The residual impact of straw mulch and biochar amendments on soil physiochemical properties and yield of maize under rainfed system

Ismail Khan, Taotao Chen, Muhammad Farooq, Ce Luan, Qi Wu, Dai wanning, Su Xu, Wang Li-xue*

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Global warming and climate alterations have adversely affected agricultural production systems. The application of biochar can help mitigate climate change impacts and enhance the production and quality of agriculture. The field experiments were conducted during 2018 and 2019 to evaluate the effects of straw mulch (0 and 8 tons ha−1) and biochar (0, 4, 12, and 36 tons ha−1) on soil temperature, soil pH, bulk density, electric conductivity, cation exchange capacity, soil organic carbon, soil nutrient status (available P, K, NO3, and NH4+) at various soil depth (10, 20, and 30 cm), and yield and yield-related traits of rainfed maize (Zea mays L.). The results showed that addition of biochar regulated the soil temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, cation exchange capacity, and increased the soil organic carbon, soil nutrient status (available P, K, NO3, and NH4+) compared to non-biochar-treated soils. In contrast, the higher amount of biochar (36 tons ha−1) application decreased the soil bulk density compared to control. However, the combined application of straw mulch and biochar improved the grain yield and yield contributing traits of maize. In conclusion, either straw mulch and biochar or combined straw mulch + biochar-based soil management techniques regulate the temperature and physiochemical properties of soil. These improvements in soil properties increased the grain yield of rainfed maize and help to mitigate global warming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-1120
Number of pages19
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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