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Integrated effects of wheat residue and phosphorus application on rice productivity and soil health under salt affected soils.


Rice and wheat are the leading staple food crops of the people of southeast Asia. More than 90% of rice and 43% of wheat in the world is produced and consumed in Asia (Chauhan et al., 2012). The rice-wheat cropping system is highly nutrient exhaustive system hence causes a considerable depletion of soil nutrients (Zahir et al., 2011) therefore, consequently requires heavy use of fertilizers each year for the potential yields. Large responses of wheat and rice to fertilizers are well documented (Akhtar et al., 2009; Bakht et al., 2009; Shafi et al., 2007; Suman, 2004; Shah and Khan, 2003; Roder et al., 1998).

Soil C, N, burning of residue crop and replenishing soil fertility status has been studied by Khankhane et al. (2009), Byous et al. (2004), Gupta et al. (2003), Mishra et al. (2001), Sarma et al. (2000), Rasmussen and Parton (1994) and Raison et al. (1979). Burning of rice straw prior to sowing of wheat is still a common practice in central and northern parts of India.

About 50% of wheat crop is being harvested with combined harvester. The combined harvester leaves behind a large amount of loose straw in the field whose disposal or utilization in the short time is difficult and compelling farmers to burn the residue to get rid of it (Gupta et al., 2003). Since plant nutrients remain in the straw (approximately 35% N, 30% P and 85% K and 40-50% S) much of this can be recycled for subsequent crop growth after its decomposition (Byous et al., 2004).

In many studies, recycling of crop residues is reported to increase the organic carbon and nutrient contents; decreased soil bulk density and increased crop yields (Mehdi et al., 2011; Eagle et al., 2000; Misra et al., 1996). Thus, it is high time to explore how this precious resource can be utilized and managed from improving soil physicochemical characteristics and amelioration of salt affected lands for enhancing and sustaining productivity. A field experiment on salt-affected soil of Sheikhupura district is being conducted to determine the effect of crop residue incorporation with P on subsequent crop yield grown under variable soil salinity/sodicity.

Materials and Methods

A field experiment was conducted to determine the effect of crop residue incorporation along with P application on rice production at MK Farm, Farooqabad, Sheikhupura, Pakistan starting from summer 2008 and during Kharif (summer) season, 2009. Treatments were arranged using randomised complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. The treatments were Control ([T.sub.1]), straw incorporation @ 5 tonnes/ha ([T.sub.2]), [T.sub.2]+20 kg [P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha ([T.sub.3]), [T.sub.2]+40 kg [P.sub.2]Os/ha ([T.sub.4]) and [T.sub.2] +60 kg [P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha ([T.sub.5]) as (DAP-Di ammonium phosphate). The wheat straw was incorporated in all the treatments except control plots (4x15 m each). The soil was prepared by puddling and a recommended dose of N and [K.sub.2]O @ 100 and 50 kg/ha, respectively was applied to all treatments. Half dose of N and full dose of K were applied at the time of rice transplantation. The remaining V N was applied at tillering stage. The crop was irrigated with tube-well water throughout the growth period. Necessary plant protection measures were taken whenever required. Data on tillers, plant height, panicle length, number of grain/panicle, 1000 grain weight and straw and grain yields were recorded at the time of crop harvest. Plant samples were oven dried at 60 [degrees]C to a constant weight and was dry matter yield recorded. Grain and straw samples were ground using Wiley mill. Ground plant samples were digested in perchloric nitric acid (2:1 1N) mixture (Rhoades, 1982) to estimate Na, K, Ca and Mg by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The data thus obtained were analysed using MSTATC and treatments were separated using LSD test. Tube-well water being applied contains soluble salts slightly above permissible limit of 1.5 dS/m (Table 1). However, residual sodium carbonate in tube-well water is high posing serious threat of sodicity. Soil textural class is loam having salinity and sodicity (Table 1).

