Open Access Short Research Article

In situ Method for Measurement of the Stem Flow of Maize

Haijun Liu, Liwei Zhang, Ruihao Zhang, Xuming Wango, Yan Li

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/36515

Measurement of stem flow is important for analyzing the water balance and evaluating the soil erosion in agricultural fields with crop stands under precipitation. Most used methods for stem flow measurement now are ex situ, this may yield big error because plant canopy structure is greatly modified. In this study, anin situ method was proposed for measuring stem flow of water for maize plant under natural condition. In this method, a high-water-adsorption-sheet (HWAS) was wrapped around the stem base, and the stem flow amount is the mass differences of HWAS measured before and after rainfall event. Results showed that the measured stem flow was approximately 41% of the total precipitation and canopy interception capacity was approximately 0.63 mm when the maize height is 220 cm and the leaf area index is 4.5. These results of stem flow rate and canopy interception capacity are confirmed by the data in the published literatures. The HWAS method is easy performance and reliable and is therefore recommended for in situ stem flow measurement as an alternative to the current methods.

Open Access Short Research Article

Role of Microbial Community in Suppressing Development of Ganoderma in Oil Palm Seedlings

Abdu Rahman Khunaw, Radziah Othman, Nusaibah Syed Ali, Mohamed Hanafi Musa, F. S. Rabara

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/36192

Ganoderma boninense is a fungal pathogen causing serious basal stem root (BSR) disease in oil palm. The development of this pathogen can be influenced by soil microbial community. A  greenhouse  study  was  conducted  to  determine  the  effect   of indigenous soil microorganisms on growth of G. boninense inoculated in oil palm seedlings on different soils. Soil samples were collected from three different locations; G. boninense infected soil (S1), non-infected soil (S2) and forest soil (S3). The results showed that sterilized soil without the presence of indigenous microbial population did not suppress the development of G. boninense in oil palm seedlings. The G. boninense inoculated plants grown on sterilized soils had a significantly lower shoot (34.87 g/plant) and root dry weights (9.12 g/plant) as compared to the non-Ganoderma inoculated plants. The highest contents of N (724 mg/plant), P (60 mg/plant), and K (605 mg/plant) were found in seedlings grown in non-infected soil. The lignin content and photosynthesis decreased in G. boninense infected plants while cellulose content varied. The Ganoderma inoculated seedlings showed higher disease severity index and lower shoot yield. Hence, soil devoid of indigenous microorganism negatively affected oil palm seedlings growth due to increased development of G. boninense in the seedlings roots.

Open Access Original Research Article

Characterization of Spatial Variability of Soil Fertility Parameters Using Geo-Spatial Techniques

G. S. Tagore, P. S. Kulhare, A. Suryawanshi

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/35769

GPS based surface soil samples were collected from Hanumana, Huzur, Mangawan, Naigarhi, Raipur-Karchulian and Sirmour blocks of Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh, India during off season of 2011-2012. Geographically, it is situated between 24°18' and 25°12' north latitudes and 81°2' and 82°18' east longitudes. and analyzed for soil physiochemical properties using standard method. Results obtained from the laboratory analysis, were studied using standard statistical software. Further, the data were normalized and maps were created using geo-statistical tool in Arc GIS environment. Classical results and maps indicated that the soil samples of studied blocks were found to be slightly acidic to slightly alkaline in reaction, normal in soluble salts, low to medium in organic carbon content and non-calcareous in nature. Result revealed that the nutrient index of sulphur indicated that the low NI value (1.45) in soils of Naigarhi and other blocks showed medium. Similarly, S was deficient to be 61.3% in Naigarhi and followed by 52.93% Sirmour. However, the highest deficiency of Zn (87.30 and 80.95) and lowest NI status (1.13 and 1.21) in Huzur and Mangawan blocks, respectively. NI value of Zn was medium in soils of other blocks. Fe deficiency was found only 4.74 and 8.33 per cent in Mangawan and Raipur Karchuliyan block, respectively. Only 7.94, 2.38, 9.09 and 5.26 were found deficient in B soils of Huzur, Mangawan, Naigarhi and Sirmour blocks, respectively. The Cu, Fe, Mn and B NI value rated high in soils of all studied blocks. The organic carbon content exhibited significant positive correlation with available Zn (r =0.278**) and S (r = 0.149*). However, available boron content exhibited positive correlation with pH. The CaCO3 contents had significant negative correlation with available Zn (r = - 0.140*) and Mn (r = -0.146*). The maps prepared using GIS also suggested the major variability of S, Zn, Fe and B in study area.

Open Access Original Research Article

Household Survey on the Compost Use and its Constraints in Smallholder Farming of Malawi Northern Region

N. Matsui, C. Cornelius

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/36570

The household survey was conducted in the four northern districts of Malawi, Mzimba North (N), Mzimba South (S), Nkhatabay, and Rumphi in July 2012. Totally 432 households (9 villages, 148 households in Mzimba N, 7 villages, 123 households in Mzimba S, 5 villages, 85 households in Nkhatabay, 4 villages, 76 households in Rumphi) were studied with the aim of clarifying current status regarding land management practices and at identifying reasons refraining farmers from proactive use of compost. 47% of income comes from agriculture in smallholder farmers. Farmers are forced to engage in off-farm works to sustain the livelihood such as sales business, working abroad and migrant work within the country. This result indicates a necessity to make agriculture activity in the study region more sustainable and productive.

Among land management practices, soil fertilization highly relied on the use of chemical fertilizer. Compost use was still limited among farmers. Only 30% of farmers applied to a half of the crop land. Effects of compost were recognized as 21% of farmers experienced an increase of yield by compost application. However, 26% of farmers just burn crop residue without any utilization. Compost material collection and transportation were two main obstacles in compost application as expressed by the equation; Application of compost = 0.41 x compost material collection + 0.33 x compost transportation - 0.14 (r2=0.39, p<0.05). These would be solved to some extent if compost making is jointly done by farmer group since it plays a great role in rural activity in Malawi. Material availability for compost making was different among the districts so that strategy to promote compost application shall be planned according to the regional condition.

Open Access Original Research Article

Bio-efficacy of Polymer Coated Urea on Growth and Yield of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) under Lowland Cultivation

Rajani ., Avijit Sen

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/36461

Aim: To evaluate the effect of polymer coated urea on plant growth and yield of paddy under lowland cultivation.

Study and Design: The experiment consisting five treatments was carried out in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replications.

Place and Duration of study: A pot experiment was conducted in kharif season of 2014-15 under open field condition at Agriculture Research Farm of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

Methodology: The research trail was consisted five sources of nitrogen [i.e. Urea Supergranule, polymer coated urea (single layer), polymer coated urea (double layer), Neem coated urea and sulfur coated urea]. Ureas prills (2g) coated with different materials were deep placed at a week after transplanting at the center of four hills. Data regarding all the parameters were taken separately from each pot and analyzed following suitable statistical tools.  

Results: The result showed that plant height, tiller number, grain per panicle and grain yield improved by 8.51%, 24.33%, 16.07% and 23.37% respectively, with application of polymer coated urea over uncoated urea at harvesting. The grain and straw yield were found to be highest (24.17 and 31.08 q ha-1 respectively) under polymer coated urea (double layer) as compared to urea supergranule with 17.52 and 24.02 q ha-1.

Conclusion: It was observed that polymer coated urea significantly improved plant growth and yield (both grain and straw) because of its low solubility and synchronized release of nitrogen characteristics. It proved that polymer coated urea is the best fertilizer for paddy cultivation particularly under lowland condition.