Influence of Green Manuring From Different Cover Crops and Farm Yard Manures on Quantitative and Qualitative Characteristics of Forage Corn in Low Input Farming

Abstract

Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian 1*Ali Soleymani2,  Mehdi Khoshkharam3
1-       Assistant ProfessorSenior Researcher- Faculty of Agriculture- Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran
2-       Associate ProfessorFaculty of Agriculture, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran
3-       InstructorGreen house manager and senior researcher
 
 
* Corresponding author email: hesamshahrajabian@gmail.com
 
               Received: 5 March 2017                                                                                  Accepted: 12 May 20017
 
Abstract
An appropriate sustainable agricultural technology system is an important technical support of the promotion of sustainable agricultural development. Properly management of residues can warrant the improvement of sustainability in crop productivity. The research was conducted in 2011 at Experimental Field of Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran. A strip layout randomized complete block design with three replications was used. The experiment was related to the effects of green manures of barley, rye, triticale and clover ,two levels of farm yard manure, namely, 30 and 60 t/ha and one treatment of chemical fertilizer as a control treatment were arranged in main strip and decomposition time of manures in two levels, one and four weeks after returning. Cover crop had significant influence on stem diameter, ear height, final plant height, leaf and stem fresh weights, stem and ear dry weights, fresh forage yield, nitrate leaf and protein content. Moreover, fresh forage yield, biological yield, of leaf nitrate, nitrate of stem, protein and ash were influenced by different managements. The highest plant height, leaf, stem fresh weight, ear and, stem and ear dry weight were related barley green manure treatment. The maximum stem diameter, plant height, ear fresh weight, leaf, stem and ear dry weights were obtained in the treatment of four weeks fo residue retention. The highest biological yield and fiber percentage of forage corn were observed in the treatment of residue retention for four weeks and crop residue incorporation, respectveily. Besides, there were no signfiicant differences for these both experimental characteristics between mentioned above treatments and residue burning. The highest fresh forage yield, protein and ash percentages were achieved in residue burning treatment. In conclusion, it seems that residue burning accompained with usage of triticale as a green manure was the best choice to achieve high quality, but for obtaining the highest fresh forage yield and biological yield of forage corn, triticale plantation can be replaced by barley.
Keywords: Cover crops, Manure, Geen manure, Forage corn.
 

Keywords


       
   

                 Research on Crop Ecophysiology                                  Vol.12/2, Issue 2 (2017), Pages:  62 - 68

 

 

 
 

Original Research

 
 

 

 

 

Influence of Green Manuring From Different Cover Crops and Farm Yard Manures on Quantitative and Qualitative Characteristics of Forage Corn in Low Input Farming

 

Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian 1*Ali Soleymani2,  Mehdi Khoshkharam3

1-       Assistant ProfessorSenior Researcher- Faculty of Agriculture- Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran

2-       Associate ProfessorFaculty of Agriculture, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran

3-       InstructorGreen house manager and senior researcher

 

 

* Corresponding author email: hesamshahrajabian@gmail.com

 

               Received: 5 March 2017                                                                                  Accepted: 12 May 20017

 

Abstract

An appropriate sustainable agricultural technology system is an important technical support of the promotion of sustainable agricultural development. Properly management of residues can warrant the improvement of sustainability in crop productivity. The research was conducted in 2011 at Experimental Field of Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran. A strip layout randomized complete block design with three replications was used. The experiment was related to the effects of green manures of barley, rye, triticale and clover ,two levels of farm yard manure, namely, 30 and 60 t/ha and one treatment of chemical fertilizer as a control treatment were arranged in main strip and decomposition time of manures in two levels, one and four weeks after returning. Cover crop had significant influence on stem diameter, ear height, final plant height, leaf and stem fresh weights, stem and ear dry weights, fresh forage yield, nitrate leaf and protein content. Moreover, fresh forage yield, biological yield, of leaf nitrate, nitrate of stem, protein and ash were influenced by different managements. The highest plant height, leaf, stem fresh weight, ear and, stem and ear dry weight were related barley green manure treatment. The maximum stem diameter, plant height, ear fresh weight, leaf, stem and ear dry weights were obtained in the treatment of four weeks fo residue retention. The highest biological yield and fiber percentage of forage corn were observed in the treatment of residue retention for four weeks and crop residue incorporation, respectveily. Besides, there were no signfiicant differences for these both experimental characteristics between mentioned above treatments and residue burning. The highest fresh forage yield, protein and ash percentages were achieved in residue burning treatment. In conclusion, it seems that residue burning accompained with usage of triticale as a green manure was the best choice to achieve high quality, but for obtaining the highest fresh forage yield and biological yield of forage corn, triticale plantation can be replaced by barley.

