The Effect of Crop Residue on Organic Carbon and Fertility of the Soil in Wheat-Corn Rotation

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Soil Science and Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

2 Department of Soil Science and Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, Michigan, USA

4 Department of Soil Science and Engineering, Tehran University, Karaj, Iran

5 Nuclear Agriculture School, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, Karaj, Iran

6 Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Addition of plant residues is an effective strategy for increasing soil nutrients, improving their use efficiency, providing better conditions for root growth and sustainable crop production. A field experiment was conducted to assess the effects of incorporation of varying rates of crop residue on the soil organic carbon and nutrients status at 0-10, and 10-20 cm soil depth, in a wheat-corn rotation under conventional tillage system. The field experiment was performed as a factorial and in the form of completely randomized block design with four replications in the farm of agricultural and natural resources college of University of Tehran for two growing years. The treatments included incorporation of five levels of crop residues (100, 75, 50, 25 and 0%) which were added to the soil in two steps, following wheat and corn rotation. The results of this study indicated a significant effect of crop residues on the measured properties. Among the crop residues treatments, the 100% level showed the greatest increase of organic carbon (38.4%), available phosphorus (34%) and potassium (47.6%), as well as iron (27%), manganese (30.3%), copper (39.5%) and zinc (62%), as compared to 0% residue treatment. The 25% residue treatment showed the lowest value for the studied properties, compared to other residues treatments. Available phosphorus, iron and zinc were significantly affected by depth and their values decreased with increasing depth from 0-10 to 10-20 cm.


