Influence of tied-ridge with biochar amendment on runoff, sediment losses, and alfalfa yield in northwestern China.

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From: PeerJ(Vol. 9)
Publisher: PeerJ. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 12,568 words
Lexile Measure: 1450L

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Abstract :

Background Loss of organic matter and mineral nutrients to soil erosion in rain-fed agriculture is a serious problem globally, especially in China's Loess Plateau. As a result, increasing rainwater usage efficiency by tied-ridge-furrow rainwater harvesting with biochar is expected to improve agricultural productivity. Nonetheless, with limited knowledge on tied-ridge-furrow rainwater harvesting with biochar, small-scale farmers face the challenge of adoption, thus, the rationale for this study. Materials and methods A field experiment was conducted to determine the influence of open-ridging (OR) and tied-ridging (TR) with bio-degradable film on ridges and biochar in furrows on runoff, sediment losses, soil moisture, fodder yield, and water use efficiency (WUE) on sloped land, using flat planting (FP) without ridges and furrows as control, during alfalfa-growing year (2020). Results Runoff in flat planting (30%), open ridging (45%), and tied ridging (52%) were decreased with biochar to the extent where sediment was decreased in flat planting (33%), open ridging (43%), and tied ridging (44%) as well. The mean runoff efficiency was lower in flat planting (31%), open ridging (45%), and tied ridging (50%) in biochar plots compared to no-biochar plots. In biochar and no-biochar plots, soil temperature on ridges of TR was higher than that on OR, which was higher than FP during alfalfa growing season. Soil temperature in furrows during alfalfa growing season in biochar and no-biochar plots were in the order FP OR TR. Mean soil water storage for FP, OR, and TR, in biochar plots was higher than in no-biochar plots. This indicates biochar has a beneficial impact on open riding. Total annual net fodder yield (NFY) was significantly (p = 0.00) higher in treatments in the order TR OR FP. Tied ridging had a significant effect on actual fodder yield (AFY) in biochar plots, while open ridging significantly affected AFY in no-biochar plots. Annual total mean NFY and AFY increased by 8% and 11% in biochar plots compared to no-biochar plots. In biochar and no-biochar plots, water use efficiency was in the order TR OR FP. Conclusively, water use efficiency was significantly higher (p = 0.01) in biochar plots compared to no-biochar plots. Conclusion When crop production is threatened by soil erosion and drought, mulched tied-ridge with biochar is beneficial to crop growth in rain-fed agriculture, according to this research. Smallholder farmers should be trained on applying this technique for water-saving to mitigate runoff, soil erosion, sediment losses, and improve food security in semiarid areas.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A673122560