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Effect of farmyard manure (FYM) and inorganic fertilizers on the yield of maize in wheat-maize system on eroded inceptisols in northern Pakistan

Shamsher Ali1, * , Aman Ullah Bhatti1, Abdul Ghani2 and Ahmad Khan3

1. Deptt. of Soil and Environmental Sciences, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan. WWW.aup.edu.pk, Email shamsher1975@yahoo.com
2
. Soil Fertility Officer, Agricultural Research. Institute Mingora, Swat, Pakistan.
3
. Department of Agronomy, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan.
*Corresponding author

Abstract

Crop productivity of eroded lands is very poor due to removal of top fertile soil losing organic matter and plant nutrients. Crop productivity of such marginal lands needs to be restored in order to meet the food requirements of increasing population. Field experiments were conducted at Thana, Malakand; Kabal and Matta, Swat; North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan for three years during 2003-2004 to 2005-2006 to study the effect of inorganic fertilisers alone and in combination with farm yard manure (FYM) under wheat-maize-wheat system. The fertiliser treatments consisted of farmer’s practice: T1 (60-45-0 kg N-P2O5-K2O/ha), inorganic fertilisers: T2 (120-90-60-5 kg N-P2O5-K2O-Zn/ha), and combined application of inorganic and organic: T3 (60-90-60-5 kg N-P2O5-K2O-Zn/ha + 20 t FYM/ha). Maize crop was grown after wheat crop during 2004 and 2005 at all the three sites. Maize crop received the above three treatments but without FYM in T3. Maize crop failed at Thana and Kabal during 2004. The results of individual as well as the pooled data of three sites during 2005 showed that T3 which received FYM for wheat crop gave significantly higher grain as well as stover yields over the other two treatments. The increases in grain yield due to T3 over T2 and T1 were 89 and 16%, respectively averaged over sites, while T2 increased grain yields by 64% over T1. T3 also proved economically over the other treatments at all the sites giving higher net returns. It could be concluded that FYM applied to wheat crop has carryover effect on maize crop in wheat-maize cropping system and can restore the crop productivity of eroded lands.

Keywords

Farm yard manure, inorganic fertilisers, maize yield and eroded inceptisols.

Introduction

North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan encompasses about 10.17 million ha and northern NWFP is the most important agricultural region growing maize. Winter wheat-maize rotation is dominating cropping system in this area under rainfed conditions. Total area under maize crop in NWFP was 492000 ha with a total production of 784000 tons and an average yield of 1593 kg/ha during 2005-2006 (NFDC, 2006). In northern NWFP, the average yield of maize is very low due to erratic rainfall patterns and poor traditional management practices. Both the cereals are used as food by the local populations as well as the other areas of NWFP. Maize is also a potentially important feed source for livestock industry.

After 1960s, due to replacement of recycling of organic wastes and application of inorganic fertilisers with the introduction of new crop varieties, the physical conditions of the soils have become deteriorated particularly in rainfed areas of NWFP. This ultimately has accelerated soil erosion and there have been heavy losses of soil and plant nutrients (Khan et al., 2001). This has resulted in poor soil fertility of eroded marginal lands. There is a need to develop and promote management strategies to use both organic and inorganic sources of plant nutrients for sustained crop production. In addition to restricted use of organic manures, inorganic fertilisers are applied at very low rates and imbalanced proportions. During 2005-2006, N: P use ratio was 3.44:1 in Pakistan (NFDC, 2006). Balanced application of plant nutrients and integrated plant nutrient management have proved to enhance crop yields. (Bhatti and Khan 2000; Jadoon et al., 2003; Dong et al., 2006).

Wheat-maize is a common crop rotation in northern NWFP of Pakistan. With current soil fertility management in wheat-maize-wheat system, external organic matter sources are rarely supplied which in the long run has affected soil organic matter decline, nutrient recovery as well as crop productivity of cropping system. Keeping in view the importance of food security and sustainability of crop production, a study was carried out in the northern NWFP, Pakistan to assess effects of inorganic and organic sources (FYM) on the yield of maize in wheat-maize-wheat cropping system on eroded lands.

Material and Methods

A field survey was conducted in the Malakand and Swat district of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan for selection of sites for field experiments during 2003. Three eroded fields were selected. The geo position of the selected fields is given in Table 1. Soils of all three sites were classified according to the U.S.D.A. Classification System. Soil series and taxonomic class of the three sites is as follows (Table 1)

Table 1. Location and soil classification of experimental sites.

Site

Geo-Position

Elevation

Soil Series

Taxonomic class

Thana

340-36 N, 720-05 E

796 m

Burhan

Clayey, mixed, hyperthermic, Udic Haplustepts

Kabal

340-45N, 720-15 E

888 m

Missa

Coarse silty, mixed, thermic, Typic Dystrudepts

Matta

340-56N, 720-23E

1175 m

Buner

Fine loamy, mixed, thermic, Typic Dystrudepts

Field Experiments

Field experiments were started on wheat during 2003-2004, and continued during 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 in the same layout according to the plan. The experiment consisted of cropping system and fertiliser treatments. Cropping system was wheat-maize-wheat. Fertiliser treatments for wheat and maize crops are given in Table 2. Randomised Complete Block was used with three replications at each location.

