5 research outputs found

    Response of Lowland Rice (Oryza sativa L.) to Water Saving Management in the Coastal Savannah Agroecology of Ghana

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    Water productivity of rice is relatively low especially in irrigated ecosystem due to poor water management which leads to high water loss through seepage, evaporation and percolation. However, the amount of fresh water available for irrigation in the world is decreasing due to climate change, population growth and development of urban and rural areas. This study was therefore conducted at the screen house of Soil and Irrigation Research Centre of the University of Ghana, Kpong, during the cropping season of 2016/2017 to investigate the effect of different water saving management methods on growth, grain yield and water productivity of lowland rice. The study was laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design with seven (7) replications. Five treatments were involved; continuous flooding (T1, control), flooding from transplanting to ten days after complete heading (T2), flooding from transplanting to twenty days after complete heading (T3), alternate wet and dry (AWD) from transplanting to booting, then flooding from booting to ten days after complete heading (T4), and AWD from transplanting to booting, then flooded from booting to twenty days after complete heading (T5). Results from the experiments revealed that, withholding water after complete heading has no significant effect on rice growth. Plants from T5 saved 24.3% and 25.2% of water used in 2016 and 2017, respectively while producing similar grain yield as the control

    Moisture-Induced Effects on Lignocellulosic and Humification Fractions in Aerobically Composted Straw and Manure

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    Humic substances affect compost stability and maturation. However, the intricate structure of lignocellulosic materials hinders the biodegradation of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, often promoting the use of synthetic additives which results in microbial inactivation and death. Therefore, this study examined the effects of optimal moisture levels (MC1 = 45%, MC2 = 55%, and MC3 = 65%) on lignocellulosic and humification fractions in aerobically composted straw and manure. The study showed that 65% moisture content was more efficient in decomposing cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, with hemicellulose (115.3% w/w ≈ 47.1%) degrading more than cellulose (76.0% w/w ≈ 39.5%) and lignin (39.9% w/w ≈ 25.9%). However, in compost heaps with 45% moisture, the humic acid concentration increased significantly by 12.4% (3.1% w/w) and 17.3% (4.3% w/w) compared with 55% and 65% moisture, respectively. All moisture levels increased the mineralization of humic substances, but the index measured was highest at 65% MC (23.8% w/w) and lowest at 45% MC (18% w/w). In addition, the humification rate showed the trend: 0.083% w/w > 0.087% w/w > 0.100% w/w for MC1, MC2, and MC3, respectively. Overall, the results indicate that an initial moisture content of 65% is aerobically efficient for the conversion of corn straw and cow manure into stable and mature compost

    Maize Straw Return and Nitrogen Rate Effects on Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Performance and Soil Physicochemical Characteristics in Northwest China

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    The average yield of fresh potato tubers per hectare is relatively low in China, partly due to poor nutrient management. Chronic inorganic N enrichment leads to soil acidification, which deteriorates soil fertility. Straw residues are removed from the field or burnt during land preparation, resulting in nutrient depletion and air pollution. However, these residues can be returned to the soil to improve its fertility. Therefore, a two–year experiment was conducted in an existing field with five years of different inorganic nitrogen (N) rate to determine the effects of straw return and N rate on potato growth, tuber yield, and quality, profit margin, and soil physicochemical properties. The experiment consisted of four N rates: 0 (control, CK), 75 (low N rate, LN), 150 (medium N rate, MN), and 300 (high N rate, HN) kg N ha−1 with and without straw (9 t ha−1) return. The results showed that straw with N enrichment improved soil fertility, which increased tuber yield and quality. Compared to the control, MN + straw treatment stimulated economic tuber yield (34.73% and 38.34%), profit margin (55.51% and 63.03%), and protein content (20.04% and 25.46%) in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Nitrogen enrichment after straw return is a sustainable practice for stimulating potato tuber yield, profit margin, and improving soil fertility to promote sustainable agriculture development

    Effects of C/N Ratio on Lignocellulose Degradation and Enzyme Activities in Aerobic Composting

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    Lignocellulosic materials have a complex physicochemical composition and structure that reduces their decomposition rate and hinders the formation of humic substances during composting. Therefore, a composting experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of different C/N ratios on lignocellulose (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) degradation and the activities of corresponding enzymes during aerobic composting. The study had five C/N ratios, namely, T1 (C/N ratio of 15), T2 (C/N ratio of 20), T3 (C/N ratio of 25), T4 (C/N ratio of 30) and T5 (C/N ratio of 35). The results showed that treatments T3 and T4 had the highest rate of degradation of cellulose and hemicellulose, while treatment T3 had the highest rate of degradation of lignin. Among the five treatments, treatment T3 enhanced the degradation of the lignocellulose constituents, indicating a degradation rate of 6.86–35.17%, 15.63–44.08% and 31.69–165.60% for cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, respectively. The degradation of cellulose and lignin occurred mainly at the thermophilic and late mesophilic phases of composting, while hemicellulose degradation occurred at the maturation phase. Treatment T3 was the best C/N ratio to stimulate the activities of manganese peroxidase, lignin peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase, which in turn promoted lignocellulose degradation

    Divergent Accumulation of Microbial Residues and Amino Sugars in Loess Soil after Six Years of Different Inorganic Nitrogen Enrichment Scenarios

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    Amino sugars are key microbial biomarkers for determining the contribution of microbial residues in soil organic matter (SOM). However, it remains largely unclear as to what extent inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilization can lead to the significant degradation of SOM in alkaline agricultural soils. A six-year field experiment was conducted from 2013 to 2018 to evaluate the effects of chronic N enrichment on microbial residues, amino sugars, and soil biochemical properties under four nitrogen (urea, 46% N) fertilization scenarios: 0 (no-N, control), 75 (low-N), 225 (medium-N), and 375 (high-N) kg N ha−1. The results showed that chronic N enrichment stimulated microbial residues and amino sugar accumulation over time. The medium-N treatment increased the concentration of muramic acid (15.77%), glucosamine (13.55%), galactosamine (18.84%), bacterial residues (16.88%), fungal residues (11.31%), and total microbial residues (12.57%) compared to the control in 2018; however, these concentrations were comparable to the high-N treatment concentrations. The ratio of glucosamine to galactosamine and of glucosamine to muramic acid decreased over time due to a larger increase in bacterial residues as compared to fungal residues. Microbial biomass, soil organic carbon, and aboveground plant biomass positively correlated with microbial residues and amino sugar components. Chronic N enrichment improved the soil biochemical properties and aboveground plant biomass, which stimulated microbial residues and amino sugar accumulation over time