Effect of Organic Amendments and Nano-Zinc Foliar Application on Alleviation of Water Stress in Some Soil Properties and Water Productivity of Barley Yield

Abstract: The scarcity of water resources in arid and semi-arid areas is considered a threat to agricultural sustainability. Therefore, approaches are needed to rationalize use of irrigation water without reducing crop productivity or degrading soil properties. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of different organic amendments (O1 = control, O2 = compost, and O3 = vermicompost) combined with different rates of nano- zinc foliar spraying (Zn1 = 0, Zn2 = 1 and Zn3 = 2 gm/L), under irrigation supplements (I1 = 100%, I2 = 85%, and I3 = 65% of water requirements) on clay soil characteristics, on the production of Egyptian barley Giza 126. Over two successive winter growing seasons, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020, field experiments were conducted as a split-split plot design with three replications. The results show that using vermicompost is an appropriate organic amendment to improve the physical and chemical properties of soils as compared with compost. Application of vermicompost led to a reduction in soil salinity (ECe), exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), and soil bulk density (BD), of -5.67%, -5.44%, and -2.21%, respectively; there was a significant increase in soil organic carbon (SOC), available nitrogen (A.N), and field capacity (F.C.), of 43.75%, 14.37%, and 18.65%, respectively, compared with unamended soil (O1). The maximum values for grain yield were increased by 13.2% and 14.9% in both seasons, respectively, and the irrigation water productivity of barley was increased more than compost and control. Vermicompost increased the irrigation water productivity for grain (1.69 and 1.69 kg grain m-3) and straw (1.23 and 1.17 kg straw m-3) in the first and second season, respectively. Similar trends were also observed from treatments on the water applied, stored water, and water application efficiency. Application of vermicompost and nano-Zn foliar spraying could be exploited for the development of barley growth and yield, which are enhanced under water-saving irrigation strategies.
Publication year 2022
Pages 585-604
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Author(s) from ARC
Publication Type Journal