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Comparative Assessment of Soil Chemical Characteristics in Two Contrasting Vegetable Cultivation Systems of Sri Lanka

Authors:

H. A. N. Upekshani,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About H. A. N.

Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture

 

School of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, Kundasale

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R. S. Dharmakeerthi ,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About R. S.
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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P. Weerasinghe,

Department of Agriculture, Gannoruwa, LK
About P.
Horticultural Crop Research and Development Institute
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W. S. Dandeniya

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About W. S.
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Vegetable cultivating systems in Sri Lanka are characterized by intensive and highly commercialized with very high agricultural inputs. Diagnosing soil fertility levels is essential to supply plant nutrients in a complete and balanced manner minimizing environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to assess soil chemical properties in two intensive vegetable cultivating systems in central highlands of Sri Lanka. Study was conducted in two contrasting vegetable cultivating systems: vegetable-potato-vegetable in Nuwara Eliya (NE) and vegetable-paddy-vegetable in Marassana (M). Soil samples were analyzed for pH, pH-buffer capacity (pHBC), electrical conductivity (EC), cation exchange capacity (CEC), total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), available nutrients such as Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg), Sulphur (S), Copper (Cu) and Zink (Zn) and optimum values were compared. Among measured properties pHBC, EC, TC%, TN%, from nutrients P, K, Mg, S, and Zn were significantly high (P <0.05) in NE but Cu was not. Percentage of farmer fields that exceeded the optimum P and K levels was 100% in NE and 90% ,100% in M respectively. About 88%(NE) and 98%(M) of fields had high Mg compared to optimum and K:Mg within the optimum levels. Almost all fields had lower S, Cu and Zn contents than optimum. Available P is increasing at an alarming rate and had already exceeded the maximum environmental threshold levels in most of the soils. We concluded that site-specific integrated nutrient management strategies are needed for sustainable vegetable production in the two systems and the strategies must be system specific
How to Cite: Upekshani, H.A.N., Dharmakeerthi, R.S., Weerasinghe, P. and Dandeniya, W.S., 2023. Comparative Assessment of Soil Chemical Characteristics in Two Contrasting Vegetable Cultivation Systems of Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research, 34(1), pp.15–30. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v34i1.8576
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Published on 01 Jan 2023.
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