Keywords: Cover crops, Manure, Geen manure, Forage corn.

 

 

Introduction

 

Corn (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important cereal crops grown in Iran (Khoshkharam et al., 2010; Soleymani et al., 2011; Soleymani et al., 2012). Green manuring refers to addition of green plant tissue to the soil (Selvi and Kalpana, 2009). One of the key factors in increasing the yield and quality of crops is appropriate manuring (Talgre et al., 2010; Soleymani and Shahrajabian, 2012; Soleymani and Shahrajabian, 2013; Soleymani et al., 2013; Shahrajabian and Soleymani, 2017). In the present economical situation, the sale prices of crops have decreased considerably compared to previous years, whereas the prices of pesticides and fertilizers have risen, leaving the farmers with fewer financial resources (Berry et al., 2002; Soleymani et al., 2010; Soleymani and Shahrajabian, 2011; Shahrajabian et al., 2011). Also, a high soil N fertility from incorportated green manure crops, implies risk of N leaching (Askegaard et al., 2005; Ogbaji et al., 2013).

Goncalves et al. (2007) reported that the different residue management treatments resulted in pronounce effects on growth of crops. The intensive tillage practices employing inversion implements such as mould board plough results in losses of surface crop residue and subsequent loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) from soil aggregates. Also, long-term biomass removal results in reduced total biomass yields over time due to nutrient depletion, as reflected by increased nitrogen stress on subsequent crops (Meki et al., 2013; Shahrajabian et al., 2017; Soleymani and Shahrajabian, 2017; Ogbaji et al., 2018). Erenstein (2011) illustrated that retention of crop residues is generally considered advantageous because it recycles both organic matter and nutrients back to the soil. Unlike in European USA, Canada and Australia, the influence of different tillage systems and crop residue management under semi-arid region in center of Iran have been scarcely studied. It is necessary to quantify the widespread impacts of tillage and burning residue, to encourage well-informed management decisions that will guide the future of sustainable agriculture and crop production in semi-arid regions (Soleymani et al., 2016). The objective of this study was to determine the influence of green marues and crop residue management on yield and yield components of forage corn.

 

 

Materials and methods

 

The investigation was conducted in 2011 at Agricultural Research Farm of Islamic Azad University of Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, (Latitude 32o40/ N, longitude 51o58/ E, and 1570 m elevation) Isfahan, Iran. A strip layout in randomized complete block design with three replications was used. This experiment was conducted to study the effects of green manure and farm yard manure on forage yield and chemical characteristics of corn. Green manures included barley, rye, triticale and clover, two levels of farm yard manure namely, 30 and 60 t/ha and one treatment of chemical fertilization as a control treatment in were arranged in main strip and decomposition time of manures in two levels, one and four weedks after returning to soil to soil, were considered as sub plant. The amount of total dry weight of manure was measured with equation number 1.

