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lrrdiarr Jonriral ofAgricuItnra1 Scierlces 76(8) :465-8, August 2006

Effect of biofertilizer and nitrogen on wheal (Triticum aestivuvrr) and their after effects on succeeding maize (Zea mays) in wheat-maize cropping system

Irm'inn Agricultural Research Institute, New Dellri 1I0 012

Received : 14 May 2004 ABSTRACT A study was conducted during 1997-98 and 1998-99 to evaluate the efficacy of 2 biofertilizers (Rhizobacteria and Azotobacter) and N in wheat (Tritictrm aesfivilnl L. emend. Fiori & Paol.) and their after effects on succeeding maize (Zea nlays L.) in wheat-maize cropping sequence at New Delhi, on a sandy loam soil analyzing low in total N and medium in available P and K. Both the biofertilizers being on par caused significant improvement in growth, yield and yield attributes and N uptake in wheat as compared to control. However, no carry over effect of these biofertilizers was observed in the following maize crop.Nitrogen application markedly increased growth and yield attributes, grain (4.30 tonneslha) and straw (6.40 tonneslha) yields, N uptake (101.10 kglha), net retums (Rs 15 535) and B: C ratio (1.45) in wheat up to 60 kg/ ha only. Application of 120 kg Nha applied to wheat significantly increased the grain yield (3.98 tonnesfha) and N uptake (1 12 kgiha) in succeeding maize over no N. Direct applied N to maize significantly increased the grain yield (4.55 tomes/ ha) and N uptake (13 1.80 kgha) in maize up to I20 kglha. Over the seasons, the grain yield of maize with 60 kg Niha increased by 34.73 %over no nitrogen. The corresponding increase in yield with 120 kg N/haover 60 kg Nha was 13.78 %. Both the biofertilizers, being on par, recorded higher N uptake and net retums over no biofertilizer in wheat-maize cropping system. The uptake of N and net retums in this cropping system increased with increasing levels of residual and direct applied N to maize up to 120 kg Niha.

Key words: Wheat-maize cropping system, Triticum aestivum, Zea mays, Biofertilizers, Nitrogen

The high yielding dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties of cereals exhibited their yield potential only when applied with adequate quantity of plant nutrients, particularly nitrogen. Due to hiking fertilizer costs coupled with their limited production, it has become essential to evolve low cost input management practices for sustainable crop production (Ghosh 2000). The integrated nutrient management is one of the most important components of the production technology to sustain soil fertility and crop productivity in the future. The role of biofertilizers in wheat (Triticunz aestivum L. emend. Fiori & Paol.) and other crops have been established by several workers (Tomar et al. 1998). Therefore, the present investigation was undertaken to evaluate the impact of biofertilizers and nitrogen in N nutrition of wheat and their effects on succeeding maize (Zea ntays L.) in wheat-maize cropping system. MATERIALS AND METHODS A field experiment was conducted at New Delhl during The article IS based on the complete information of Ph D thesis, submitted to the IARI, New Delhi, during 2003. ' Technical Assistant and ' Head, Division of Agronomy

winter and monsoorl seasons of 1997-99 on a sandy loam soil analyzing low in organic carbon (0.40%) and total N (0.048%), and medium in available P (12.8 kgiha) and K (170.4 kgiha) with pH 7.3. The experinlent was laid out in randomized block design with combinations of 3 biofertilizers (no biofertilizer, Rhizobacteria and Azotobncter) and 3 levels of N (0, 60 and 120 kgiha) in main plots of wheat in winter season. Each main plot was hrther divided into 3 sub plots in a split plot design with 3 replications representing 3 fertility levels (0, 60 and 120 kg Niha) applied to the succeeding maize in monsoon season. The wheat crop was sown 17 December in 1997 and 2 December in 1998 in rows 20 cm apart using a seed rate of 125 kg/ha. Half dose of N as per treatments and the entire P,0, (60 kg/ha) and K,O (40 kgiha) were applied at sowing. he remaining half of N was applied after first irrigation. Maize was sown on 29 June in 1998 and 5 July in 1999 in rows 65 cm apart with a seed rate of 15 kgiha. The N was applied in 2 splits at sowing and knee high stage. The entire dose of P and K was applied at sowing. The N, P and K were supplied through urea, single super phosphate and muriate of potash, respectively. The crops were raised with reconmended package of practices except the inputs applied as treatments.



