Improvements in wheat productivity and soil quality can accomplish by co-application of biochars and chemical fertilizers

Sadaf, J and Shah, G A and Shahzad, K and Ali, N and Shahid, M and Ali, S and Hussain, R A and Ahmed, Z I and Traore, B and Ismail, I M I and Rashid, M I (2017) Improvements in wheat productivity and soil quality can accomplish by co-application of biochars and chemical fertilizers. Science of The Total Environment, 607,08. pp. 715-724. ISSN 00489697

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The beneficial role of biochar is evident in most of infertile soils, however this is argued that increment in crop yield owing to biochar application does not always achieve in cultivated/fertile soils. The nutrient biochar believed to enhance crop yield and soil fertility than structural biochar that may offset the positive effect of chemical fertilizer on crop performance but improves soil structural properties. Therefore, we investigated the effect of biochars [produced from nutrient rich feedstocks like poultry manure (PMB) and farmyard manure (FMB) and structural feedstocks such as wood chips (WCB) and kitchen waste (KWB)], and chemical fertilizers (CF) when applied alone or in combination on soil chemical properties, wheat growth, yield and nitrogen uptake in a cultivated clay loam soil. Sole biochar treatments increased the total carbon and mineral nitrogen content that were 21 and 106% higher, respectively compared to control after 128 days (P < 0.001). Contrarily, sole biochars application did not increase wheat biological yield and N uptake compared to control (P > 0.05) except PMB, the nutrient biochar (P < 0.05). Compared to control, grain yield was 6 and 12% lower in WCB and FMB, respectively but not differed from KWB, PMB or WCB-CF. Conversely, co-application of biochars and CF treatments increased crop biological yield but the increment was the highest in nutrient biochars FMB or PMB (29 or 26%), than structural biochars WCB and KWB (15 and 13%), respectively (P < 0.05). For N uptake, this increment varies between 16 and 27% and again nutrient biochar has significantly higher N uptake than structural biochars. Hence, nutrient biochars (i.e. PMB) benefited the soil fertility and crop productivity more than structural biochars. Therefore, for immediate crop benefits, it is recommended to use nutrient biochar alone or in combination with chemical fertilizer. Such practice will improve crop performance and the quality of cultivated soil.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animal waste, Biochar, Carbon storage, Crop performance, Kitchen waste, Mineral N, Infertile soils, Chemical fertilizer, Cultivated soil, Nutrient biochar
Subjects: Others > Soil Fertility
Others > Fertilizers
Others > Soil Science
Others > Wheat
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2017 03:27
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 03:29
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: We are highly thankful to the department of Agronomy, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan for the help and support during execution of the experiments. COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Vehari, Pakistan and Centre of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah and Ministry of Higher Education Commission, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were acknowledged for their help and support. We greatly acknowledged the anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions which greatly enhanced the quality of old version.
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