A new index to assess soil quality and sustainability of wheat-based cropping systems

Kang, G S and Beri, V and Sidhu, B S and Rupela, O P (2005) A new index to assess soil quality and sustainability of wheat-based cropping systems. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 41 (6). pp. 389-398. ISSN 0178-2762

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Sustainability index was calculated to assess soil quality under the influence of different fertilizer management practices. It is based on the area of the triangle in which nutrient index, microbial index and crop index of soil represented the three vertices of a triangle. Nutrient index reflected the nutrient status of soil and was calculated from the measurements of various soil chemical parameters. Microbial index was calculated by determining various soil microbial and biochemical activities and crop index by measuring of crop yield parameters. Eighteen soil indicators were determined to assess nutrient index, microbial index and crop index in order to compare the effect of different sources of nutrients such as green manure, farmyard manure and chemical fertilizer in a rice/corn-wheat rotation. The indices were applied to assess the sustainability of five field experiments with respect to the different fertilizer treatments. The long-term application of organic manures in rice/corn-wheat cropping system increased the index value because it increased the nutrient index, microbial index and crop index of soils. The use of only chemical fertilizers in the rice-wheat cropping system resulted in poor soil microbial index and crop index. In corn-wheat system, additional application of FYM at 10 t ha-1 before sowing corn made the system more sustainable than application of 100% NPK; the sustainability index values were 2.43 (the highest for this system) and 0.93, respectively

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soil quality . Rice–wheat system . Corn–wheat system . Sustainability index
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2011 10:16
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2011 10:16
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/3166
Official URL: http:\\dx.doi.org\10.1007/s00374-005-0857-4
Acknowledgement: The first author thanks International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, India, for the research scholarship that allowed to carry out the research at ICRISAT. Authors are also thankful to Dr. R.S. Rekhi, Dr.Yadwinder Singh, Dr. B.S. Brar and Dr. A.L. Bhandari, Senior Soil Scientists, Department of Soils, PAU, Ludhiana, for arranging soil samples from different field experiments
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