[Iildi(~iz Joz/r17~11 ofAgric~~lt~~rol Sciences 76 (8)

Table 1 Effect of biofcrtilizers and nitrogen on growth and yield attributes of wheal Treatment Plant height - (cm) Leaf area index at 80 days
] 908-99

Dry matter

Tillers plant

Spike length (cm)


19')7--()8 1 ')c)S-')9 1997-98 Biqfi~rti1i:o 57.5 R l ~ i z ~ b ~ t c t ~ ~ ~ i i63.2 z 61.1 :lzotoharter. CD (P=0.05) 3.8

1907-98 1998-90 1997-98 1998-99 1997-98 1998-99 1997-98 1998-99 5.41 6.42 6.18 0.17 5.83 7.14 6.83 0.53 1.83 2.10 2.00 0.13 1.93 2.22 2.09 0.13 8.31 8.75 8.70 8.69 9.11 8.97 13.98 14.20 14.09 14.24 14.50 14.29 NS

No biofertiiizer

5 66.9 61.8 4.5

221 2.51 2;47 0.20

2.80 3.33 3.23 0.24





Effect of hiofertilizers on ~c~ltcat Both the biofertilizers (Rhizobactericl and Azotobacter)

atmospheric nitrogen and production of plant growth hormones. Barik and Goswami (2003) reported that the Azotohacter supplemented 25% recommended dose of N (25 kg/ha) in wheat.
Effect ofnitrogell on wheat

being on par significantly increased the growth attributes (plant height, leaf area index, tillers1 plant and dry matter accumulation) over no inoculation (Table 1). However, Rhizobacteria resulted in significantly higher number of tillerslplant over Azotobacter inoculation in 1998-99. Biofertilizer inoculation failed to influence the spike length and spikeletst spike but caused significant increase in grain and straw yields ofwheat over uninoculated control. Between the 2 biofertilizers, Rhhobacteria though recorded the highest mean grain yield of 4.18 tonnes/ha, but was on par with Azotobacter (4.11 tonnesiha). Such an increase in grain and straw yields could be attributed to increase in growth and yield attributing characters resulting from higher fixation of

Nitrogen application up to 60 kglha only significantly increased all the growth (plant height, leaf area index, tillerst plant and dry matterlplant), yield and yield parameters (spike length) over control (Table 1,2). Application of N did not affect the spikeletsl spike. Over the seasons, 60 and 120 kg N/ha increased the grain yield by 27.80 and 33.83% over no nitrogen respectively. The increase in grain yield could be assigned to increase in yield attributes, where as better plant growth with N contributed to higher straw yield. Singh and Agarwal (2005) also observed similar increases in grain yield of wheat with N application.

Table 2 Effect of biofertilizers and nitrogen on growth and yields, N uptake and ec6nomics of fertilization in wheat Treatment Grain yield (tonnesha)
1997-98 Biqfirtilizer 1998-99 4.04 4.34 4.28 0.24 3.50 4.47 4.68 0.24

Straw yield (tonnesha)

1997-98 5.57 6.05 5.94 0.36 5.22 6.11 6.23 0.36 1998-99

N uptake

1997-98 1998-99

Net returns (Rsiha)

1997-98 1998-99

Benefit: Cost ratio

1997-98 1998-99

No biofertilizer
Rlzizobacteriu Azotobacter CD (P=0.05) N (kg/iiu) 0 60 120 CD ( h 0 . 0 5 )

3.72 4.02 3.94 0.22 3.23 4.13 4.33 0.22

August 20061



Biofertilizers and N caused significant increase in uptake and Azotobact~~, of N in wheat (Table 2). Both Rhizobact~.l.ia being on par, recorded significantly higher N uptake than control (uninoculated). There was a significant increase in N uptake up to 60 kg N/ha over control. The increase in N uptake by biofertilizers and N application could be attributed to an increase in dry matter as well as higher N concentration in plant. The results are in conformity with those of Nair and Gupta (1999). The econon~ic analysis revealed that both the biofertilizers recorded similar net returns and B:C ratio, but markedly higher than uninoculated control (Table 2). Similarly the net returns and B:C ratio increased significantly up to 60 kg N(ha only. EJecf ofresidual fer-tllity of2 maize Residual effect of biofertilizers failed to exhibit any effect on grain yield of maize. However, N applied to preceding wheat @ 120 kgha significantly increased the grain yield of succeeding maize over no N in preceding wheat (Table 3) . The differences between 60 and 120 kg/ha residual N were not significant. The increase in yield of maize was the consequence of residual fertility left behind by the preceding crop of wheat. Similar residual effect of N in maize in maize-wheat system were also observed by Tiwari et rtl. (2004). Residual N of wheat applied @ 120 kglha significantly increased N uptake in maize over no N. The difference between 120 and 60 kg N h a and 60 kg Nlha and no N were, however not significant except in 1999 where 120 kg N h a had higher N uptake over 60 kg Niha.

