Soil microbial and nutrient dynamics influenced by irrigation-induced salinity and sewage sludge incorporation in sandy – loam textured soil
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Department of Soil Science, CCS HAU, Haryana - 125 001, India
Department of Microbiology, CCS HAU, Haryana - 125 001, India
Department of Agronomy, CCS HAU, Haryana - 125 001, India
Department of Natural Resource Management, Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi, Jharkhand - 834006, India
Final revision date: 2020-10-19
Acceptance date: 2020-10-23
Publication date: 2020-11-13
Corresponding author
Ankush Ankush   

Department of Soil Science, CCS HAU, Haryana - 125 001, India
Int. Agrophys. 2020, 34(4): 451-462
The use of sewage sludge in agriculture is known to be environmentally friendly as it is a practical way of recycling municipal waste. A short-term experiment was carried out to study the changes in soil chemical and microbiological properties influenced through the addition of sewage sludge along with saline irrigation under a pearl millet-wheat crop rotation. There were three irrigation (canal water (0.35 dS m-1), 8 and 10 dS m-1 electrical conductivity saline water) and five fertilizer treatments (control-F1, sewage sludge (5 t ha-1)-F2, sewage sludge (5 t ha-1) +50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF)-F3, sewage sludge (5 t ha-1)+75% RDF-F4 and RDF-F5). The results showed that soil organic carbon, and available nitrogen, and phosphorus were reduced significantly under saline conditions but there was an increase in available potassium with the increasing salinity levels of the irrigation water. A significant reduction in soil microbial biomass carbon and enzyme activities was caused by 8 and 10 dS m-1 as compared to 0.35 dS m-1 at different growth stages of crops. Treatment F4 attained the highest soil microbial activity at each crop growth stage by a significant margin among all of the fertilizer treatments, which is associated with a substantial build-up of organic carbon and available NPK in the soil. Soil microbial activities followed a particular trend: at 35 and 75 days after sowing>harvest>sowing in pearl millet and wheat, respectively. Sewage sludge dumping is a major problem in India, and the present study suggests that by applying sewage sludge, soil biological health is improved; therefore its use in agriculture is recommended to farmers.
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