Rice-wheat productivity and nutrient status in a lantana- (Lantana spp.) amended soil uri icon

abstract

  • Imbalanced and inadequate use of chemical fertilizers is responsible for low rice- (Oryza sativa L.) wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) productivity in many resource-poor farmers' fields. Wheat yields in post-rice soils are also constrained due to soil conditions created by puddling in rice, especially in fine to medium textured soils. Organic amendments are known to improve soil productivity under rice-wheat cropping by way of improving physical conditions and nutrient status of the soil, but their availability is restricted. There is a need to identify locally available and cost-effective organic materials, which have minimal alternate uses as fodder and fuel. We evaluated lantana (Lantana spp. L.) residues, a fast-growing weed in nearby wastelands, as a potential soil organic amendment. Yield trends, and soil and crop nutrient status in a 12-year rice-wheat experiment at Palampur, I India, involving four levels (0, 10, 20, and 30 Mg ha(-1) year(-1) fresh mass) of lantana addition were investigated. Chopped lantana was incorporated into soil 10-15 days before puddling. Lantana additions at 10, 20 and 30 Mg ha(-1) increased rice yields on average by 18%, 23% and 30%, wheat yields by 11%, 14% and 20%, and total system productivity (rice + wheat) by 15%, 20% and 26% over controls, respectively, and at the same time saved NPK fertilizer. Linear regression analyses over 12 years did not show any change in yield trends of rice and wheat at P = 0.05. Continuous cultivation of rice-wheat significantly increased total C, labile C, and other C indices of soils. Total N, Olsen's P, and NH4OAc-extractable K in the lantana-amended plots were higher than in the controls. Nutrient concentrations in crop biomass, however, remained generally unaffected by lantana treatments. Results suggest that lantana residues, which improved the nutrient status of soil and system yield, have the potential for resource conservation and sustaining rice-wheat productivity.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003