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Increasing Farm Productivity and Soil Fertility on Sustainable Basis Through “Summer Gap” Utilization with Biochar and Legumes

Jalal, Fazal, Arif, Muhammad, Ahmad, Ishfaq, Murad, Waheed
Gesunde Pflanzen 2018 v.70 no.1 pp. 45-53
Sesbania, agricultural colleges, agronomy, biochar, corn, cowpeas, crops, fallow, farms, fertilizers, field experimentation, forage, grain yield, mung beans, nitrogen, prices, soil fertility, sowing, wheat
To reduce reliance on scientific fertilizer due to rapid increase of fertilizer prices and environmental constraint, it necessary to improve crop productivity and soil fertility on sustainable basses. Utilization of “summer gap” through biochar and legumes have pleasant effects on improving crop productivity and soil fertility on long term basses. Two years’ field experiments were conducted on wheat and maize crops with “summer gap” utilization with legumes and biochar at research farm of agronomy, the University of Agriculture Peshawar during 2011–2013. Wheat-maize-wheat cropping system was followed with the adjustment of legumes in “summer gap” (land available after wheat harvest till maize sowing). Legumes i. e. mung bean, cowpea and Sesbania with a fallow were adjusted in the “summer gap” with and without biochar application. Biochar was included at the rate of 0 and 50 t ha⁻¹ with four N levels of 0, 90, 120, 150 and 0, 60, 90, 120 kg ha⁻¹ to subsequent maize and wheat crops, respectively. In legumes’ experiment, biochar increased fresh and dry fodder yield in cowpea and Sesbania, grain and biological yields in mung bean. In maize experiments, biochar improved grain yield. Nitrogen application increased grain and biological yields. In wheat experiments with increasing nitrogen level enhanced biological and grain yields. It is concluded that use of biochar and legumes in “summer gap” improve overall farm productivity and soil fertility on sustainable basses.