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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1299;

Assessment of Two Soil Fertility Indexes to Evaluate Paddy Fields for Rice Cultivation

Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Isfahan (Khorasgan ) Branch, Islamic Azad University, 81551-39998 Isfahan, Iran
Soil and Water Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), 3177993545 Karaj, Iran
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Shahed University, 3319118651 Tehran, Iran
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
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Assessing soil fertility is essential to help identify strategies with less environmental impact in order to achieve more sustainable agricultural systems. The main objective of this research was to assess two soil fertility evaluation approaches in paddy fields for rice cultivation, in order to develop a user-friendly and credible soil fertility index (SFI). The Square-Root method was used as a parametric approach, while the Joint Fuzzy Membership functions as a fuzzy method with adapted criteria definition tables, were used to compute SFI. Results indicated that both of the methods determined the major soil limiting factors for rice cultivation clearly, and soil fertility maps established using GIS (Geographic Information System) could be helpful for decision makers. The coefficients of determination (R2) for the linear regression between the two SFI values and rice yields were relatively high (0.63 and 0.61, respectively). Additionally, the two SFI were significantly correlated to each other (r = 0.68, p < 0.05). The study results demonstrated that both of the methods provide reliable and valuable information. Compared to the fuzzy method, the procedure of the parametric method is easier but may be expensive and time-consuming. However, the fuzzy method, with carefully chosen indicators, can adequately evaluate soil fertility and provide useful information for decision making. View Full-Text
Keywords: suitability evaluation; yield limiting factors; soil fertility map; soil sustainability suitability evaluation; yield limiting factors; soil fertility map; soil sustainability

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Delsouz Khaki, B.; Honarjoo, N.; Davatgar, N.; Jalalian, A.; Torabi Golsefidi, H. Assessment of Two Soil Fertility Indexes to Evaluate Paddy Fields for Rice Cultivation. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1299.

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