Assessing soil properties and nutrient availability under conservation agriculture practices in a reclaimed sodic soil in cereal-based systems of North-West India. uri icon

abstract

  • Soil quality degradation associated with resources scarcity is the major concern for the sustainability of conventional rice-wheat system in South Asia. Replacement of conventional management practices with conservation agriculture (CA) is required to improve soil quality. A field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of CA on soil physical (bulk density, penetration resistance, infiltration) and chemical (N, P, K, S, micronutrients) properties after 4years in North-West India. There were four scenarios (Sc) namely conventional rice-wheat cropping system (Sc1); partial CA-based rice-wheat-mungbean system (RWMS) (Sc2); CA-based RWMS (Sc3); and CA-based maize-wheat-mungbean (Sc4) system. Sc2 (1.52Mg m(-3)) showed significantly lower soil bulk density (BD). In Sc3 and Sc4, soil penetration resistance (SPR) was reduced and infiltration was improved compared to Sc1. Soil organic C was significantly higher in Sc4 than Sc1. Available N was 33% and 68% higher at 0-15 cm depth in Sc3 and Sc4, respectively, than Sc1. DTPA extractable Zn and Mn were significantly higher under Sc3 and Sc4 compared to Sc1. Omission study showed 30% saving in N and 50% in K in wheat after four years. Therefore, CA improved soil properties and nutrient availability and have potential to reduce external fertilizer inputs in long run.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2018