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Impact of Microwave Soil Heating on the Yield and Nutritive Value of Rice Crop

School of Agriculture and Food, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, Dookie Campus, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3647, Australia
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Agriculture 2019, 9(7), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9070134
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 15 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 27 June 2019
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Abstract

Microwave (MW) soil heating has been shown to deplete the soil weed seedbank and increase crop productivity. However, the impact of MW soil heating on the nutritive value of crops is unknown. In this study, two field trials were conducted to evaluate the effect of pre-sowing MW soil treatment with a duration of 60 s and an untreated control, which were assigned in a randomized complete block design with five replicates at two locations, on the yield and nitrogen (N) accumulation pattern of rice crops. At Jerilderie site, soil heating at up to 70–75 °C significantly (p ˂ 0.09) increased the rice biomass yield by 43.03% compared with rice biomass yield in untreated soils, while at Dookie site no significant increase in biomass yield was detected. Dry matter digestibility (DMD), ash, and N% did not change, whereas the N accumulation in dry biomass was significantly (p ˂ 0.09) higher at both sites (8.2% at Dookie and 43.4% at Jerilderie) and N use efficiency (10–40%) increased in response to MW soil treatment. The current study suggests that MW soil treatment can potentially enhance the crop productivity and N accumulation in dry biomass under field conditions. Future research is needed to understand the impact of MW soil heating on the productivity and nutritive value of different fodder crops under field conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: new technology; soil temperature; crop growth; forage quality; sustainable food production new technology; soil temperature; crop growth; forage quality; sustainable food production
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

Khan, M.J.; Brodie, G.; Cheng, L.; Liu, W.; Jhajj, R. Impact of Microwave Soil Heating on the Yield and Nutritive Value of Rice Crop. Agriculture 2019, 9, 134.

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