Farm Table says:
What is the problem?
Conventional agriculture is largely dependent on chemical fertilizers which have been shown to cause environmental degradation and human health. Effective and widespread use of organic manures/fertilizers has shown promise as a source of multiple nutrients and ability to improve soil characteristics. It has the ability to substantially reduce chemical fertilizer use without detrimental effects on crop yields.
The alkaline and calcareous soils of Pakistan are extensively deficient in nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and organic matter, hence the application of inorganic fertilizer is considered imperative for increasing crop production.
What did the research involve?
The study was designed to achieve the following objectives:
- To quantify the comparative performance of organic and inorganic manures on phenology, growth, and yield of wheat under a semiarid tropical climate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- To find out the best combination of different amendments as well as EM inoculum for enhancing agronomic and uptake efficiency in wheat crop.
The experiment was conducted at farmer’s field in Pakistan during winter season 2011-12 and 2012-13. The experiment was laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with split plot arrangement. In the main plots, presence and absence of EM were compared.
In sub plots, the treatments include d:
- T1 = control
- T2 = Urea @ 120 kg N ha-1
- T3= FYM @ 8 t ha-1
- T4 = PM @ 4 t ha-1
- T5 = 50 % N from Urea + 25% N from FYM + 25% N from PM
What were the key findings?
The results revealed that sole application of organic and inorganic N fertilizers did not improve the growth and yield attribute significantly. Results further indicate that combined application of 50 % N from Urea + 25% N from FYM + 25% N from PM along with EM @ 50 L ha-1 was found more effective in enhancing biological yield (13.08t ha-1 ) and grain yield (3.65t ha-1 ).
Application of EM along with FYM, PM or inorganic fertilizers enhanced nutrients/NPK uptake efficiencies in plant tissues by 19.66, 9.53 and 12.06 % as compared to control plots receiving no fertilizer/manure.
The results led the researchers to conclude the significant effect of integrated nutrient management of FYM, PM and mineral fertilizer, when applied in combination with EM on phenology, yield components and uptake in wheat.