Effect of different organic mulches and in situ green manuring on soil properties and yield and economics of maize in south-eastern dry zone of Karnataka


A field experiment was carried out in Alfisols of eastern Dry Zone of Karnataka at University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore. During kharif 2010 this study was conducted to know the effect of different locally available mulches on soil properties and crop performance in maize. Soil was red sandy loam in texture, slightly acidic and low in available Nitrogen, medium in available Phosphorous and Potash. The experiment consisted of 9 treatments namely, application of additional FYM ( Farm Yard Manure), Mulching with straw, mulching with coir pith, mulching with coconut fronds, application of tank silt, sunhemp insitu green manuring, Glyricidia green leaf manuring, Horse gram intercropping and control replicated thrice were laid out in RCBD. The treatment insitu green manuring with sunhemp has recorded the highest soil moisture content both at 15cm (16.37%) and 30cm (16.13%) soil depth almost at all growth stages. While, the same treatment recorded significantly lower soil temperature at all growth stages statistically significant and numerically higher infiltration rate (9.68cm h-1) and bulk density (1.42g cc-1) have observed respectively in insitu green manuring incorporated through sunhemp. Significant improvement in available soil nutrients (N, P and K) and organic carbon content due to insitu green manuring with sunhemp resulted in higher maize yield of 5269 kg ha-1. Higher net income of Rs 30098 ha-1 and B:C 2.53 also realized in the same treatment.