Open Access Original Research Article

Indigenous Knowledge of Soil Health and Fertility Management in Garakahalli Micro Watershed of Ramanagar District, Karnataka

S. C. Ramesh Kumar, B. P. Bhaskar, V. Ramamurthy, S. Srinivas, Rajendra Hegde, S. P. Maske, S. K. Singh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/34710

The comparative approach aims to establish differences and similarities between local knowledge and scientific information only to focus on the management of soil and land resources. The aim of the study at Garkahalli micro watershed in a part of Ramanagar district, Karnataka was to study farmers’ perceptions about assessment of soil fertility and comparing them with the criteria of soil fertility used by researchers. To address this issue, semi-structured interviews were conducted in 251 households and major soil series with grid surface samples were collected for deriving thematic soil fertility map. The house hold interviews showed that the response of farmers in percentage against four sets of soil health indicators were listed as (1) soil organic carbon status (90%), colour (85%) and texture (80%), (2) 100% for yield under crop performance, (3) 100% for dry spells / rainfall distribution under environmental factors and (4) 100% for type and amount of farm yard manure and availability of irrigation (under agricultural management). The scoring of ten soil biophysical indicators used by farmers were found to be  well in agreement with scientific method of soil fertility assessment and in designing integrated soil fertility management technologies at landscape level.

Open Access Original Research Article

Response of Soil Macro and Micro-aggregates and Dispersion Ratio to Solid Cattle Manure in Cultivated and Non- cultivated Soils

Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Bassouny

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/34053

Manure application is important for maintaining and improving soil quality and aggregation.  Two field experiments were carried out on a silty clay loam soil during the two successive summer seasons of 2016 and 2017 to examine the influence of solid cattle manure (SCM) on soil macro and micro-aggregates (Large soil macro-aggregates ˃2 mm, small macro-aggregates 0.25- 2 mm and soil micro-aggregates < 0.053- 0.25 mm) and dispersion ratio in cultivated and non- cultivated soil. The first was designed to study the effect of SCM on soil aggregation (non- cultivated soil), and the second was to study the effect of SCM added to the grown potato on soil aggregation (cultivated soil).  Four rates of SCM were added to the soil before tilth: 0, 12, 24 and 36 Mg ha-1. The SCM application significantly (P < 0.05) affected soil physical properties after 2 years application. Soil porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity increased, while bulk density decreased due to increasing aggregation in the non-cultivated soil compared to the cultivated one. The aggregates large soil macro-aggregates, small macro-aggregates and soil micro-aggregates significantly (P < 0.05) increased by the application of SCM. The application of SCM decreased significantly the dispersion ratio. The SCM increased significantly the structure coefficient in the non- cultivated compared to the cultivated soil. The SCM has a major direct effect on soil macro and micro-aggregates under potato production, particularly at high rates of SCM. The organic matter showed highly significant positive correlations with macro and micro-aggregates and highly negative one with dispersion ratio. The strong positive correlation was between the number of tubers and dispersion ratio, as well as between potato yield and soil aggregation, which indicated that the organic matter addition increased the potato yield and decreased the dispersion ratio. In conclusion, the SCM improved soil aggregation and dispersion ratio in cultivated and non- cultivated soils with increase potato yield.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Pinching and Paclobutrazol on Growth, Flowering, Anatomy and Chemical Compositions of Potted Geranium (Pelargonium zonal L.) Plant

M. M. M. Abd El-Aal, Y. F. Y. Mohamed

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-22
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/34527

Aims: A two-year field trials were carried out during the two successive seasons of 2015 and 2016 to study the effect of pinching and paclobutrazol (PP333) at 20, 40 and 60 ppm on growth, flowering, histological characteristics and chemical compositions of potted Pelargonium zonale L. plant.

Methodology: Uniform terminal cuttings were planted in 8 cm plastic pots containing 1:1 mixture of peat moss and sand. On March 1st of 2015 and 2016, uniform well rooted cuttings were repotted in 20 cm diameter plastic pots filled with a mixture of 1 clay: 1 sand :1 peat moss (v:v:v). Pinching was applied after 21 days from transplanting by removing the apical bud of all the upcoming buds, allowed to produce side shoots. After one month, the plants were received four sprays with PP333 at 20, 40 and 60 ppm plus tap water as control at two weeks intervals.