Total required dry amount of manure= The amount of required nitrogen × Available nitrogen (%) × Nitrogen percentage of manure                                                     (1)

Manure was mixed with soil immediately after spreading. All crops were retunred to the soil with mouldboard ploughing, before heading stage for cereal, and at 10% flowering stage for clover. Six- row plots 7.5 m long were used. Within row distance was 0.14 m. These distances were maintained for achieving 95000 plants/ha. The first irrigation was done after plantation, the second one was done four days after planting and, other irrigations were done on the basis of 75 ml evaporation from evaporation pan class A. Weeds were controlled by hand weeding. Half of urea fertiliyer was used after the second irrigation and the other half was used at reproductive phase. Dry matter yield of crops was considered as the yield potential of the treatments. The amount of nitrogen was calcuated by Kjeldahl analysis from dry and ground samples and then nitrogen was multiplied by 6.25 to determine protein content. Nitrate content was also determined by spectrophotmeter (410 nm) and salicilic acid method. Ash content was determined by incinerating the samples in muffle furnance at 550oC for 4 h. Neutral detergent fiber was measured by the method of Van Soest and Wine (1968) with enayme addition. Analysis of variance was used to determine the significant differences. Duncan ,s multiple range test was used for mean comparison. All of the analyses statistics were performed with SAS program.

 

 

Results and discussion

 

Cover crop had significant influence on stem diameter, ear height, plant height, leaf and, stem fresh weights, stem and ear dry weights; however, ear fresh weight and leaf dry weight were not signficiantly affected by cover crop. Different kinds of management had significant effects on stem diameter, ear height, plant height, leaf and, stem fresh weights, ear fresh weight, leaf, stem and ear dry weights. Interaction effects of cover crop and management had significant influence on stem diameter, ear height, plant height, leaf, stem, ear fresh weights, stem and ear dry weights. Crop residues, in general, are parts of the plants left in the field after crops have been harvested. These materials have been regarded as waste materials that require disposal for many years, but it has become increasingly realized that they are important natural resources. The recycling of crop residue has the advantage of converting the surplur farm waste into useful product for meeting nutrient requirement of crops. The highest ear height, plant height, leaf and, ear fresh weghtsstem and ear dry weights were related to barley green manure treatment. The maximum stem diameter, ear height, plant height, ear fresh weight, leaf, stem and ear dry weights were obtained in the treatment of four weeks residue retention. To conclude, in this experiment four weeks of residue retention accomplained by using of barley as a green manure led to the highest yield and yield components of forage corn. Soil fertility building by such means requires a long term integrated approach, rather than the short term and targeted solutions common in conventional agriculture.

Table 1. Mean comparisons for stem diameter, ear height, final plant height, leaf, stem and, ear fresh weight, leaf, stem and ear dry weights.

Treatment

Stem Diameter (mm)

Plant Ear height (cm)

Final Plant height (cm)

Leaf Fresh weight (kg/ha)

Stem Fresh weight

(kg/ha)

Ear Fresh weight

(kg/ha)

Leaf Dry weight

(kg/ha)

Stem Dry weight

(kg/ha)

Ear dry Weight

(kg/ha)

Cover crops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barley

25.27a

115.52a

223.60a

1419.42a

5104.5a

3106.5a

463.56a

985.28a

809.42a

Rye

25.76a

110.48a

223.43a

954.90b

3964.4b

2614.2ab

441.40a

847.12b

668.18ab

Triticale

23.59b

98.36b

119.93b

800.80b

3747.6b

2258.1b

489.27a

882.91b

535.23b

Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residue burning

24.48b

110.28b

224.91a

1241.63a

4797.8a

2873.0a

527.28a

951.21b

690.55a

Crop residue incorporation

24.62b

105.74c

212.05b

925.52b

2359.3b

2359.3b

466.87c

824.96c

608.68b

One week of residue retention

24.25b

102.56d

197.06c

955.17b

2382.6b

2382.6b

432.67c

824.28c

617.26b

Four weeks of residue retention

26.14a

113.90a

228.58a

1110.90a

3023.4a

3023.4a

471.85b

1019.95a

767.27a

For each experimental factor means with a common letters within each column do not differ significantly (p<0.05)

 

