Variations in nutrient concentrations of maize as affected by different levels of brackish water under normal soil conditions

Imran Shehzad, Ghulam Sarwar, Muhammad Zeeshan Manzoor, Fakhar Mujeeb, Ayesha Zafar and Faheem Khadija

ABSTRACT    Decline in agriculture production due to salinity is one of the key problems in many areas around the globe including Pakistan. Cyclic use is a strategy where saline and good quality water is used in a cyclic manner for leaching down the salts accumulated during irrigation of saline water. In this manner, salt accumulation does not rise beyond tolerance limit of the crop. The experiment consisted of four treatments that were replicated four times and randomized complete block design (RCBD) was used to make layout. Treatments were; T1 = continuous irrigation with canal water, T2 = continuous irrigation with water of EC 2.0 dS m-1, T3 = continuous irrigation with water of EC 3.0 dS m-1 and T4 = continuous irrigation with water of EC 4.0 dS m-1. Maize was sown as a test crop. Pre- and post-harvest soil analyses were carried out for different physical and chemical characteristics. The results of plant analysis for nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium percentage in maize plant showed that irrigation with canal water significantly enhanced the concentration of these nutrients in maize plants except sodium which was produced maximum under irrigation with water of EC = 4 dS m-1. The irrigation water having EC = 2 and 3 dS m-1 produced less values of these nutrients in maize as compared to canal water but significantly higher than that of irrigation water (EC = 4 dS m-1). It was concluded that use of brackish water affected the concentration of all nutrients negatively.

Keywords: Brackish and canal water, Irrigation, Maize, Electrical conductivity

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