Table 2. Rates of N, P2O5, K2O, Zn (kg/ha) and FYM (t/ha) applied in different treatments.

 

Wheat

Maize

Treatments

N

P2O5

K2O

Zn

FYM

N

P2O5

K2O

Zn

T1

60

45

0

0

0

60

45

0

0

T2

120

90

60

5

0

120

90

60

5

T3

60

90

60

5

20

60

90

60

5

Farmyard manure (FYM) was collected from the cattle barnyard and was applied at the rate of 20 t ha-1 to T3 (NPKZn+FYM) plots about one month before sowing of wheat crop during all the three winter seasons. All the PKZn fertilisers were applied at the time of sowing and well incorporated into the soil. In case of nitrogen (N), half N was applied at sowing and the remaining half N after about one month. Sowing of wheat was done in November each year. Crop was harvested from a net area of 1 m2 in duplicate from each treatment plot in May each year and threshed. Grain yield was recorded in kg/ha. During summer 2004 and 2005, maize was grown according to the plan.

The maize variety Azam was sown in July in the respective treatments after wheat during 2004 and 2005 at all the three sites. Fertilisers were applied to respective treatment plots. Half N was applied at sowing and half N at knee stage, while all PKZn fertilisers were applied at sowing. Crop was harvested from a net area of 1 m2 in duplicate from each treatment plot in October each year at all the sites and threshed to measure grain yield.

Soil Analysis

Composite soil samples were collected at the depth of 0-30 cm from the experimental sites before starting the experiment in 2003 and were analysed for various soil properties (Table 3). Soil texture in the surface soil at all the three sites was loam in nature and the Kabal site had a little higher clay content.

Table 3. Soil analysis of experimental sites.

Site

Depth

pH

ECs

Lime

OM

ABDTPA Extr. (mg/kg soil)

 

(cm)

(1:5)

(dS m-1)

(g kg-1)

(g kg-1)

P

K

Zn

Cu

Fe

Mn

Thana

0-30

7.80

0.1236

172.5

11.0

3.98

88.00

0.30

1.95

7.46

9.00

Kabal

0-30

7.81

0.181

180.0

5.2

2.19

104.8

0.70

1.74

7.70

9.31

Matta

0-30

7.76

0.161

130.0

16.9

3.33

176.0

0.56

3.17

14.55

18.22

Statistical Analysis

The data collected on maize yields were statistically analysed using Randomised Complete Block design with three replications. Treatment means were compared using Least Significant Difference (LSD) test of significance at 5 and 1% level of significance and the combined analyses of maize yield data were done according to Gomez and Gomez (1984).

Results and discussion

Maize grain yield at Matta during summer 2004

The maize crop failed at Thana and Kabal due to severe drought during summer season 2004, while the maize crop at Matta survived and was harvested. Treatment effects were highly significant (P < 0.01), with T2 producing the highest yield of 3117 kg/ha but on a par with T3 (Table 4).

Table 4. Effect of fertiliser treatments on the yield of maize at Matta, Swat during summer 2004.

Treatments

Grain yield (kg/ha)

Increase over (%)

T1

T2

T1

1825 b

-

-

T2

3117 a

71

-

T3

3050 a

67

-

Comparison of maize yields over locations during summer 2005

Combined analysis of the pooled data on grain yield of maize over locations showed that the effect of treatments and locations were significant (P<0.01, P<0.05, respectively). Treatment mean grain yield differed significantly from one another (Table 5). The highest yield of 2510 kg/ha was obtained from T3. The highest yield was obtained at Matta and was significantly different from the other two sites.

Table 5. Grain and stover yields (kg/ha) of maize as influenced by fertiliser treatments at different locations during summer 2005.

Treatments

Thana (Grain kg ha-1)

Kabal

Matta

Mean

% increase over

T1

T2

T1

974

1018

1985

1326 c

-

-

T2

1634

1661

3212

2169 b

64

-

T3

2325

1771

3433

2510 a

89

16

Mean

1645 b

1484 c

2877 a

     
 

Stover (kg/ha)

   

T1

1592

1727

2107

1808 c

-

-

T2

3004

2680

3817

3167 b

75

-

T3

4081

3443

4101

3875 a

114

22

Mean

2892 ab

2617 b

3342 a

     

Combined analysis of the pooled data on stover yield over locations showed that the treatment differences were highly significant (P<0.01), and all three treatments differed significantly from one another (Table 5). The highest yield of 3875 kg/ha was obtained from T3 followed by 3167 kg/ha from T2. As regards sites, the differences among sites were significant (P<0.05). The highest yield of 3342 kg/ha was obtained at Matta followed by 2892 kg/ha at Thana being comparable with each other.

