Plants, Vol. 11, Pages 75: Effects of Rice Husk Biochar Coated Urea and Anaerobically Digested Rice Straw Compost on the Soil Fertility, and Cyclic Effect of Phosphorus

Plants doi: 10.3390/plants11010075

Ashoka Gamage
Ben Basnayake
Janendra De Costa
Othmane Merah

Fertilizer application in rice farming is an essential requirement. Most of the high-yielding varieties which are extensively grown throughout the country require recommended levels of fertilizers to obtain their potential yields. However, effective, and efficient ways of fertilizer application are of utmost importance. Coated fertilizers are used to reduce leaching nutrients and improve the efficiency of fertilizer. However, conventional coated fertilizers such as Sulphur coated urea and urea super granules are not popular among rice farmers in Sri Lanka owing to the high cost. Mixing urea-coated rice husk biochar causes a slow release of nitrogen fertilizer. This coated fertilizer and rice straw compost reduction the cost of importations of nitrogen-based fertilizers per unit area of cultivation. The study aimed to evaluate the effects of rice husk biochar coated urea and anaerobically digested rice straw compost on the soil fertility, and the cyclic effect of phosphorus. Concerning the pot experiment, rice grain yield was significantly higher in Rice husk biochar coated urea, triple super phosphate (TSP), and muriate of potash (MOP) with anaerobically digested rice straw compost. The lowest yield was observed in the control. The release of phosphate shows a cycle effect which is an important finding. Rice husk biochar coated urea can potentially be used as a slow-releasing nitrogen fertilizer. In addition, the urea coated with biochar is less costly and contributes to mitigating pollution of water bodies by inorganic fertilizers (NPK).

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