ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 70 Number 3
Effect of incorporation of legume straw on soil properties and crop yield in a maize-wheat sequence
A field experiment was conducted on Samana sandy loam soil (Typic Ustochrept) for six years to evaluate the effect of summer moong straw (SMS) incorporation on crop yield and soil properties. After harvesting pods, SMS was incorporated seven days before sowing maize in summer moong -maize -wheat sequence. Five levels of N (0, 50, 75, 100, and 125 kg N ha-1) and two levels of N (80 and 120 kg N ha-1) were applied to maize and wheat, respectively. Mineral N content was substantially higher in plots with SMS than without SMS during early growth of maize. SMS incorporation increased the N content of 60-day-old maize plants by 20%. Organic C, mineral N, and 0.5 M NaHCO3 extractable P were 27, 12, and 16%, respectively, higher in SMS-amended plots than unamended plots after six years. SMS incorporation increased infiltration rate of 1.4 times and available water by 2 cm in the 180-cm-depth of soil profile. It decreased resistance to soil penetration. SMS incorporation resulted in significant increase in grain yield of maize at all levels of N. It decreased the number of barren plants and increased the number of cobs plant-1, grain weight cob-1, and 1000-grain weight. A residual effect of SMS incorporation on the succeeding wheat crop was also observed for all six years at the 80 kg N ha-1 level and in the later three years at the 120 kg N ha-1 level.
Keywords: Soil degradation; Residue management; Legume straw incorporation; Soil chemical; Physical properties