BIOFERTILIZERS

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The substances consisting of living microorganisms are known as biofertilizers, and they colonize the rhizosphere and anterior of the plants when applied to soil, seed, and plant surface. The availability of major nutrients to the host plants can also be enhanced by biofertilizer application. Microorganisms are present in large quantities in bio-fertilizers (Gam, 2010). There is an important need to improve the nitrogen concentrations of organic matter in order to prepare the perfect fertilizers. It can be achieved by the addition of free-living bacteria which enhances the organic matters nitrogen content (Lima et al., 2007). Therefore, for replacing the synthetic fertilizers with bio-fertilizers, different efforts have been made in the last few couples of decades. The most important and technically advanced process for supplying the essential nutrients to crop plants is the application of biological fertilizers (Mikliak et al., 2017). Bio-fertilizers application leads to improve the crop yield through environmentally safe nutrient supplies (Malusa et al., 2016). Therefore, soil quality and production of crops can be unproved by the utilization of biofertilizers (Mukhlis, 2012).

MULCHING

Process of spreading different types of mulch material (organic or inorganic) on the surface of soil called mulching. Evaporation of water from soil can be limited by the application of different mulch material. Mulching also improves the fallow land efficiency and water availability of stored water in the soil to plants is also increased. The concentration of salts can also be reduced by mulching (Li et al., 2013). Soil water holding capacity, aggregate stability can be increased as well as reduction in water evaporation can be achieved by placing the CR on the soil (Pang et al., 2010). Building up of soil organic carbon leading to enhance the productivity and quality of soil can be achieved by the returning of CR to the soil as natural mulch (Carter, 1998).

STRAWMULCH

The process of spreading straw on the soil as mulch material is called straw mulch. The crop productivity is limited in arid and semi-arid areas due to the shortage of water, which is the major challenge for these areas. Therefore, to promote the moisture content of the soil, it is necessary to cover the soil surface with straw as straw mulch. It leads to improve the water use efficiency and yields of crops (Li et al., 2012). Application of straw mulch deeply in soil inhibits the movement of salts from the subsoil and shallow groundwater to surface soil such as topsoil as well as acts as a barrier for water and salt transport during the process of water evaporation (Yonggan et al., 2017). Increase in salt leaching and accumulation of salts in the root zone is the result of straw layer (Li et al., 2012). Physical and chemical properties of soil can also be improved by spreading of the straw layer, hi the cultivation of ginger and turmeric, rice straw mulch is used as appropriate mulch material (Wang et al., 2012). Although, the application of straw mulch leads to increase in the yield of the crop while in some other studies different results were also found such as reduced yield of winter wheat to some extent by the application of straw mulch (Li et al., 2013). Effect of straw mulch can be studied on soil properties and yield of the crop to find several methods for straw mulch application to understand the response of crop productivity and soil water dynamics to the application of straw mulch (Zou et al., 2005).

WOOD CHIPS

Weeds around acid-loving perennials like blueberries and in the pathways can be suppressed by wood chips and bark mulches (Huo et al., 2017). When the soils dried up during the warmer seasons, wood chips have the ability to soak up and retain water feeding it back to adjacent soil in wanner weather (Huo et al., 2017). Therefore, incorporation of previous crops stubbles and wood chips will enhance the soil health (Huo et al., 2017).

Wood chips are capable of providing many benefits such as weed suppression and delayed seedling emergence of weeds in soil (Huo et al., 2017). Therefore, these kind of natural mulches are economically and environmentally sustainable alternatives for weed controlling (Bond and Grundy, 2001). Wood chips are also beneficial for soil moisture conservation and for improving water infiltration (Faber et al., 2001). For example, different properties of soil such as soil water holding capacity, activities of the microbial population in soil, cation exchange capacity of soil, soil porosity, and soil stabilization are also the important benefits of wood chips. Wood chips can also decrease soil-bome diseases of plants (Gleason et al., 2001; Doug et al., 2002).

 
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