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Abstract

Problem Statement The soils of the Arabian Peninsula in general and the GCC countries in specific are coarse textured. These soils have low water and nutrient holding capacity and high leaching. There is a need for innovative technology that enhances water and nutrient use efficiency and increase crop production. A number of organic and inorganic amendments have been used by various researchers in this regards. However, little has been done in this respect on UAE soils, and hence forms the focus of this study. Objectives To assess the performance of organic and inorganic amendments to enhanced crop production (maize). Methodology A green house experiment (pot) was conducted (June-September 2013) on maize crop using different amendments and rates (0, 1.5%, 3.0% and 6.0%). Four inorganic and one organic amendment were used. The pots were irrigated with fresh water (EC = 2.07 dSm-1) at 100% ET0, 75% ET0 and 50% ET0. The treatments were triplicated in split plot design. Nitrogen was applied at 115 kg/ha in three dozes (50%, 25% and 25%); while potash (30 kg/ha K2O) and phosphorus (60 kg/ha P2O5) were applied at sowing. Five seeds (variety Sahiwal from Pakistan) were sown in the pots and when geminated thinning was done to three plants. Data on plant height, biomass (fresh and dry), root length and weight, germination was collected. Results Two inorganic amendments (Zeoplant and Zeoplant pellets) have shown promising results in terms of plant height and biomass. At 75% ETo the performance of both amendments was comparable to 100% ET0; however, the biomass was increased more than double and even triple compared to the control treatment by Zeoplant. These are the preliminary results which needs further confirmation under field conditions. Follow up to this study we have conducted green house (pot experiment) and field trials (barley crop) to further test these amendments before solid conclusions can be drawn and recommendation formulated. Based on the preliminary pot experiments following conclusions are drawn. Conclusions The organic and inorganic amendments in general improved the water use efficiency as well as enhanced the biomass production to a significant extent compared to the treatment where amendments were not used. Recommendations These are preliminary results from sandy soil representing the main soil type in UAE. These amendments may behave differently in other types of soils hence further test are needed. Key words Agriculture production, Sandy soils, Soil amendments, Soil properties improvement, UAE

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2014.EEPP0737
2014-11-18
2019-09-21
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