Effect of Biochar, Vermicompost and Polymer on Wheat and Maize Productivity in Sandy Soils under Drought Stress

Document Type : Original Article


1 Soil Improvement and Conservation Dept., Soils, Water & Environment Res. Institute (SWERI), Agric. Res. Centre (ARC), Giza, Egypt

2 Central Laboratory for Agricultural Climate(CLAC) Agriculture Research Center (ARC)


The drought is one of the most important abiotic stresses limiting crop productivity especially in sandy soils in arid and semi-arid areas. So, using soil amendments such as vermicompost (VC), biochar (BC), and polymer (PL) are more important in these areas. Lysimeter experiments with sandy soil were carried out at Sakha Agric. Res. Station, Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt to study the effect of 0.4% PL, 4.0% VC and 1.0% BC (W:W soil) on productivity of wheat (2018/019) and maize (2019) under tow irrigation levels (irrigation after depletion of 50% and 75% from available water). The obtained results indicated that irrigation at 75% moisture depletion (irrigation deficit) decreased plant height, 100-grain weight, grain and straw yields, water applied to wheat (-16.8%) and maize (-20%) compared to that with higher irrigation level (50% depletion). Also, water productivity was slightly decreased for wheat, but it slightly increased for maize and ECe values were slightly increased due to irrigation deficit. Also, applications of soil amendments and their combinations significantly increased plant height, 100-grain weight, and yield and water productivity of both crops and improved soil porosity and field capacity. The VC was more effective followed by BC and PL, while their interactions were the most effective on these parameters. Moreover, soil amendments alleviated the deleterious effects of irrigation deficit on plant growth and salt accumulation. Finally, applying BC combined with VC and PL could be recommended as a good approach to maintain long-term productivity of sandy soils and mitigate the hazardous effects of drought stresses.


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