In arid and semiarid ecosystems, low organic matter is an important threat to soil fertility, crop productivity, and economic returns. Sustainable approaches are required to build organic matter in such soils to improve nutrient use efficiency and food security. Therefore, we conducted an experiment on spring maize to test with and without diazotrophic bacteria (BM) (Azotobacter chroococcum and Azospirillum brasilense) on crop productivity and soil properties when applied with organic (farm yard manure FYM) and inorganic (commercial fertilizer) nitrogen (N) sources (with percentile of 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) in 2014. The analysis of the study showed that the application of BM and organic and inorganic N ratio were significant and have a positive effect in crop yield and soil properties. BM with a 50:50 ratio of organic and inorganic N was improved biological yield (kg ha−1), grain yield (kg ha−1), stover nitrogen (%), and grain nitrogen (%). However, soil organic matter (%) and soil total nitrogen (%) were enhanced with the application of BM with 100% organic source. Soil bulk density (g cm−3) was significantly reduced by BM with 100% organic. From overall results, it is concluded that the application of beneficial microbes and organic and inorganic N positively improved maize yield and quality and soil health in Peshawar valley.
Part of the book: Sustainable Crop Production