Use of Hyacinth Compost in Salt-Affected Soils
Khalil Ahmed1*, Amar Iqbal Saqib1, Abdul Rasul Naseem1, Ghulam Qadir1, Muhammad Qaisar Nawaz1, Muhammad Khalid2, Imtiaz Ahmad Warraich3 and Muhammad Arif4
Composting the unwanted aquatic weeds for supply of essential plant nutrients and improving the health of salt-affected soil is a simpler technique. Therefore, present research work was carried out to appraise the efficacy of water hyacinth compost as an ameliorant for improving the deteriorated properties of saline-sodic soil. Treatments included were; T1, control, T2, gypsum @ 100 % GR, T3, gypsum @ 50 % of GR, T4, hyacinth compost @ 15 t ha-1, T5, gypsum @ 50 % of GR + hyacinth compost @ 5 t ha-1, T6, gypsum @ 50 % of GR + hyacinth compost @ 10 t ha-1, T7, gypsum @ 50 % of GR + hyacinth compost @ 15 t ha-1. At start of study, soil had pHs (pH of soil saturated past) = 8.91, SAR (sodium adsorption ratio) = 44.24, ECe (electrical conductivity of soil extract) = 5.02 (dS m-1), GR (gypsum requirement) = 10.18 (t ha-1), BD (bulk density) = 1.66 (Mg m-3), HC (hydraulic conductivity) = 0.35 (cm hr-1). Rice and wheat, crops were grown in the rotation. Data analysis showed that gypsum and hyacinth compost remarkably improved the soil SAR, pHs, ECe, BD, HC, growth and yield characteristics of rice and wheat crops, however at the same time use of gypsum and hyacinth compost in combination proved more superior to their sole application. Hyacinth compost @ 10 and 15 t ha-1 with gypsum @ 50 % of GR performed equally in all studied parameters of rice and wheat crops and soil properties. Therefore, integrated use of gypsum @ 50 % of GR + hyacinth compost @ 10 t ha-1, seem as economical and a potential agro-ecological strategy for improving the deteriorated properties of saline-sodic soil and crop production.