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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Improvement of Soil Health through Residue Management and Conservation Tillage in Rice-Wheat Cropping System of Punjab, Pakistan

Zahid, Adnan; Ali, Sajid; Ahmed, Mukhtar; Iqbal, Nadeem


In South Asia, soil health degradation is affecting the sustainability of the rice-wheat cropping system (RWCS). Indeed, for the sustainability of the soil quality, new adaptive technologies, i.e., conservation tillage and straw management resource conservation, are promising options. This investigation was focused on the interaction of tillage and straw management practices and their effects on Aridisols, Yermosols soil quality, and nutrients dynamics with different soil profiles within RWCS. The long-term field experiment was started in 2014 with the scenarios (i) conventional tillage (SC1), (ii) residue incorporation (SC2), (iii) straw management practices (SC3 and SC4) and conservation tillage (SC5). Conservation tillage practice (SC5) showed significant impact on properties of soil and availability of nutrients in comparison with that of conventional farmers practice (SC1) at the studied soil depths. The SC5 showed significant results of gravitational water contents (25.34%), moderate pH (7.4), soil organic-matter (7.6 g kg(-1)), total nitrogen (0.38 g kg(-1)), available phosphate (7.4 mg kg(-1)), available potassium (208 mg kg(-1)) compared to SC1 treatment at 0 to 15 cm soil depth. Whereas, DTPA-extractable-Cu, Mn, and Zn concentration were significantly higher, i.e., 1.12 mg kg(-1), 2.14 mg kg(-1), and 4.35 mg kg(-1), respectively under SC5 than conventional farmer's practices, while DTPA (diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid) extractable Fe (6.15 mg kg(-1)) was more in straw management practices (SC4) than conventional and conservation tillage. Therefore, conservation tillage (SC5) can surge the sustainability of the region by improving soil assets and nutrients accessibility and has the potential to minimize inorganic fertilizers input in the long run.


conservation tillage; micronutrients; nutrients accessibility; Aridisols; Yermosols; soil degradation; straw management practices; soil organic matter

Published in

2020, volume: 10, number: 12, article number: 1844
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Zahid, Adnan
University of Punjab
Ali, Sajid
University of Punjab
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden
Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University
Iqbal, Nadeem
Rice Research Institute

UKÄ Subject classification

Soil Science

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