Subscribe Now Subscribe Today
Research Article

Evaluation Of Compost Fertilizer "Zarkhez" In Conjunction With Chemical Fertilizers For Rice And Wheat Production

Aslam John, Muhammad Khalid and Farooq Javed
Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit Linkedin StumbleUpon E-mail

Experiments conducted to evaluate a compost fertilizer "Zarkhez" showed that effect of compost alone (2000 kg ha–1 and 4000 kg ha–1) on number of tillers, 1000-grain weight, yield and NPK uptake by rice and wheat was almost similar to control, whereas, significant improvements were observed when combination of compost and chemical fertilizers were applied. Maximum yield of paddy (4.25 t ha–1) and wheat (2.61 t ha–1) were obtained with 4000 kg ha–1 compost+chemical fertilizers (150-75-0 kg ha–1), which were 170.70 and 272.86 percent increased over control, respectively.

Related Articles in ASCI
Similar Articles in this Journal
Search in Google Scholar
View Citation
Report Citation

  How to cite this article:

Aslam John, Muhammad Khalid and Farooq Javed, 1998. Evaluation Of Compost Fertilizer "Zarkhez" In Conjunction With Chemical Fertilizers For Rice And Wheat Production. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 1: 368-371.

DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.1998.368.371



Organic materials are being traditionally used by farmers since long. However, these materials received less attention when chemical or inorganic fertilizers became commercially available. The interest in a more systematic and intensive use of organic materials is regaining momentum because as a consequence of energy crises chemical fertilizers have become expensive (Saleem et al., 1986).

The importance of organic materials such as manure, mulch, compost, green manure and domestic and industrial wastes is well known due to their multiple functions in soil. These not only maintain good soil structure, improve water and nutrient holding capacity, aeration in soil but provide also plant nutrients (Prasad and Singh, 1980). Organic materials act as chelating agents and hold the minerals desorbed from the soil. During the decomposition of organic matter acids are also produced which increase the availability of mineral nutrients in soil for plants (Lorenz and Maynard, 1980). The major possible and practicable sources of organic matter are farm yard manure, green manure and compost. As the compost fertilizers contain low contents of major nutrients Mohanty and Patnaik, 1975; Azad, 1986; Salim et al., 1986) to fulfil the requirements of plants, they should be supplemented with chemical fertilizers. The integrated use of organic and chemical fertilizers enhances each others efficiency. Organic manures also help in the substitution of costly chemical fertilizer for crop production (Hussain et al., 1988; De Jesus, 1995). Uptake of nutrients by maize (Mahmood et al., 1984), rice (Shiota et al., 1984) and wheat (Tomar et al., 1984) also increases as chemical fertilizers are applied in combination with kallar grass compost and rice straw compost, respectively. However, significantly increased yields of wheat and sorghum with alone compost application have been reported by Bhandari and Vyas (1993) and Ramanathan and Devi (1994), respectively.

An organic fertilizer locally known as "Zarkhez" was manufactured by Faroaq Compost Fertilizer Corporation Limited, Karachi. It was prepared by the process of decomposition from city svveeps/wastesi/refuses and was claimed to be a complete fertilizer to replace chemical fertilizers for all crops. Keeping in view "Zarkhez" was evaluated for rice and wheat production in conjunction with chemical fertilizers.

Materials and Methods

The field experiments were carried out in the research area of Soil Science Department, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. After the layout and before fertilizer and compost application to rice crop samples were collected from 0-15 cm depth. These samples were processed and analysed for physical and chemical characteristics as out lined by Jackson (1986) and are given in Table 1. The compost samples were also analysed for nutritional status (Table 2).