Temporal Variation

Combined analysis of the data on grain and stover yields of maize at Matta, Swat over the two years i.e. summer 2004 and 2005 as influenced by various treatments showed that the results were significant only for treatments (P<0.05) and non-significant for years regarding grain. In case of stover yield the results were highly significant (P<0.01) for years, treatments, and their interactions.

Table 6. Economic analysis of fertiliser use on maize.

Years

Sites

Treatments

Value of
grain yield

Value of
stover yield

Total value

Cost
of fertilisers

Net
Return

 

Pakistani Rupees (Rs./ha)

Summer
2004

Matta

T1

14053

4388

18441

2771

15670

T2

25618

5285

30903

8112

22791

T3

23547

5758

29305

6891

22414

Summer
2005

Thana

T1

7792

2068

9860

3015

6845

T2

13072

3905

16977

9021

7956

T3

18608

5435

24043

7696

16347

Kabal

T1

8144

2245

10389

3015

7374

T2

13296

3484

16780

9021

7759

T3

14168

4476

18644

7696

10948

Matta

T1

15880

2735

18615

3015

15600

T2

25696

4962

30658

9021

21637

T3

27464

5331

32795

7696

25099

Economics of fertiliser use on maize

Maize crop failed at Thana and Kabal during 2004 while it could be harvested at Matta only. At Matta, the net return from T3 increased in 2005 over 2004 while the other treatments gave almost equal net profit during both the years (Table 6). As regards the other sites, net return from T3 was considerably higher than the other two treatments. This is due to higher maize yield in T3 with reduced N application and the residual effect of FYM.

Discussion

The maize crop at Thana and Kabal failed during 2004 due to low rainfall, while it was successfully grown at all the three sites in 2005. The results of individual as well as averaged over locations showed that the treatment receiving 60-90-60-5 kg N-P2O5-K2O-Zn/ha (T3) increased the yields of maize significantly over the other treatments. This was followed by T2 receiving 100% NPK Zn, while the lowest yields were recorded in T1. All the three treatments differed significantly from one another. The performance of T3 was due to FYM application to the previous wheat crop and its carryover effect on maize crop. Dong et al. (2006) also suggested that FYM should be applied to wheat crop in wheat-maize rotation. The major reason for the performance of T3 on maize was due to the effect of FYM on the organic matter and consequently moisture conservation (Jadoon et al., 2003; Bhatti and Khan, 2000; Dong et al., 2006).

Organic matter content and available water holding capacity in T3 were increased consistently over time and can explain the yield increase, as both are the yield limiting factors in rainfed areas. (Jadoon et al., 2003; Dong et al., 2006).

T3 was followed by 100% NPKZn (T2) at all the sites. The reason was the low to medium soil fertility status of the experimental sites as shown in the original soil analysis. This treatment (T2) is a balanced one in respect of N, P, K and Zn and thus produced significantly higher yields than the T1. Balanced applications of FYM with NPKZn have also been reported in earlier studies (Jadoon et al., 2003; Dong et al., 2006).

Though N was reduced by 50% in T3 to maize, the yield was increased significantly over 100% NPK Zn. This saved N on the one hand and increased yield on the other hand, due to increased efficiency of applied fertilisers.

Conclusion

Combined application of inorganic fertilisers and FYM (T3) applied to wheat followed by NPK Zn applied to maize increased the yields of maize significantly over the other treatments though half N was applied as compared with 100% N in T2. This was followed by 100% NPK Zn. This indicates that there was a carryover effect of FYM applied to the previous wheat crop. This was most likely a combination of several factors such as improved nutrient supply capacity and water retention of the soils under rainfed conditions. It can be concluded that combined application of inorganic fertilisers with FYM would restore crop productivity of eroded lands if continued over a long period. Moreover, it will also have an environmental impact through controlling runoff and soil erosion.

Acknowledgement

Authors are highly thankful to Pakistan Science Foundation, Islamabad, for financing this research project.

References

Bhatti AU and Khan M (2000). Integrated Plant Nutrient Management in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. pp 150-158. In: Proceedings of Symposium on “Integrated Plant Nutrient Management” at National Fertilizer Development Centre, Islamabad, Nov. 8-10, 1999.

Dong J, Hengsdijk H, DAI, Ting-Bo, De Boer W, Jing Q, and Wei-Xing CAO (2006). Long-term effects of manure and inorganic fertilizers on yield and soil fertility for a winter wheat-maize system in Jiangsu, China. Pedosphere 16(1): 25-32.

Gomez KA and Gomez AA (1984). Statistical Procedures for Agricultural Research. Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York. pp 680.

Jadoon MA, Bhatti AU, Khan F and Sahibzada QA (2003). Effect of farm yard manure in combination with NPK on the yield of maize and soil physical properties. Pak. J. Soil Sci. 22(2): 47-55.

Khan F, Bhatti AU, and Khattak RA. 2001. Soil and nutrient losses through sediment and surface runoff under maize mono-cropping and maize legume inter-cropping from upland slopping fields. Pak. J. Soil Sci. 19: 32-40.

NFDC (2006). Fertilizer Review 2005-2006. NFDC publication No. 2/2006. National Fertilizer Development Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan.

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