Nitrogen returns to soil by selected cropping systems on a Vertisol in the semi-arid tropics of India

Abdurahman, M D and Seeling, B and Rego, T J and Reddy, B B (1999) Nitrogen returns to soil by selected cropping systems on a Vertisol in the semi-arid tropics of India. Crop Research (Hisar), 17 (3). pp. 273-281. ISSN 0970-4884

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Limited nitrogen (N) availability is a common constraint for crop production on Vertisols. Erratic rainfall in the semi-arid tropics and relatively high cost of N fertilizers make its application a risky investment, therefore, most farmers do not apply N fertilizer in dryland crops. Cropping systems which improve soil fertility can minimize the need for synthetic fertilizers. In a two-year experiment, four cropping systems and mirror images of two systems were examined for their returns of N to soil in roots and fallen leaves. Sorghum/pigeonpea intercrop for two years (S/PP S/PP) and cowpea/pigeonpea intercrop rotated with sorghum followed by safflower (COW/PP S+SAF) contributed around 54 kg N ha-1 in roots and fallen leaves when no nitrogen fetilizer was applied. The largest proportion of this N was returned to soil through fallen leaves of pigeonpea. In terms of root mass a rotation of sorghum followed by safflower in the post-rainy season (S+SAF S+SAF) deposited almost the same amount of N in roots if adequately fertilized. Under S/PP S/PP the soil mineral N content was measurable higher compared to other systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cropping systems, Nitrogen returns, Semi-arid tropics, Soil, Vertisol
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Ms. Ishrath Durafsha
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 06:39
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2014 06:39
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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