<flc?ctqf direct applied N 012 ~t~ni;.e Nitrogen directly applied to maize showed marked improvement in grain yield of maize. Each increase in N level up to 120 &/ha caused significant increase in grain yield of maize. The mean grain yield increased by 34.7% with 60 kg Niha over no N. Application of 120 kg N ~ h a resulted in 13.78% increase in yield over 60 kg N!ha (Table 3). This might be owing to easy and greater availability of N in fertilized plots. The cumulative beneficial effect of growth and yield attributes was finally reflected in grain yield of maize. These findings are in agreement with those of Parmar and Shanna (2001 ). There was a rnarked increase in N uptake in maize with increasing levels of N up to 120 kglha. The highest mean N uptake of 131.18 k g h a was recorded with 120 kg Nka. The increased dry matter yield along with higher N content in plant due to easy availability of N in fertilized plots was the reason for greater uptake of N in maize.

N ~cptrzke and economics of lrheat-maize c~oppiiig system Rhizobrrcteria and Asotobncter in wheat being on par recorded higher N uptake and net returns in the cropping system (Table 3). Application of 120 kg Niha in wheat recorded higher N uptake and net returns in this cropping system than no N and 60 kg Nlha. The cropping system recorded increased N uptake and net returns as the direct application of N in maize increased up to 120 kg/ha. The greater uptake of N in the system due to biofertilizers applied in wheat could be attributed to its higher uptake in wheat crop. However, in case of N applied to wheat, the N uptake

Table 3 Grain yield and N-uptake by maize, total N-uptake by wheat-maize system and net retums from wheat-maize cropping system as influenced by diffcrent treatments Treatment Grain yield (tonneslha)
1998 1999 3.90 4.01 3.95 NS 3.83 3.92 4.1 1 0.2 1 1998 101.2 104.1 103.3

N uptake (kg/hai
1999 109.1 113.0 11.2

N-uptake in wheat-maize cropping system (kgjha)

1998 184.1 197.5 ' 94.4 8.9 168.4 199.0 208.8 8.9 1999 200.0 215.8 213.2 11.3 182.9 21 6.4 229.0 11.3

Net returns in wheatmaize cropping system (Rsha)

1998 20 028 21 812 21264

1 103

1999 23 348 25 413 24771 1310 20185 25 854 27 492 1310

Biofertilizer No biofertilizer Rkizobacteria Azotobacter

CD (F0.05) N (kg/lza)to wheat 0 60 120 CD (FO.05)

3.68 3.76 3.73


3.59 3.73 3.86 0.19

98.4 103.0 107.5 5.4

105.9 110.2 116.5 5.6

17255 22 359 23 491 1 103



[I~lrfiirri J o ~ m ~ ofAgriccrlt~on1 al Sciences 76 (8)

was more both in wheat and succeeding maize crop, which together accounted for higher total N uptake in the cropping system. The direct application of N in maize also resulted in marked increase in N uptake in this crop, which was consequently reflected in total N uptake by the cropping system. REFERENCES Barik A K and Goswami A. 2003. Efficacy of biofertilizer and nitrogen levels on growth, productivity and economics of wheat (Pificum aestilrlurz). Indian Jozcrna( of Agrotronry 48: 100-02. Ghosh S K. 2000. Organic farming for sustainable development. World : 15-20. Nair A K and Gupta P C. 1999. Effect of green-manuring and nitrogen levels on nutrient uptake by rice (Oi-yza sativa) and wheat (Triticunt aestivrml) under rice-wheat sequence. litdiatz

Jolrrtral ofAgr~notlry 44: 659-63. Parmar D K and Sharma '$1.2001. Nitrogen requirement of single -wheat (Triticzint aestivztnr) system hybrid maize (Zea n~ays) under rainfed conditions. hdiatl Jortnrnl o f Agricultlrt-a1 Scitwces 71: 252-4. Singh R and Agarwal S K. 2GO5. Effects of levels of farmyard manure and nitrogen fertilization on grain yield and use efficiency of nutrients in wheat (Trilicrrnr nestivunr). bzdiatt Jourt~al ofAgriczrltural Scieizces 75: 408-1 3. Tiwari R C, Sharma P K and Khandelwal S K. 2004. Effect of green manuring through Sesbatlia cailabitra and Sesbunia rostrata and nitrogen application through urea to maize (Zea nrnys) in maize-wheat (Piticzrn~aestivztnr) cropping system. India11 Jozirttal o f Agronony 49: 15-7. Tomar V S, Tomar I S and Badaya A K. 1998. Response of chemical and biofertilizerson some matrictraits in wheat. Crop Research, 16: 408-1 0.