Results: Results showed that: All pinching and PP333 concentrations decreased plant height (compacting showy plants), particularly the combined treatment of PP333 at 60 ppm with pinching in both seasons. On the other hand, all applied treatments of pinching and PP333 statistically increased number of branches / plant and stem diameter/(cm) to reach its maximum with the highest concentration for each. The heaviest fresh and dry weights of leaves/plant, the highest number of leaves/ plant, the highest number of flowers/ plant whereas the heaviest flowers fresh and dry weights/plant were gained from plants pinched and sprayed by PP333 at 60 ppm in the two seasons.  In addition, all different applied treatments of pinching and PP333 statistically decreased leaf area / (cm2) as compared with control plants (without pinching) which induced the largest leaf area / (cm2) and the earliest flowers in the first and the second seasons. Moreover, the highest show value (plant width/ height ratio) was recorded by the interaction treatments of pinching and PP333 at the highest concentration in both seasons. The highest number of roots/plant and the heaviest fresh and dry weights as well as leaf N, P, K, total carbohydrates, total chlorophylls contents and leaf total phenols content gave the significantly highest mean value for the interaction treatment of pinching and 60 ppm PP333 -sprayed plants in the two seasons. All pinching and PP333 treatments increased leaf total phenols content (mg/100g F.W), but they reduced total indoles (mg/100 g F.W) of Pelargonium zonale L. Leaves. Moreover, the interaction of PP333 at 40 ppm with pinching or PP333 at 60 ppm without pinching recorded highly significant increments of all above mention parameters in the first and the second seasons. Furthermore, the obtained results indicated that all PP333with and without pinching treatments increased cytokinins and salicylic acid contents, but they decreased gibberellins, auxins and abscisic acid (mg/100 g F.W) of Pelargonium zonale L. shoot with superiority of PP333 at 60 ppm with pinching compared with control and other used treatments. Regarding to the anatomical features of leaf and stem anatomy, most traits were increased with different applied treatments compared with the control, particularly pinching with PP333 at 60 ppm treatment. Consequently, it is preferable, to obtain a good display of flowering pot of Pelargonium zonale L. plants with formative growth and flowering characteristics from the commercial point of view, treating geranium plants with PP333 at 60 ppm applied as spray supported with pinching treatment practice four times a year.

Open Access Original Research Article

Enhancing Lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus) Production via Adaptation Measures under Climate Projection in Central Highlands of Ethiopia

Eba Muluneh Sorecha

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/34368

Aim: The study was carried out with the specific objective to identify the best adaptation measure for lentil production under projected climate change in central highlands of Ethiopia. 

Methodology: Baseline climate data were collected from the National Meteorological Agency of Ethiopia; whereas the projected climate data (for the period 2030s and 2050s) were downscaled using six ensembled climate models, namely: BCC-CSM1-1, CSIRO-Mk3-6-0, HadGEM2-ES, MIROC-ESM, MIROC-ESM-CHEM, and MIROC5, under two representative concentration pathways (RCPs): RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Crop data, such as yield, yield components and other crop management data, were obtained from Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center (DZARC). DSSAT model was employed to assess the impacts of projected climate on lentil prodcution, and to identify the best adaptation measure.

Results: The results of the study revealed that sowing date, plant density, and row spacing would significantly influence the yields of Alemaya X FLIP 88-41L-02-AK-14 and Alemaya genotypes. The highest (26%) yield increase  for genotype Alemaya X FLIP 88-41L-02-AK-14 would be noticed if planted in the 2nd decade of June with CO2 fertilization by 2030s under RCP8.5. In contrast, the highest (11.5%) yield reduction  for same genotype would be expected by 2050s without CO2 fertilization under RCP4.5, if planted early in  June. Similarly, the highest (19.7%) yield increase for Alemaya genotype would be expected under RCP8.5 scenario with CO2 fertilization by 2050s; planting early in June would rather decrease the yield. The research results also showed that the highest (16%) yield increase would be experienced if planted with a density of 100 plants per square metre for Alemaya X FLIP 88-41L-02AK-14 genotype under RCP8.5 scenario by 2050s. However, it would be the highest (22%) yield increase under RCP4.5 scenario with CO2 fertilization for Alemaya genotype if planted with same density. The yield of both lentil genotypes would  increase if planted with plant spacing of 20 cm and 30 cm between rows. The study appreciates other studies to be conducted on other lentil genotypes to enhance the prodcution of lentil in the upcoming century.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Nitrogen Levels and Zinc Fertilizer Scheduling on Economic of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Production in Varanasi District of Uttar Pradesh

Santosh K. Meena, S. K. Prasad, M. K. Singh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/34734

A field investigation was carried out during winter (Rabi) season of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 on sandy clay loam at Agricultural Research Farm, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (25º 18’ N and 83º 03’ E) to evaluate the effect of nitrogen levels and zinc fertilization on economic of wheat production in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh.

The experiment was established using four levels of nitrogen (0, 90, 120 and 150 kg ha-1) and four zinc fertilizer scheduling (Control, 5 kg Zn ha-1 basal + 0.5% spray at ear head initiation stage, 5 kg Zn ha-1 basal + 0.5% spray at flowering stage and 5 kg Zn ha-1 basal + 0.5% spray at milking stage) in randomized block design and replicated thrice.

Results from experimental findings revealed that considerably maximum yields (grain and straw), gross returns, net returns and benefit cost ratio was obtained with individual application of 150 kg N ha-1 and 5 kg Zn ha-1 + 0.5% ZnSO4 spray at ear head initiation stage during both years of investigations. However, nitrogen and zinc fertilization interact significantly and maximum gross returns (INR. 100747.61 ha-1) and net returns (INR. 68346.86 ha-1) only during 2012-2013 and benefit cost ratio (2.11 and 2.67) during both years were recorded with N150×Zn1 treatment. Based on experimentation it may be recommended that separately application of 150 kg N ha-1 and 5 kg Zn ha-1 + 0.5% ZnSO4 spray at ear head initiation stage and combined N3×Zn1 treatment was most effective for higher net returns and benefit cost ratio from wheat in Varanasi region of Uttar Pradesh.