Title : Effect of long term application of organics on organic carbon and soil microbial activity under vertisols
Organic practices of crop production is gaining popularity as it sustain crop productivity and soil health without harming the environment. There is paucity of data available on the long-term organic farming practices on performance of beneficial microorganisms. In a long-term network project on organic farming (NPOF, since 2004) experiment at ICAR-IISS, Bhopal, we evaluated the effect of organic management on soil organic carbon and microbial activity under soybean-wheat based cropping systems. The experiment consists six treatments (M1 (Organic; 100% Organic), M2 (Integrated; 50% Inorganic +50% Organic), M3 (Conventional with recommended dose of mineral fertilizers), M4 (50% Organic + 50% Natural Farming), M5 (25 % N organic + 25 % inorganic + Natural Farming), M6 (State recommendation used by farmers). The results revealed improvement in soil carbon content, microbial activity and the availability of nutrients to the crop. The soil organic carbon recorded was 11.3 g kg-1 and soil enzyme activities viz., dehydrogenase activity (DHA, 76.2 µg TPF/g soil/24 h), fluorescein di-acetate hydrolysis (FDA, 19.8 µg fluorescein /g soil/h), MBC (308 mg CO2-C/ kg soil) which was significantly higher in the plot managed organically followed by integrated, chemical practices and state recommendation used by farmers.
Keywords: Organic farming, soil enzyme activity, soil microorganisms