Use on maize and wheat yields

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Chemical fertilizers have been a key factor in contributing to increased agricultural production in farming systems in Pakistan. If used injudiciously, however, they can have adverse effects on soil quality (Kanwar and Katyal, 1997). In this context, the continued unbalanced use of nutrients spectrally (N: P2 O5: K2 O) is one of the prime areas of concern for agricultural sustainability in Pakistan. Besides keeping the production levels low, the unbalanced use of nutrients could trigger processes of land degradation. The effects of continuous managing and cropping are discussed in this paper with reference to crop yields and soil quality.

A field experiment on maize was initiated during spring 2007 NARC, Islamabad representing the high rainfall area as batohes. The area receives mm mean annual rainfall (averaged for with June to September being the wettest months. At the beginning of the experiment in Jan, 2007, the following physical and chemical properties of surface soils (0-0.15 m) were recorded calecren with a pH of 7.8 (1: 2.5 soil: water); moderately rapid permeability; 7.9 g kg-1 organic carbon (Walkley and Black, 1934); 736, 12 and 194 kg ha-1 of available N (Subbiah and Asija, 1956), P (Olsen et al., 1954) and K (Black, 1965) respectively; and 1.31 g cm-3 bulk density (Singh, 1980). The soil texture is silty clay loam with 29, 47, and 24% sand, silt and clay respectively, and illite is the dominant clay mineral. Taxonomically these soils are classified as Typic Hapludalfs (Soil Survey Staff, 1975).

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