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Effectiveness of Biochar as a soil amendment and plant productivity

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Bio Science, Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 6, Issue (4), Pages 13-17, April,8 (2018)

Abstract

Experiment was carried out at the district agriculture training centre in Ellapparmaruthankulam, Vavuniya district from November 2014 to March 2015 by Random Completely Block Design with eleven treatments and three replicates. Treatments were T1 Control, T2 paddy husk biochar, T3 Gliricidia biochar, T4 Neem biochar, T5 50% of Urea and 100% of TSP and MOP with Paddy husk biochar, T6 50% of Urea and 100% of TSP and MOP with Gliricidia biochar, T7 50% of Urea and 100% TSP and MOP with Neem biochar, T8 100% of Urea, TSP and MOP with Paddy husk biochar, T9 100% of Urea, TSP and MOP with Gliricidia biochar, T10 100% of Urea, TSP and MOP with Neem biochar and T11 100% of Urea, TSP and MOP. Plant height andyield were measured. The soil samples were collected for analysis before planting and after harvesting to measure the pH, EC, CEC, available nitrogen, available phosphorous and exchangeable potassium. Statistical analysis was exploited using SAS 9.0 at 5% significance level. Treatments showed significantly (p=0.0001) difference in plant height and yield. The highest height and yield observed was observed in T9 (38.61cm). T6(3998.58kg/ha). pH was significantly decreased (p=0.0001) by biochar. The resulted EC ranged from 0.1 to 0.36dS/m. Incorporation of biochar significantly (p<0.0001) increased CEC, available nitrogen, available potassium and exchangeable phosphorous in all treatments. Highest CEC (14.28meq/100g) was observed in T2, available nitrogen (1.41ppm) was observed in T9. Available phosphorus (12.2ppm) and exchangeable potassium (51.35ppm) were observed in T6. In addition to this, treatments which inorganic fertilizers incorporated with biochar (T5-T10) showed higher level of available nitrogen, available phosphorus and exchangeable potassium than other treatments. This study revealed that the biochar application as a soil amendment combine with inorganic fertilizer increased the plant production while increased soil productivity. This study could be helpful to farmers to adopt this technique in order to mitigate soil and environmental issues concerned in this district.

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