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Effect of mint distillation waste on soil microbial biomass in a mint-mustard cropping sequence

Chand, S., Anwar, M., Patra, D.D., Khanuja, S.P.S.
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2004 v.35 no.1-2 pp. 243-254
Mentha arvensis, NPK fertilizers, animal manures, cropping sequence, distillation, essential oil crops, essential oils, field experimentation, microbial biomass, mineral fertilizers, mint, potassium chloride, soil, soil organic carbon, superphosphate, urea
Field experiments were conducted for two years (1997-1999) at the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) in Lucknow, India, to study the influence of single and combined application of organic manure and inorganic fertilizers on growth and essential oil yield of Japanese mint (Mentha arvensis) in mint-mustard cropping sequence. In the original experiment, eight treatments comprising different combinations of manure (FYM) and fertilizer NPK (applied through urea, single superphosphate and muriate of potash, respectively) were compared. Attempts were also made to elucide the changes in soil organic carbon (C), soil microbial C, nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P), and mineralizable C and N. This article deals with the influence of inorganic fertilizer nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) and organic manure (FYM, mint distillation waste) on changes in soil organic C and microbial C, N, and P in mint-fallow-mustard cropping sequence. The data indicates that while inorganic NPK did not have any direct influence on soil microbial biomass, integrated nutrient supply, residue (distillation waste of mint) and type of cropping have been observed to have significant influence on build up of microbial biomass in soil.