ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 87 Number 4
Can Fly Ash, an industrial waste, improve agricultural productivity? An investigation with a perennial grass in a acid lateritic soil. (158)
Fly ash (FA), a by-product of thermal power plants, with a pH of more than 9.0 and containing macronutrients including P, K, Ca, Mg and S and micronutrients Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B and Mo can be utilized to ameliorate acid lateritic soils to improve fertility and productivity. An experiment was conducted for two years commencing during 2003 to study the direct effect of FA, organic materials like farm yard manure (FYM), vermicompost (VC) and green manure (GM) and chemical fertilizers (CF) on sabai grass (Eulaliopsis binata) during wet season (rainy season) and residual effect on the same crop during dry season (rabi season) in sandy loam acid lateritic upland soil. Application of FA in combination with organic materials and CF recorded 20.2% higher yield over sole CF. Dry grass yield during dry season was also significantly higher under the residual effect of the former rather than the latter. Sabai grass yield was maximum under the direct effect of GM in combination with CF (14.2%). Uptake of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu by sabai grass was significantly higher under the combined effect of CF, organic materials and CF than application of CF alone. Beneficial effect of integrated nutrient management was also apparent on residual soil fertility in terms of pH, organic carbon and available N, P and K status as compared to continuous use of only CF.
Keywords: Fly ash, organic manures, chemical fertilizers, residual fertility