Land Husbandry: Biochar application to reduce land degradation and erosion on cassava production

The experiment results show that biochar applications reduce of soil erosion rate of the cassava field were not necessarily higher than those of maize in terms of crop yield and crop management.

Author: E.D. Yuniwati
Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Volume 97, conference 1
This field experiment was carried out to examine the effect of increasing crop yield on land degradation and erosion in cassava-based cropping systems. The experiment was also aimed at showing that with proper crop management, the planting of cassava does not result in land degradation, and therefore, a sustainable production system can be obtained.
The experiment was done in a farmer's fields in Batu, about 15 km south east of Malang, East Java, Indonesia. The soils are Alfisols with a surface slope of about 8%. There were 8 experimental treatments with two replications. The experiment results show that biochar applications reduce of soil erosion rate of the cassava field were not necessarily higher than those of maize in terms of crop yield and crop management. At low-to-medium yield, also observed the nutrient uptake of cassava was lower than that of maize. At high yield, only the K uptake of cassava was higher than that of maize, whereas the N and P uptake was more or less similar.
Soil erosion on the cassava field was significantly higher than that on the maize field; however, this only occurred when there was no suitable crop management. Simple crop managements, such as ridging, biochar application, or manure application could significantly reduce soil erosion. The results also revealed that proper management could prevent land degradation and increase crop yield. In turn, the increase in crop yield could decrease soil erosion and plant nutrient depletion.
Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

Illustration Photo: Healthy and well germinated cassava plants established by IITA/CTA at Osin Ekiti, Nigeria. (credits: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0))

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