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Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 700; doi:10.3390/su8070700

Applying Limestone or Basalt in Combination with Bio-Fertilizer to Sustain Rice Production on an Acid Sulfate Soil in Malaysia

1
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2
Soil and Environmental Sciences Division, Nuclear Institute of Agriculture, 70060 Tandojam, Sindh, Pakistan
3
Soil Science Division, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, 1701 Gazipur, Bangladesh
4
Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
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Abstract

A study was conducted to determine the efficacy of applying ground magnesium limestone (GML) or ground basalt in combination with bio-fertilizer to sustain rice production on an acid sulfate soil in Malaysia. Soils from Kelantan Plains, Malaysia, were treated with GML, ground basalt, bio-fertilizer, GML + bio-fertilizer, and ground basalt + bio-fertilizer (4 t·ha−1 each). Results showed that soil fertility was improved by applying the soil amendments. GML and basalt contain some Zn and Cu; thus, application of these amendments would increase their contents in the soil needed for the healthy growth of rice. Basalt applied in combination with bio-fertilizer appeared to be the best agronomic option to improve the fertility of acid sulfate soils for sustainable rice production in the long run. In addition to increasing Ca, Mg, Zn, and Cu reserves in the soil, water pH increased and precipitated Al3+ and/or Fe2+. Ground basalt is cheaper than GML, but basalt dissolution in the acidic soil was slow. As such, its ameliorative effects could only be seen significantly from the second season onwards. The specially-formulated bio-fertilizer for alleviating the infertility of acid sulfate soil could also enhance rice growth. The use of the bio-fertilizer fortified with N2-fixing bacteria is a green technology that would help reduce NO3 and/or NO2 pollution and reduce the cost of rice production. The phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB) present in the bio-fertilizer not only increased the available P, but also helped release organic acids that would inactivate Al3+ and/or Fe2+ via the process of chelation. View Full-Text
Keywords: acid sulfate soil; Al and Fe chelation; organic acids; rice cultivation; soil amendments acid sulfate soil; Al and Fe chelation; organic acids; rice cultivation; soil amendments
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Panhwar, Q.A.; Naher, U.A.; Shamshuddin, J.; Othman, R.; Ismail, M.R. Applying Limestone or Basalt in Combination with Bio-Fertilizer to Sustain Rice Production on an Acid Sulfate Soil in Malaysia. Sustainability 2016, 8, 700.

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