Main Subjects

Adams, A. M., Gillespie, A. W., Dhillon, G. S., Kar, G., Minielly, C., Koala, S& Peak, D. (2020). Long-term effects of integrated soil fertility management practices on soil chemical properties in the Sahel. Geoderma366, 114207.
Adler, P. R., Rau, B. M., & Roth, G. W. (2015). Sustainability of corn stover harvest strategies in Pennsylvania. BioEnergy Research8(3), 1310-1320.
Baker, J. M., Fassbinder, J., & Lamb, J. A. (2014). The impact of corn stover removal on N 2 O emission and soil respiration: an investigation with automated chambers. BioEnergy Research7(2), 503-508.
Blanco-Canqui, H., & Lal, R. (2009). Corn stover removal for expanded uses reduces soil fertility and structural stability. Soil Science Society of America Journal73(2), 418-426.
Blanco-Canqui, H., Lal, R., Post, W. M., Izaurralde, R. C., & Owens, L. B. (2006). Corn stover impacts on near-surface soil properties of no-till corn in Ohio. Soil Science Society of America Journal70(1), 266-278.
Butterly, C., Baldock, J., & Tang, C. (2010, August). Chemical mechanisms of soil pH change by agricultural residue. In Dalam: 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Soil Solutions for a Changing World. Brisbane (Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 1-6).
Dhaliwal, S. S., Manchanda, J. S., Walia, S. S., & Phutela, R. P. (2010). Nutrition management in maize (Zea mays L.)-potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)-onion (Allium cepa L.) cropping sequence through organic and inorganic sources. Environment and Ecology28(1), 136-143.
Dhaliwal, S. S., Naresh, R. K., Mandal, A., Singh, R., & Dhaliwal, M. K. (2019). Dynamics and transformations of micronutrients in soil environment as influenced by organic matter build-up: A Review. Environmental and Sustainability Indicators, 100007.
Dhaliwal, S. S., Sadana, U. S., Walia, S. S., & Sidhu, S. S. (2012). Long-term effects of manures and fertilizers on chemical fractions of Fe and Mn and their uptake under rice-wheat cropping system in North-West India. International Journal of Agricultural Sciences8(1), 98-107.
Fuente, C., Clemente, R., Martínez-Alcalá, I., Tortosa, G., & Bernal, M. P. (2011). Impact of fresh and composted solid olive husk and their water-soluble fractions on soil heavy metal fractionation; microbial biomass and plant uptake. Journal of Hazardous Materials186(2-3), 1283-1289.
Gangwar, K. S., Singh, K. K., Sharma, S. K., & Tomar, O. K. (2006). Alternative tillage and crop residue management in wheat after rice in sandy loam soils of Indo-Gangetic plains. Soil and Tillage Research88(1-2), 242-252.
Garnett, T., Appleby, M. C., Balmford, A., Bateman, I. J., Benton, T. G., Bloomer, P., ... & Herrero, M. (2013). Sustainable intensification in agriculture: premises and policies. Science341(6141), 33-34.
Govaerts, B., Sayre, K. D., Lichter, K., Dendooven, L., & Deckers, J. (2007). Influence of permanent raised bed planting and residue management on physical and chemical soil quality in rain fed maize/wheat systems. Plant and Soil291(1-2), 39-54.
Jones Jr, J. B. (2001). Laboratory guide for conducting soil tests and plant analysis. CRC press.
Karlen, D. L., Beeler, L. W., Ong, R. G., & Dale, B. E. (2015). Balancing energy, conservation, and soil health requirements for plant biomass. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation70(5), 279-287.
Karlen, D. L., Hunt, P. G., & Campbell, R. B. (1984). Crop residue removal effects on corn yield and fertility of a Norfolk sandy loam. Soil Science Society of America Journal48(4), 868-872.
Kendall, J. R., Long, D. S., Collins, H. P., Pierce, F. J., Chatterjee, A., Smith, J. L., & Young, S. L. (2015). Soil carbon dynamics of transition to Pacific Northwest cellulosic ethanol feedstock production. Soil Science Society of America Journal79(1), 272-281.
Kpomblekou-A, K., & Tabatabai, M. A. (2003). Effect of low-molecular weight organic acids on phosphorus release and phytoavailabilty of phosphorus in phosphate rocks added to soils. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment100(2-3), 275-284.
Lal, R. (2005). World crop residue production and implications of its use as a biofuel. Environment International31(4), 575-584.
Lal, R. (2009). Soil quality impacts of residue removal for bioethanol production. Soil and tillage research102(2), 233-241.
Lal, R. (2016). Soil health and carbon management. Food and Energy Security5(4), 212-222.
Lindsay, W. L., & Norvell, W. (1978). Development of a DTPA soil test for zinc, iron, manganese, and copper 1. Soil science society of America journal42(3), 421-428.
Mandal, K. G., Misra, A. K., Hati, K. M., Bandyopadhyay, K. K., Ghosh, P. K., & Mohanty, M. (2004). Rice residue-management options and effects on soil properties and crop productivity. Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment2, 224-231.
Matijevic, L., Romic, D., & Romic, M. (2014). Soil organic matter and salinity affect copper bioavailability in root zone and uptake by Vicia faba L. plants. Environmental geochemistry and health36(5), 883-896.
Mu, X., Zhao, Y., Liu, K., Ji, B., Guo, H., Xue, Z., & Li, C. (2016). Responses of soil properties, root growth and crop yield to tillage and crop residue management in a wheat–maize cropping system on the North China Plain. European journal of agronomy78, 32-43.
Noack, S. R., McBeath, T. M., McLaughlin, M. J., Smernik, R. J., & Armstrong, R. D. (2014). Management of crop residue affects the transfer of phosphorus to plant and soil pools: Results from a dual-labelling experiment. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 71, 31-39.
Nziguheba, G., Palm, C. A., Buresh, R. J., & Smithson, P. C. (1998). Soil phosphorus fractions and adsorption as affected by organic and inorganic sources. Plant and soil198(2), 159-168.
Ojha, S., Sourabh, S., Dasgupta, S., Das, D. K., & Sarkar, A. (2018). Influence of different organic amendments on Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn availability in Indian soils. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Science7(05), 2435-2445.
Orr, M. J., Gray, M. B., Applegate, B., Volenec, J. J., Brouder, S. M., & Turco, R. F. (2015). Transition to second generation cellulosic biofuel production systems reveals limited negative impacts on the soil microbial community structure. Applied Soil Ecology, 95, 62-72.
Page, A.L., Miller, R.H., and Jeeney, D.R. (1992). Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 1. Physical properties. Soil Science Society of America Publication, Madison, 1750 pp.
Prasad, B., & Sinha, S. K. (1995). Nutrient recycling through crop residue management for sustainable rice and wheat production in calcareous soil. Fertiliser News40, 15-28.
Salinas-Garcia, J. R., Hons, F. M., & Matocha, J. E. (1997). Long-term effects of tillage and fertilization on soil organic matter dynamics. Soil Science Society of America Journal61(1), 152-159.
Sawyer, J. E., & Mallarino, A. P. (2007). Nutrient removal when harvesting corn stover. IC-498 (22) Iowa State University Extension.
Sindelar, A. J. (2012). Stover, tillage, and Nitrogen management in continuous corn for grain, ethanol, and soil carbon.
Souza, R. A., Telles, T. S., Machado, W., Hungria, M., Tavares Filho, J., & de Fátima Guimarães, M. (2012). Effects of sugarcane harvesting with burning on the chemical and microbiological properties of the soil. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment155, 1-6.
Torma, S., Vilček, J., Lošák, T., Kužel, S., & Martensson, A. (2018). Residual plant nutrients in crop residue–an important resource. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B—Soil & Plant Science68(4), 358-366.
Turmel, M. S., Speratti, A., Baudron, F., Verhulst, N., & Govaerts, B. (2015). Crop residue management and soil health: A systems analysis. Agricultural Systems134, 6-16.
United Nations. (2014). Concise Report on the World Population Situation 2014. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Washington D.C.
Walia, M. K., Walia, S. S., & Dhaliwal, S. S. (2010). Long-term effect of integrated nutrient management of properties of Typic Ustochrept after 23 cycles of an irrigated rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) system. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture34(7), 724-743.
Walkley, A., & Black, I.A. (1934). An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter, and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil science, 37(1), pp.29-38.
Zhao, S., Li, K., Zhou, W., Qiu, S., Huang, S., & He, P. (2016). Changes in soil microbial community, enzyme activities and organic matter fractions under long-term straw return in north-central China. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment216, 82-88.