Cover crop had significant influence on fresh forage yield, leaf nitrate and protein content, however, biological yield, stem nitrate, fiber and ash percentage were not significantly affected by cover crop. Fresh forage yield, biological yield, leaf nitrate and stem, percentages protein and ash were influenced by different managements. Although, cover crop and management interaction had significant influence on fresh forage yield, biological yield, leaf nitrate, fiber and ash were not affected by this interaction. In spite the fact that, the highest fresh forage yield and biological yield of forage corn were related to barley green manure treatment, the highest leaf nitrate was found for this treatment. In contrast, forage cron plantation after rye also obtained the maximum stem nitrate, which had no significant difference with treatment of barley cultivation as green manure. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in fiber percentage among treatments. Despite the fact that triticale green manure obtained the highest protein and ash percentages, there was no signfiicant difference in ash percentage among treatments. The maximum biological yield and fiber percentage of forage corn were observed in the treatments of residue retention for four weeks and crop residue incorporation, respectively; moreover, there were no significant differences for these characteristics between above mentioned treatments and residue burining treatment. The highest fresh forage yield, protein and ash percentages were achieved in residue burning treatment accompanied with usage of triticale as a green manure. Although, this agronomic practice was the best choice to achieve high forage quality, but for obtaining the most fresh forage yield and biological yield of forage cron, triticale plantation can be replaced by barley.

                                                                   

 

 

Table 2. Mean comparisons for fresh forage crops yield, biological yield, leaf nitrate, and stem, fiber (ENDF), protein and ash.

 

Treatment

Fresh forage yield (t/ha)

Biological yield (t/ha)

Leaf nitrate (ppm)

Stem nitrate (ppm)

Fiber (ENDF)

(%)

Protein

(%)

Ash

(%)

Cover crops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barley

96.305a

22.583a

102.94a

88.90ab

26.09a

6.899b

9.070a

Rye

75.333b

19.567ab

92.85b

90.69a

26.40a

7.115b

9.012a

Triticale

68.068b

19.071b

87.50c

83.94b

26.09a

8.043a

9.315a

Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residue burning

89.125a

21.693a

108.61a

115.40a

26.15ab

8.687a

9.657a

Crop residue incorporation

72.086b

18.605b

95.39b

80.73b

26.72a

7.318b

9.210b

One week of residue retention

71.748b

18.742b

299.83c

76.88b

25.50b

6.526c

8.535d

Four weeks of residue retention

86.646a

22.590a

90.42d

75.35b

26.39ab

6.877bc

9.127c

                 

For each experimental factor means with a common letters within each column do not differ significantly (p<0.05)

 

Conclusion

 

Complete residue removal or burning should be avoided due to concerns for reduced soil organic matter levels, environmental and soil erosion problems. Green manuring is an age-old practice used for supplying nitrogen to crop plants. The intensive cropping system, heavy input technology, environmental degradation and other related problems, again encouraged its re-inclusion in plant nutrient supply system. our results showed that cover Crop had significant influence on stem diameter, plant height from ear to the ground, final plant height, leaf fresh weight, stem fresh weights, stem and ear dry weights, fresh forage yield, leaf nitrate and protein contents, moreover, fresh forage yield, biological yield, nitrate of stem and leaf nitrate, protein and ash percentage were influenced by different managements. The highest plant height, leaf and stem fresh weight, ear fresh weights, stem and ear dry weights were related to treatment of cultivation of barley as a green manure. The maximum stem diameter, plant height, ear fresh weight, leaf, stem and ear dry weights were obtained in the treatment of four weeks for residue retention. The highest biological yield and fiber percentage of forage corn were observed in treatments of residue retention for four weeks and crop residue incorporation, respectively. Besides, there were no significant for differences in these both characteristics between above mentioned treatments and residue burning treatment. The highest fresh forage yield, protein percentage and ash percentage were achieved in residue burning. In conclusion, it seems that residue burning accompanied with usage of triticale as a green manure was the best choice to achieve high forage quality, but for obtaining the highest fresh forage yield and biological yield of forage corn, triticale plantation can be replaced by barley. In near future, the importance of these types of investigation will become increasingly important with increasing environmental concerns and obtaining of healthy products.

 

 

 

 

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