Yield effect of applying earthworm castings produced during the oilseed rape-growing season in rice-oilseed rape cropping fields to rice

Scientific Reports. 2018;8(1):1-8 DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-29125-y

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Scientific Reports

ISSN: 2045-2322 (Online)

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML

 

AUTHORS

Min Huang (Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops (CICGO), Hunan Agricultural University)
Chunrong Zhao (Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops (CICGO), Hunan Agricultural University)
Yingbin Zou (Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops (CICGO), Hunan Agricultural University)
Norman Uphoff (International Programs-College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IP-CALS), Cornell University)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Abstract In-field earthworm density can be increased by planting oilseed rape during the non-rice growing season as compared to maintaining the rice-growing fields in fallow. This study was conducted to determine the effect on rice yield of earthworm castings produced during the oilseed rape-growing season in rice-oilseed rape cropping fields and to identify the critical factors that contribute to the yield effect. Field microplot experiments were conducted in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, a rice cultivar was grown under a factorial combination of absence (EC0: 0 kg m−2) and presence of earthworm castings (EC1: 17 kg m−2) with three N application rates (9, 12 and 15 g m−2). In 2017, nine rice cultivars were grown under EC0 and EC1 with the moderate N rate as was used in 2016. Results showed that application of earthworm castings produced during the oilseed rape-growing season in rice-oilseed rape cropping fields had a significant positive yield effect on rice. This was attributed to increased panicle m−2 and total aboveground biomass while spikelets panicle−1, spikelet filling percentage, grain weight, and harvest index were not affected. Our study indirectly provides a new evidence that oilseed rape is an excellent previous crop for cereals.