Table 1:Physical and chemical characteristics of original soil

Table 2: Analysis of "Zarkhez" compost

The compost "Zarkhez" was applied in conjunction with chemical fertilizers as following treatments:

T1 = Control (No Zarklhez or fertilizer)
T2 = Compost at 2000 kg ha–1
T3 = Compost at 4000 kg ha–1
T4 = NPK fertilizers (1 50-75-0 kg ha–1)
T5 = NPK. fertilizers (150-75-0 kg ha–1) +2000 kg ha–1 compost
T6 = NPK fertilizers (150-75-0 kg ha–1) + 4000 kg ha–1 compost

All P as single superphosphate and compost were applied before rice transplantation. Nitrogen in the form of urea was applied in two equal splits half at transplanting and half 35 days after transplantation. After treatment application the rice variety KS-282 was transplanted in the standing water keeping hill to hill and row to row distance of 20 and 25 cm, respectively. In the same layout then wheat variety LU-26S was sown in lines 30 cm apart. The same treatments were applied to wheat as used in case of rice with the exception that second 1/2 N was applied at first irrigation. During growth and at maturity of rice and wheat crops following observations were recorded:

(I)Number of tillers per hill m–1 length
(II) 1000-grain weight (g)
(III) Paddy/wheat grain yield (t ha–1)

Samples taken at harvest were analysed for NPK uptake. The data were statistically analysed according to Randomized complete block design (Steel and Torrie, 1980).

Results and Discussion

Yield And Yield Attributing Components Of Rice And Wheat: Observations on yield and yield attributing components of rice and wheat crops are presented in Table 3. It is evident from the data that maximum increase in number of tillers and 1000-grain weight of paddy and wheat was under the treatment 4000 kg compost ha–1+150-75-0 kg ha–1. Paddy and wheat yields also increased to the maximum being 4.25 and 2.61 t ha–1, respectively under the same treatment showing the superiority of this treatment to others. It was also noticed from the data that in its effectiveness both the low (2000 kg ha–1) and the high rate (4000 kg ha–1) of compost application were at par with each other and appeared almost similar to control treatment. Similar poor performance of the rice husk compost was reported by Azad (1986) and it was attributed to the poor status of available plant nutrients in rice husk compost. On the other hand favourable effects of kallar grass compost on the yield of maize were reported by Mahmood et al. (1984) which they attributed to its contents of humic substances known to increase crop yield directly or indirectly. They also stated that this compost contained sufficient amounts of N, P and K nutrients. Similarly, Bhandari and Vyas (1993) and Ramanathan and Deepa Devi (1994) also reported beneficial effects of compost on wheat and sorghum, respectively. Chemical fertilizers (150-75-0 kg ha–1) when applied alone improved yield and yield contributing components significantly as compared to compost and control treatments. More pronounced results were obtained where chemical fertilizers were applied in conjunction with compost as Hussain et al. (1988) and De Jesus (1995) also got the maximum yield of rice with combined application of organic sources and chemical fertilizers. However, this effect of conjunctive application of two compost rates and chemical fertilizers was nonsignificant when compared with each other and chemical fertilizers alone applications. This observation showed that significant results as compared to control under these treatments were not due to compost but chemical fertilizers were responsible.

Table 3: Yield and yield attributing components of rice and wheat as affected by Zarkhez and chemical fertilizers
*Any two means within each character followed by the same letter are not significantly different at 5% probability level

Table 4: Uptake of NPK by rice and wheat crop under compost and chemical fertilizers application
*Any two means within each character followed by the same letter are not significantly different at 5% probability level

It again proved the inferior quality of "Zarkhez" compost containing such a low quantity of plant nutrients which were not sufficient for proper growth and yield of crop. Similarly, lower grain yield and dry matter production of rice and wheat in the compost treatments were reported by Mohanty and Patnaik (1975) and Salim et al. (1986) respectively. They attributed these findings to inadequate availability of nitrogen, resulting from immobilization of inorganic nitrogen initially present as well as added through compost, because of high C/N ratio.

