Effect of potassium on soil conservation and productivity of maize/cowpea based crop rotations in the north-west Indian Himalayas


Abstract Plots under conservation tillage may require higher amount of potassium (K) application for augmenting productivity due to its stratification in upper soil layers, thereby reducing K supplying capacity in a medium or long-term period. To test this hypothesis, a field experiment was performed in 2002-2003 and 2006-2007 to study the effect of K and several crop rotations on yield, water productivity, carbon sequestration, grain quality, soil K status and economic benefits derived in maize (Zea mays L)/cowpea (Vigna sinensis L.) based cropping system under minimum tillage (MT). All crops recorded higher grain yield with a higher dose of K (120 kg K2O ha-1) than recommended K (40 kg K2O ha-1). The five years’ average yield data showed that higher K application (120 kg K2O ha-1) produced 16.4% (P

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