Results and Discussion

The data in Table 2 indicated that crop residue incorporation alone and with P incorporation to rice showed statistically significant effect on plant height, number of tillers, panicle length, number of grains/panicle, straw and grain yield. Maximum number of tillers (31) was recorded in treatments receiving residue incorporation along with 40 and 60 kg [P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha as compared to control (20). Increase in number of tillers due to residue incorporation and phosphorus application above recommended dose showed that more phosphorus is needed against recommended dose. Moreover, phosphorus contribution coming from residue is beneficial. Maximum panicle length (30.66 cm) and grain per panicle (211) were attained as a result of wheat straw incorporation @ 5 tonnes/ha and 20 kg [P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha. Maximum straw yield (24.11 t/ha) was attained @ 5 tonnes/ha along with 20 kg [P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha. Grain yield (4.407 t/ha) was the highest in treatment receiving 5 tonnes wheat straw along with 40 kg N/ha ([T.sub.4]) which is 14.6 % more than control treatment, and the lowest grain yield (3.85 t/ha) was recorded in control. However, all of the treatments except control were statistically at par. Similar trends were observed in all parameters of earlier rice and wheat crops. The enhanced yield in treatments receiving residue incorporation showed significant improvement in soil fertility status and this will improve with the passage of time as compared to control treatment receiving chemical fertilizer at recommended rate (Larney and Angers, 2012). Microbial activity would have increased due to residue incorporation and P addition helping rapid decomposition. Residue incorporation is viable option to maintain soil fertility and soil health replacing/ supplementing fertilisers.

Ionic concentration in straw and paddy was found to be statistically significant except Mg in grain. Sodium uptake was higher in rice grain in control and found lower in all the other treatments receiving wheat residue incorporation @ 5 t/ha(Fig. 1). This showed that crop residue incorporation reduced sodium uptake in rice straw and grains. Gaind and Nain (2011) reported that paddy straw improved soil quality. Ca and K uptake by grain and straw was the highest where, wheat straw was applied @ 5 t/ha Table 3.

It can be concluded that incorporation of residue enhanced the availability of K and Ca to plant roots. Under saline-sodic/sodic conditions, plant can better cope with salinity in the presence of calcium and K. The presence of calcium also enhances rehabilitation of sodic soils which is prevalent in soil at this location in rice-wheat growing area. The residual available P was 4.3 to 5.7 mg/kg where wheat straw was applied @ 5 t/ha along with 40 and 60 kg [P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha while, in control it was 4.3 mg/kg (Table 4). It can be concluded that incorporation of residue enhanced the availability of P, K and Ca to plant roots. As a result, rate of rehabilitation of sodic soil will improve significantly. These findings are in agreement with the results of Ahn et al. (2010) and Antil and Singh (2007).


All the agronomic practices and plant protection measures were same except crop residue incorporation alone and with P incorporation. The most economical treatment [T.sub.3] (5 tonnes wheat straw/ha and 20 kg [P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha) gave 0.606 marginal rate of return followed by [T.sub.2] (5 tonnes wheat straw/ha) having 0.532 MRR. Secondly the net benefits in case of 5 tonnes wheat straw incorporation and 20 kg [P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha were 12% higher than control treatment (Table 5). Treatments receiving 5 tonnes straw incorporation alone gave 5% higher net benefits than control treatment. Both the economic indicators (net benefits and marginal rate of return) exhibited that treatment receiving 5 tonnes wheat straw/ha and 20 kg [P.sub.2]0s/ha is viable option to enhance crop productivity and soil fertility.


The highest grain yield (4.407 t/ha) was recorded in treatment receiving 5 tonnes wheat straw along with 40 kg/[P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha, which is 14.6 % more than control and the lowest grain yield (3.847 t/ha) was recorded in control. Maximum P (0.37%) and K (0.13%) contents of grain were recorded where wheat straw was applied @ 5 t/ha along with 40 and 60kg[P.sub.2][O.sub.5] ha, whereby P content of control was (0.3%). The residual P was 5.7 mg/kg where wheat straw was applied @ 5 t/ha along with 40 and 60 kg/[P.sub.2][O.sub.5]/ha. The residual P in control was 4.3 mg/kg. It can be concluded that incorporation of residue enhanced the availability of P marginally, K and Ca to plant roots under saline-sodic/sodic conditions. For sizeable increase in P residual availability P foliar application may be the better option under saline sodic soil Kaya et al. (2001).


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Muhammad Arshad Ullah *, Arshad Ali, Syed Ishtiaq Hyder, Imdad Ali Mahmood and Badar-uz-Zaman

Land Resources Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan

(received December 29, 2014; revised September 10, 2015; accepted October 15, 2015)

* Author for correspondence; E-mail:
Table 1. Physicochemical analysis of the soil and
irrigation water at MK farm

Parameters                           Value
                                Soil     Irrigation water

pH (1:1)                        8.57           8.3
ECe (1:1) (dS/m)                5.65           1.6
SAR [(m.mole/L).sup.1/2]        17.38           --
RSC (meq/L)                      --            14.7
HC[O.sub.3] (meq/L)                            16.3
CaC[O.sub.3] (%)                7.00            --
OM (g/kg)                       13.3            --
Available P (mg/kg)              3.9            --
Sand (%)                         33             --
Silt (%)                         42             --
Clay (%)                         25             --
Texture class                                  Loam

