Integrated use of biochar: A tool for improving soil and wheat quality of degraded soil under wheat-maize cropping pattern

Kawsar Ali, Muhammad Arif, Mohammad Tariq Jan, Mohammad Jamal Khan, Davey L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Wheat quality, nutrient uptake and nutrient use efficiency are significantly influenced by nutrient sources and application rate. To investigate the integrative effect of biochar, farmyard manure (FYM) and nitrogen (organic and inorganic soil amendments) in a wheat-maize cropping system, a two year study was designed to assess the interactive outcome of biochar, FYM and nitrogenous fertilizer on wheat nitrogen (N) parameters and associated soil quality parameters. Three levels of biochar (0, 25 and 50 t ha-1), two levels of FYM (5 and 10 t ha-1) and two levels of nitrogen fertilizer (60 and 120 kg ha-1) were used in the study. Biochar application displayed a significantly increased in wheat leaf, stem, straw and grain N content; grain and total N-uptake and grain protein content by 24, 20, 24, 56, 50, 17 and 20% respectively. Similarly, biochar application significantly increased soil total N (TN) and soil mineral N (SMN) by 63 and 40% respectively in second year. FYM application increased grain, leaf and straw N content by 20, 19.5 and 18% respectively, and increased total N-uptake and grain protein content by 49 and 19% respectively. FYM increased soil TN and SMN by 63 and 32% in both the years of the experiment. Mineral N application increased soil TN by over a half and SMN by a third, and grain protein content increased 16%. In contrast, nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) decreased for all amendments relative to the control. However, biochar treated plots improved NUE by 38% compared to plots without biochar. In conclusion, this field experiment has illustrated the potential of biochar to bring about short-term benefits in wheat and soil quality parameters in wheat-maize cropping systems. However, the long-term benefits remain to be quantified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalPakistan Journal of Botany
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

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