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Influence of Foliar Application of Mineral Nutrients on Biological Nitrogen Fixation of Rainfed Soybean

Malik Gul Hassan Awan, Shahzada Sohail Ijaz, Muhammad Ansar, Adeel Anwar, Umber Abbasi and Hashmat Mahmood

1Institute of Soil Science, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 2Department of Agronomy, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 3Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

 
*Correspondence | Shahzada Sohail Ijaz, Institute of Soil Science, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Email: shahzadasohail@uaar.edu.pk 

ABSTRACT

A field study investigated the effect of foliar nutrients on nitrogen fixation of soybean grown under subtropical rainfed conditions. Three soybean varieties viz. NARC-2, Ajmeri-1 and Rawal-l were sown with and without foliar application of nutrients (Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, P and Ca) in a sandy loam soil (Typic Ustorthents). The spray applied 0.7 g ha-1 Mn, 0.7 g ha-1 B, 0.7 g ha-1 Cu, and 1 g ha-1 Zn besides 59 g ha-1 P, and 27 g ha-1 Ca. Foliar application enhanced the nitrogen fixation in all the soybean varieties. Increase was 98% in NARC-2, 84% in Rawal-1 and 70% in Ajmeri-1. The highest N2 fixation of 68 kg ha-1 was observed in NARC-2 with foliar application of nutrients. Nodule numbers increased from 0.12 plant-1 without nutrients spray to 0.99 plant-1 with nutrients spray. Number of pods increased 7.5 % to 45% with foliar application of nutrients. The highest number of pods (74 per plant) was recorded for Ajmeri-1 with foliar application spray. Increase in biomass yield with foliar application of nutrients was 18 % to 112%. The highest biomass yield was 4.8 t ha-1 from Rawal-1 with nutrients application. Increase in grain yield with foliar application of nutrients ranged between 19.5% and 132%. The highest seed yield was produced by NARC-2 (2.19 t ha-1) with foliar application of nutrients. The study clearly concludes that foliar application of nutrients significantly increased biological nitrogen fixation, number of pods per plant and finally grain yield in soybean.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 52, Iss. 6, Pages 2027-2426

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