Evaluating the maize productivity under different irrigation and nutrient management practices

Pakistan is water stressed country in which agriculture is major consumer of fresh water supplies. The competition among agriculture, industry and domestic use leads us to acquire alternate source for crop production. However, the quality of alternate water source may result in deterioration of soil in general, particularly crops for human and animal consumption. The objective of present study was to evaluate the use of canal, domestic and municipal wastewater along with press mud application as alternate and improved farm management practices for sustainable food production. To explore the impact of wastewater and press mud on maize, one pot and two field experiments were conducted. The irrigation sources used in the study were municipal wastewater, domestic wastewater and canal water. While the nutrient sources were press mud and inorganic fertilizers. In the pot study different combinations of water qualities and nutrient sources were studied. The results showed that wastewater had adverse effects on the emergence parameters, whereas, press mud mitigated these effects. Seedling growth was good with more plant length and dry weight with municipal wastewater along with press mud followed by the domestic wastewater with press mud. Among the field experiments in first experiment, effect of press mud application under different irrigation waters (municipal wastewater, domestic wastewater and canal water) in comparison with inorganic fertilizers on yield and quality of hybrid maize was studied. In second field experiment, productivity of hybrid maize was tested under different irrigation treatments (T1=canal water, T2=domestic wastewater, T3=municipal wastewater, T4=alternate canal-domestic-canal, T5=alternate canal-municipal-canal, T6=mixed canal & domestic and T7=mixed canal & municipal). All the agronomic traits, plant height (cm), cob diameter, number of grain rows per cob, number of grains per cob, 1000-grain weight (g), biological yield (t ha-1) and grain yield (t ha-1) gave higher values with an increase of 22-27 % in grain yield under municipal wastewater irrigation with press mud in the first experiment over both the years. In second experiment municipal wastewater was best with statistically similar or followed by mixed canal & municipal and alternate canal-municipal-canal regarding the growth and yield components and the highest yield in both the years 2012 and 2013. Municipal wastewater irrigation along with press mud in first field experiment while, municipal wastewater as such or mixed with canal water significantly gave higher seed oil content (%), seed starch content (%) and seed protein content (%) in both the years of study. Seed heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Ni, Cu and Zn) contents were found to be within the limits proposed by international food quality standards in maize under all treatments.

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This is an abstract of PhD thesis of  DILDAR KHAN, RANA and taken from hec website you can view complete thesis at http://prr.hec.gov.pk/jspui/handle/123456789/7652

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