Analysis of soil water content and crop yield after biochar application in field conditions

https://doi.org/10.17221/564/2017-PSECitation:Vitkova J., Surda P., Kondrlova E., Horak J., Rodny M. (2017): Analysis of soil water content and crop yield after biochar application in field conditions. Plant Soil Environ., 63: 569-573.
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Biochar has been studied extensively in terms of its influence on soil hydrophysical properties, but only small part of results was obtained from the field experiments. In this study, the soil water content was measured in 5–10 cm depth at experimental plots which received 20 t/ha and 0 t/ha (control) of biochar amendment at the Malanta area (Slovakia). The experimental area was cultivated with maize in 2015 and spring wheat in 2016. Our field measurements show that the positive effect of biochar amendment (20 t/ha) on soil water content is strongly related to the type of the crop grown and not straightforward. Unexpectedly, during the monitoring campaign in 2015 the soil water content of the biochar-amended soil was lower than control. In 2016, negligible differences were observed in soil water contents at both experimental plots, especially during the dry spells. However, higher soil water content was measured at the plot with biochar amendment after the series of precipitation events during the physiological maturity of the spring wheat. Moreover, the biochar amendment did not increase the biomass production and yields of maize in 2015, but it significantly increased the biomass production and yields of spring wheat in 2016.
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