Soil quality alteration and maize (Zea mays L.) yield after organic amendments application to a Pellic Vertisol in China
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Department of Soil Resources Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
College of Resources and Environment, Northeast Agricultural University, China
Carnarvon Research Station, 262 South River Road, South Plantation, Carnarvon, WA 6701, Australia
Submission date: 2023-05-09
Final revision date: 2023-10-25
Acceptance date: 2023-12-15
Online publication date: 2023-12-15
Publication date: 2023-12-15
Corresponding author
George Oluwaseun Odugbenro   

Department of Soil Resources Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, 200284, Ibadan, Nigeria
Soil Sci. Ann., 2023, 74(3)177042
Maintenance of soil quality for sustainable crop production is a key factor in maximizing the potential of cropland in all climate zones. This field study evaluated the influence of biochar, maize straw (MS), mixtures of both, and poultry manure (PM) on soil properties and maize yield in an agricultural soil in northeast China. Seven treatments comprising CK, control; MS, 12.5 Mg ha-1 maize straw; B1, 12.5 Mg ha-1 biochar; B2, 25 Mg ha-1 biochar; SB1, 12.5 Mg ha-1 maize straw + 12.5 Mg ha-1 biochar; SB2, 12.5 Mg ha-1 maize straw + 25 Mg ha-1 biochar; and PM, 25 Mg ha-1 poultry manure were applied and replicated four times. Soil samples were collected at four depths 0–10, 10–20, 20–30 and 30–40 cm. Results showed that organic amendments reduced soil bulk density (BD), increased total porosity (TP) and soil moisture content across the top soil (0–20 cm) when compared with the control. Lowest soil BD (1.28 Mg m-3) was recorded for B2 at 0–10 cm depth. Soil pH and soil organic carbon (Corg) were also increased by organic amendments across 0–40 cm depth relative to the control. A significant negative linear relationship was observed between soil BD and Corg. across the 0–40 cm depth. Maize grain yield (5.3 to 24.2%) and total biomass yield (2.9 to 14.9%) were significantly improved by organic amendments, compared to the unamended control. Our study concludes that biochar, biochar-straw-based soil management approach, and poultry manure can improve soil quality, maize biomass and grain yields.
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