Table 2. Effect of wheat straw incorporation supplemented with P on
growth, straw and grain yield of rice at MK Farm

                Plant        No. of       Panicle       No. of grains/
Treatments    height (cm)   tillers      length (cm)      panicle

[T.sub.1]      128.00 c     20.00 d        25.66 d       160.33 d
[T.sub.2]      129.33 c     22.33 c        29.00 b       193.66 b
[T.sub.3]      131.00 b     24.33 b        30.66 a       211.66 a
[T.sub.4]      139.66 a     31.00 a        27.33 c       184.33 c
[T.sub.5]      139.00 a     31.00 a        27.33 c       194.33 b
LSD              1.753       1.786          1.375         5.139

              1000 grain    Straw yield    Grain yield
Treatments    weight (g)      (t/ha)         (t/ha)

[T.sub.1]      26.33 c       16.560 e       3.847 b
[T.sub.2]      28.33 b       20.133 c       4.287 a
[T.sub.3]      27.00 bc      24.107 a       4.327 a
[T.sub.4]      30.00 a       18.480 d       4.407 a
[T.sub.5]      27.00 bc      22.437 b       4.233 a
LSD             1.575         0.3622        0.1786

Table 3. Effect of wheat straw incorporation supple-
mented with P on Na, K, Ca and Mg uptake % by paddy
straw at MK Farm

Treatment               Straw (%)
             Ca         Na          K       Mg

[T.sub.1]    0.347 cd   0.213       2.283   0.900
[T.sub.2]    0.290 d    0.143       2.353   1.270
[T.sub.3]    0.377 bc   0.240       2.123   1.010
[T.sub.4]    0.423 ab   0.183       1.963   0.910
[T.sub.5]    0.443 a    0.190       2.133   0.873
LSD          0.05954    NS          NS      NS

Table 4. Soil available P content after rice harvest (the
third crop)

Treatments     Residual P (mg/kg)

[T.sub.1]      4.3
[T.sub.2]      5.1
[T.sub.3]      5.4
[T.sub.4]      5.6
[T.sub.5]      5.7

Table 5. Economic analysis, partial budget analysis and dominance
analysis of crop residue management with P
on rice production at MK farm

                                  Straw           T2+20 kg
Treatments                 Controlincorporation   [P.sub.2]

Input cost                 0      12,500          15,000
Total cost that vary       0      12,500          15,000
Yield grain kg/ha          3847   4287            4327
Yield adjusted (10% low)   3462   3858            3894
Output price Rs./Kg        24     24              24
Yield Straw kg/ha          16560  20133           24107
Yield adjusted (10% low)   14904  18119.7         21696.3
Output price Rs./kg        3      3               3
Gross field benefits       127807 146958          158552
Net benefits               127807 134458          143552
Dominance analysis

                           T2+40 kg       T2+60 kg
Treatments                 [P.sub.2]      [P.sub.2]
                           [O.sub.5]/ha   [0.sub.5]/ha

Input cost                 17,500         20,000
Total cost that vary       17,500         20,000
Yield grain kg/ha          4407           4233
Yield adjusted (10% low)   3966           3810
Output price Rs./Kg        24             24
Yield Straw kg/ha          18480          22437
Yield adjusted (10% low)   16632          20193.3
Output price Rs./kg        3              3
Gross field benefits       145087         152013
Net benefits               127587         132013
Dominance analysis

                 TCV (total cost
                 that vary)          NB       VCR

[T.sub.3]        0                   127807
[T.sub.2]        12,500              134458   11:1
[T.sub.3]        15,000              143552   9:1
[T.sub.4]        17,500              127587   7:1
[T.sub.5]        20,000              132013   7:1

Marginal analysis

                 TCV        MC       NB       MNB    MRR
[T.sub.1]        0          0        127807
[T.sub.2]        12,500     12,500   134458   6651   0.532
[T.sub.3]        15,000     15,000   143552   9094   0.606

MNB = marginal net benefit; MRR = marginal rate of return;
MC = marginal cost; TCV = total cost that vary; VCR = value
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Author:Ullah, Muhammad Arshad; Ali, Arshad; Hyder, Syed Ishtiaq; Mahmood, Imdad Ali; Badar-uz-Zaman
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research Series B: Biological Sciences
Article Type:Report
Date:Nov 1, 2015
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