Nutrient Uptake: The data on uptake of NP and K by rice and wheat crops are presented in Table 4 which depicted that the uptake of nutrients under compost alone was almost similar to control except in case of P uptake by rice and K uptake by wheat crop. As the yield of rice and wheat in compost alone treatments was poor consequently uptake at nutrients was also poor and similar to control treatment. Mohanty and Patnaik (1975) also reported that although application of compost showed increased uptake of nitrogen when compared to control but it was non-significant. The application of urea and SSP (150-75-0 kg ha–1) significantly increased the uptake of NPK. So it was concluded that compost fertilizer was inefficient to increase the uptake of nutrients as compared to chemical fertilizers. Although no K was applied through soil fertilization even then its uptake increased. Probably it might be due to increased growth of crop and the availability of native K. The most significant effect was observed when chemical fertilizers were supplemented with higher dose of compost resulting in significant increase of N, P and K uptake over control and compost alone, Conjunctive use of compost and chemical fertilizers was also favoured by Mahmood et al. (1984), Shiota et al. (1984) and Tomar et al. (1984) as they reported enhanced uptake of nutrients in maize and rice and wheat crops, respectively.

1:  Azad, M.I., 1986. Effect of rice husk (Compost) on the growth of rice. Annual Report, Soil Bacteriology Section AARI, Faisalabad, pp: 34-47.

2:  Bhandari, S.C. and K.K. Vyas, 1993. Effect of composted plant residues on microbial biomass C and N and release of mineral nitrogen. Proceedings of the Abstract National Seminar on Development in Soil Science, November 26-29, 1992, New Delhi, India, pp: 34-.

3:  De Jesus, J.I.C., 1995. Extension of integrated plant nutrition systems (IPNS) at the farm level in the Philippines. FAO Report, Progress and Problems in the Extension of Integrated Plant Nutrition System (IPNS) at Farm Level in Asia, pp: 141-162.

4:  Hussain, T., G. Jullani and M.Z. Iqbal, 1988. Integrated use of organic and inorganic N fertilizer in rice-wheat cropping system. Pak. J. Soil Sci., 3: 19-23.

5:  Jackson, M.L., 1986. Soil Chemical Analysis. Constable and Co. Ltd., London.

6:  Lorenz, O.A. and D.N. Maynard, 1980. Kontt's Hand Book for Vegetable Growers. 2nd Edn., John Wiley and Sons, USA., pp: 74.

7:  Mahmood, T., F. Azam and K.A. Malik, 1984. Effect of kallar grass compost on growth and nutrient utilization of maize. Annual Report NIAB, Faisalabad, pp: 112-115.

8:  Mohanty, S.K. and S. Patnaik, 1975. Rice yields and N uptake in different soil types as influenced by application of blast furnace slag as Ca carrier and compost as N carrier. Oryza, 12: 23-26.

9:  Prasad, B. and A.P. Singh, 1980. Changes in soil properties with long-term use of fertilizer, lime and farmyard manure. J. Indian Soc. Soil Sci., 28: 465-468.
Direct Link  |  

10:  Ramanathan, G. and A.K.D. Devi, 1994. Bio-conversion of organic wastes into nutrient enriched compost and their effect on soil fertility, crop growth and yield of sorghum. Proceedings of the Abstract National Seminar on Developments in Soil Science, October 8-12, 1993, New Delhi, India, pp: 65-.

11:  Saleem, M.T., N. Ahmad and J.G. David, 1986. Fertilizers and their use in Pakistan. National Fertilizers Development Centre, Islamabad, pp: 183.

12:  Salim, M., S. Mahmood and M. Hussein, 1986. Studies on the synergistic effect of organic manure and mineral fertilizers on wheat yield and NP contents of straw. Annual Report 1986-1987, Land Resources Section, NARC, Islamabad, pp: 12-14.

13:  Shiota, Y., K. Sano and I. Okimura, 1984. Short-and long-term effects of successive application of rice straw compost evaluated by nitrogen uptake by rice plants. Res. Bull. Aichi-Ken Agric. Res. Center, 16: 43-51.

14:  Steel, R.G.D. and J.H. Torrie, 1980. Principles and Procedures of Statistics. 6th Edn., McGraw Hill, New York, USA., pp: 578.

15:  Tomar, N.K., A.P. Gupta and S.S. Khanna, 1984. Evaluation of rock phosphate-superhosphate mixtures by incubation in organic matter for efficient use in wheat. Fertiliser News, 29: 37-38.

©  2021 Science Alert. All Rights Reserved