993