Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

soil fertility Related Publications

3 Impact of Long Term Application of Municipal Solid Waste on Physicochemical and Microbial Parameters and Heavy Metal Distribution in Soils in Accordance to Its Agricultural Uses

Authors: Rinku Dhanker, Suman Chaudhary, Tanvi Bhatia, Sneh Goyal

Abstract:

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.

Keywords: Sustainable Agriculture, soil fertility, Quality, Heavy Metals, municipal sewage sludge

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2 Political Economy of Integrated Soil Fertility Management in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Authors: Oluwatoyin D. Kolawole, Oarabile Mogobe, Lapologang Magole

Abstract:

Although many factors play a significant role in agricultural production and productivity, the importance of soil fertility cannot be underestimated. The extent to which small farmers are able to manage the fertility of their farmlands is crucial in agricultural development particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).  This paper assesses the nutrient status of selected farmers’ fields in relation to how government policy addresses the allocation of and access to agricultural inputs (e.g. chemical fertilizers) in a unique social-ecological environment of the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. It also analyses small farmers and soil scientists’ perceptions about the political economy of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) in the area. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to elicit quantitative and qualitative information from 228 farmers and 9 soil researchers through the use of interview schedules and questionnaires, respectively. Knowledge validation workshops and focus group discussions (FGDs) were also used to collect qualitative data from farmers. Thirty-three composite soil samples were collected from 30 farmers’ plots in three farming communities of Makalamabedi, Nokaneng and Mohembo for laboratory analysis. While meeting points exist, farmers and scientists have divergent perspectives on soil fertility management. Laboratory analysis carried out shows that most soils in the wetland and the adjoining dry-land/upland surroundings are low in essential nutrients as well as in cation exchange capacity (CEC). Although results suggest the identification and use of appropriate inorganic fertilizers, the low CEC is an indication that holistic cultural practices, which are beyond mere chemical fertilizations, are critical and more desirable for improved soil health and sustainable livelihoods in the area. Farmers’ age (t= -0.728; p≤0.10); their perceptions about the political economy (t = -0.485; p≤0.01) of ISFM; and their preference for the use of local knowledge in soil fertility management (t = -10.254; p≤0.01) had a significant relationship with how they perceived their involvement in the implementation of ISFM.

Keywords: Ecology, Policy, soil fertility, Access, Botswana, small farmers, inputs, Okavango Delta, scientists

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1 Effect of Different Methods of Soil Fertility on Grain Yield and Chickpea Quality

Authors: Mohammadi K., Ghalavand A., Aghaalikhani M

Abstract:

In order to evaluation the effects of natural, biological and chemical fertilizers on grain yield and chickpea quality, field experiments were carried out in 2007 and 2008 growing seasons. In this research the effects of different organic, chemical and biological fertilizers were investigated on grain yield and quality of chickpea. Experimental units were arranged in split-split plots based on randomized complete blocks with three replications. The highest amounts of yield and yield components were obtained in G1√óN5 interaction. Significant increasing of N, P, K, Fe and Mg content in leaves and grains emphasized on superiority of mentioned treatment because each one of these nutrients has an approved role in chlorophyll synthesis and photosynthesis ability of the crop. The combined application of compost, farmyard manure and chemical phosphorus (N5) had the best grain quality due to high protein, starch and total sugar contents, low crude fiber and reduced cooking time.

Keywords: Natural Resources, soil fertility, chickpea, grain yield

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