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Article

Organic Manure Coupled with Inorganic Fertilizer: An Approach for the Sustainable Production of Rice by Improving Soil Properties and Nitrogen Use Efficiency

1
Key Laboratory of Crop Cultivation and Farming Systems, College of Agriculture, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
2
Institute of Nuclear Agricultural Sciences, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
3
Department of Agronomy, Amir Muhammad Khan Campus Mardan, University of Agriculture, Peshawar 25130, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(10), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9100651
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 11 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic vs. Conventional Cropping Systems)
The current farming system is heavily reliant on chemical fertilizers, which negatively affect soil health, the environment, and crop productivity. Improving crop production on a sustainable basis is a challenging issue in the present agricultural system. To address this issue, we assumed that the combined use of organic manure and inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizers can improve rice grain yield and soil properties without the expense of the environment. This study explores the combined effects of cattle manure (CM), poultry manure (PM), and chemical fertilizer (CF) on soil properties, rice growth, physiology, and grain yield and quality. Six treatments in the following combinations were included: T1—no N fertilizer; T2—100% CF; T3—60% CM + 40% CF; T4—30% CM + 70% CF; T5—60% PM + 40% CF; and T6—30% PM + 70% CF. Results showed that across the seasons, treatment T6 increased the net photosynthesis rate, total biomass, grain yield, and amylose content by 23%, 90%, 95%, and 10%, respectively, compared with control. This increment in net photosynthetic rate and growth was the result of 24%, 14%, 19%, and 20% higher total root length, root surface area, root volume, and root diameter, respectively. Improvements in these attributes further enhanced the grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency of rice. No significant difference between T4 and T6 was observed. The correlation analysis also confirmed that root morphological traits were positively correlated with grain yield, N uptake, and biomass accumulation. Similarly, improvement in grain yield and NUE was also associated with improved soil properties, i.e., bulk density, soil porosity, soil organic carbon, and total N under combined organic and inorganic N fertilizers treatment. Conclusively, the integration of 30% N from PM or CM with 70% N from CF (urea) is a promising option not only for higher grain yield and quality of rice but also for improved soil health. This study provides a sustainable nutrient management strategy to improve crop yield with high nutrient use efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rice; root morphology; root-to-shoot ratio; soil organic carbon; biomass accumulation Rice; root morphology; root-to-shoot ratio; soil organic carbon; biomass accumulation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Iqbal, A.; He, L.; Khan, A.; Wei, S.; Akhtar, K.; Ali, I.; Ullah, S.; Munsif, F.; Zhao, Q.; Jiang, L. Organic Manure Coupled with Inorganic Fertilizer: An Approach for the Sustainable Production of Rice by Improving Soil Properties and Nitrogen Use Efficiency. Agronomy 2019, 9, 651. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9100651

AMA Style

Iqbal A, He L, Khan A, Wei S, Akhtar K, Ali I, Ullah S, Munsif F, Zhao Q, Jiang L. Organic Manure Coupled with Inorganic Fertilizer: An Approach for the Sustainable Production of Rice by Improving Soil Properties and Nitrogen Use Efficiency. Agronomy. 2019; 9(10):651. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9100651

Chicago/Turabian Style

Iqbal, Anas, Liang He, Aziz Khan, Shangqin Wei, Kashif Akhtar, Izhar Ali, Saif Ullah, Fazal Munsif, Quan Zhao, and Ligeng Jiang. 2019. "Organic Manure Coupled with Inorganic Fertilizer: An Approach for the Sustainable Production of Rice by Improving Soil Properties and Nitrogen Use Efficiency" Agronomy 9, no. 10: 651. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9100651

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