• Effectiveness of different organic and inorganic combination on soil fertility and water holding capacity of rice field

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  • 01/04/2016

Most. Shabnom Mustary has conducted her BSc research at the Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Extension of the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.


Cracking top-soil in rice fields can cause cultivation problems. It influences the capillary rise of water, nutrient uptake by rice plants, vegetative growth and yields negatively. An increase of organic matter in the soil can increase water holding capacity which contributes to higher fertility of rice fields.

The objective was to identify the best locally available organic fertilizers and their optimal combination with inorganic fertilizers to improve and sustain soil health and water holding capacity in order to minimize drought effects.

A trial was conducted in Baraigram (Natore district), Paba (Rajshahi district) and Patnitala (Naogaon district) on farms participating in SAF-BIN project. The rice variety BRRIdhan56 was used and tested combinations were: T1: 6t/ha poultry litter (PL) + 0.18t/ha N[1] + 0.75T/ha P[2] + 0.90t/ha K[3] and T2: 6t/ha farm yard manure (FYM) + 0.18t/ha N + 0.75T/ha P + 0.90t/ha K in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Pest control was applied whenever necessary. Data on plant height (cm), fertile tillers/hill, thousand grain weight (TGW) (g) and yield (t/ha) was collected. Data analysis included Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT) and correlations between grain yield and its components.

Treatment did not influence plant height (T1: 112.5cm; T2: 11.7 cm), fertile tillers/hill (T1:10,7; T2:10.9), TGW (T1:23.1g; T2:23.2g) or yield (T1:4.5t/ha; T2:4.5t/ha) significantly. Correlations between organic fertilizer source and yield as well as fertile tillers/hill were both positive. Farmers’ preference analysis revealed that farmers in Paba and Baraigram preferred T1 while farmers in Patnitala preferred T2.

These findings point out that a drought tolerant rice variety and a combination between half of the recommended inorganic fertilizer dose and organic fertilizers PL and FYM can achieve acceptable rice yields in this drought prone region. Up scaling of this technology is recommended to combat drought and degrading soil health.  

[1] N= urea as inorganic of nitrogen  (N)

[2] P = triple superphosphate as inorganic source of Phosphorus (P)

[3] K = Mureate of potash (MOP) as inorganic source of Potassium (K)