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Effects of 41 Years of Application of Inorganic Fertilizers and Farm Yard Manure on Crop Yields, Soil Quality, and Sustainable Yield Index under a Rice-Wheat Cropping System on Mollisols of North India

Ram, Shri, Singh, Veer, Sirari, Pradeep
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2016 v.47 no.2 pp. 179-193
Mollisols, NPK fertilizers, animal manures, cropping systems, grain yield, mineral fertilizers, nitrogen, nutrient management, phosphorus, potassium, rice, soil organic carbon, soil quality, subtropics, wet season, zinc, India
The present investigation was carried out to evaluate the effect of integrated nutrient management (INM) on crop yield sustainability and soil quality in a long-term trial initiated during the wet season of 1971 under a humid subtropical climate. Over 41 years of study, 100% nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) + farm yard manure (FYM) at 15 t ha ⁻¹ recorded the most sustainable grain yields. Optimal and superoptimal NPK fertilizers gave quite similar crop yields to that of 100% NPK + FYM at 15 t ha –¹ up to two decades but thereafter yields declined sharply due to emergence of zinc (Zn) deficiency. The sustainable yield index (SYI) values indicated that wheat yields were more sustainable than rice. Soil organic carbon and available N, P, K, and Zn in the control plot decreased the most, whereas 100% NPK + FYM at 15 t ha –¹ improved available N, P and K, maintained soil organic carbon, and decreased Zn over initial levels. Grain yield and SYI were more significantly correlated with Soil Organic Carbon (SOC). Continuous application of FYM contributed the maximum Soil Quality Index (SQI) (0.94), followed by Zn.