Open Access Short communication

Soil Testing Scenario in India and Its Significance in the Balanced Use of Fertilisers

Hari Mohan Meena, R. P. Sharma, Roohi .

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/39962

Soil testing is employed for quick characterisation of the inherent fertility status of soils and predicting the nutrient requirements of crops. Soil testing is guiding the farmers regarding the balanced and judicious use of the fertilisers, which ultimately reduces the overall costs and finally mitigate the consequences of the global warming. Proper soil sampling techniques must be demonstrated to the farmers for having more meaningful results by adopting which more desirable results will be achieved. Soil sampling will be the ultimate gadget which surely improves the livelihoods of the farmers by reducing the dose of fertilisers as we have to feed the crop but not the soil.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Soil Enhancer (XXL) on the Growth and Developmental Attributes of Brri Dhan 29 and Hybrid Dhan Taj-1 Cultivars of Rice in Boro Season

Md. Saidur Rahman, Md. Moinul Haque, Kamal Uddin Ahamed

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/40495

The experiment was conducted at the Research Field of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka-1207 during November, 2015 to July, 2016. XXL (Soil enhancer) is a complex substance which consists of organic humic acid, fulvic acid, 40 different trace elements and other plant hormones. The present study consisted of two varieties (BRRI dhan 29 and Hybrid dhan Taj-1) and seven different concentrations of soil enhancer (XXL) {Control, 125% (1.88 g/1.5 L), 100% (1.5 g/1.5 L), 75% (1.125 g/1.5 L), 50% (0.75 g/1.5 L), 33% (0.50 g/1.5 L) and 25% (0.38 g/1.5 L)}. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. Significant variation was observed in different growth and development contributing characters with XXL. Among the different XXL concentrations, 75% XXL provided the best result. Irrespective of varieties, the highest plant height {92.82 at 80 days after transplanting (DAT)} SPAD value of leaves (32.04 at 80 DAT), tillers hill-1 (15.26 at 80DAT) and leaf area (29.26 cm2) were achieved. With 75% XXL, BRRI dhan 29 and Hybrid dhan Taj-1 provided their shortest duration of maturation of grain (107.3 DAT and 94.33 DAT, respectively). It was 4.1% and 18.41% lower than control, respectively. It meant that BRRI dhan 29 and Hybrid dhan Taj-1 performed well with 75% XXL applied.

Open Access Original Research Article

Pedological Characterization and Classification of Typical Soils of Lupane District, Zimbabwe

Collis S. Mukungurutse, Newton Nyapwere, Amos M. Manyanga, Luke Mhaka

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/39609

Pedological characterization and classification of soils is key for land resource planning and development of soil management interventions for improving agricultural productivity. A study was conducted in Bubi area of Lupane District, Zimbabwe, to examine soil morphological, physical and chemical attributes and to classify soils for land use planning and determining area specific soil management strategies. A detailed soil survey was conducted using a free survey method. Five soil mapping units M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5 were delineated and mapped based on field observations and laboratory analysis results. Soil samples were collected from representative profiles of each mapping unit for soil physical and chemical analyses. Sandy and loamy sand textures were dominant for surface soils while sandy clay loam and sands were dominant in subsurface soils. Mapping unit M3 had an abruptic textural change with sandy surface textures overlying sandy clay loam subsurface soils. Soil pH was alkaline (7.0 – 7.4) in deeper subsurface layers of M1, M2 and M4 mapping units. Exchangeable magnesium (Mg2+) and calcium (Ca2+) were the dominant exchangeable cations. The level of exchangeable Ca2+ for both surface and subsurface soils was low (< 5 cmol(+)kg-1). Clay content had highly significant positive correlations with cation exchange capacity (CEC), exchangeable Ca2+, Mg2+ and soil pH. CEC had highly significant positive correlations with silt, soil pH, exchangeable Ca2+, Mg2+and Na+. According to the ‘World   Reference Base for  Soil Resources’ classification system, soil units M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5 were classified as Calcic VERTISOLS, Haplic LUVISOLS, Haplic LIXISOLS (abruptic), Luvic CALCISOLS (Chromic) and Rubic ARENOSOLS (dystric) respectively. Clay content and CEC significantly correlated with most soil chemical properties in the study area. Liming, split fertilizer application and organic matter additions was recommended to address fertility issues related to high sand content, soil acidity, low CEC, low exchangeable Ca2+ and K+ constraints identified in some mapping units.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Shade Regimes and Varying Seasons of Irrigation on Survival, Developmental Pattern and Yield of Field Grown Cacao (Theobroma cacao)

Famuwagun Idowu Babadele

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/37339

Investigations were conducted on the field to examine the effects of varying seasons of drip irrigation and shade regimes on field survival, development and yield of cacao at the teaching and research Farm of Federal University Technology Akure, Nigeria between 2012/2013 to 2014/2015 growing seasons. The shade treatments are (dense, moderate and no-shade) and the varying seasons of irrigation are (three, two and one seasons of continuous dry season drip irrigation). From the results, it was discovered that combined effects of moderate and dense shade with continuous three years irrigation enhances field survival and establishment of cacao but with a significantly lower effects on growth parameters like stem girth, branch number, and canopy size compared to those with continuous three years irrigation under open-sun. More so, plant height of cacao plants were significantly positively influenced by dense and moderate shades but with thinner stem girth compared with open-sun plots with thicker girth, higher branch number, and better canopy sizes at first and second growing season. In the third year, open-sun plots with two and three continuous dry season irrigation were significantly higher in plant height, girth, branch number and canopy sizes. In addition, increased cacao percentage survival were significantly influenced by irrigation and shade. Meanwhile, stand mortality were highest under dense and moderate shaded plots without irrigation in the second and third dry season (67%), followed by those without irrigation only in the second dry season (58%) and (52%) in those without irrigation in only the third dry season. Pod production were significantly higher with open-sun treatments that were irrigated throughout the three dry season with the average pod production of 12, 67 and 169 pods/plant in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year. Moderate and densely shaded cacao was significantly lower in pod production compared to those under open-sun.

Open Access Original Research Article

Bacteria to Fungi Ratio and Organic Carbon in No-till Ultisols after Applications of Corn Residues and Poultry Manure

B. E. Udom, A. O. Benwari

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/40622

No-till system may greatly increase soil organic carbon (SOC), and modify soil structure and water retention properties in the plough layer. Additions of organic materials of contrasting C and N ratio in no-till system require better understanding because they could cause a shift in the bacterial to fungi ratio. We studied the effects of short-term additions of 10 t ha -1 dry corn residues (CNS10) and 10 t ha -1 poultry manure (PM10) on bacteria-fungi ratio and other properties in a no-till ultisols. Results showed that PM10 improved SOC content of soil by 49.7% while CNS10 added 14.2% of SOC to the soil. There were significant (p < 0.05) increases in total N and available P in PM10 soils. Total N ranged from 4.8 g kg -1 in the control to 8.1 g kg -1in PM10, while available P increased by 117% compared with the control. Application of 10 t ha -1 poultry manure caused a major shift in microbial community towards greater bacterial population, whereas, dry corn residues encouraged significant shift towards greater fungi population. Relationships showed highly significant positive correlation between bacteria and clay content (r = 0.714, p = 0.01), and negative correlation with sand. Result also showed that fungal population increased with increasing sand content. These results indicate that addition of 10 t ha -1 of poultry manure in a no-till management leads to significant increases in bacterial population, SOC, total N and available P. This method can therefore be recommended to farmers where reserve C and N as well as increased mineralization are needed.