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Doktorarbeit / Dissertation, 2016
236 Seiten, Note: 9.0
II REVIEW OF LITERATURE
III MATERIALS AND METHODS
IV EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS
VI SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
This is to certify that thesis entitled "OPTIMIZING THE SULPHUR SOURCES AND RECOMMENDATION FOR MAXIMIZING THE PULSES PRODUCTIVITY IN MADURAI DISTRICT OF TAMIL NADU" submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN SOIL SCIENCE AND AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY to the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore is a record of bonafide research work carried out by Ms. B. GOKILA under my supervision and guidance and that no part of the thesis has been submitted for the award of any degree, diploma, fellowship or similar titles. However, part of the thesis work has been published in peer reviewed scientific journal of national/international repute (copy enclosed).
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Foremost, I would like to thank my chairman of the advisory committee Dr. K. Baskar, Professor and Head, Department of Soils and Environment, whose support and guidance made my dissertation work possible. I am very grateful for his patience, motivation, enthusiasm, and immense knowledge in Soil Science that, taken together, make him a great mentor. His patience and support helped me overcome many crisis situations and finish my dissertation. His guidance helped me in all the time of research and for providing necessary infrastructure and resources to accomplish my dissertation.
Very special thanks to my member of the advisory committee Dr. P .SaravanaPandian, Professor, Regional Research Station, Aruppukootai without whose motivation and encouragement I would not have designed my doctoral research programme. It was under his tutelage that I developed a focus and became interested in soil chemistry. He provided me with direction, constructive criticism, technical support and his extensive discussions around my research. It was though his, persistence, understanding and kindness that I have completed my dissertation.
I am also indebted to the members of the advisory committee Dr. K. Sundar, Professor, Department of Agricultural Microbiology for his constant moral support and his inspiration during my research work and I gratefully acknowledge to the member of advisory committee Dr. J. Sundersingh Rajapandian, Professor and Head, Department of Agronomy, for his understanding, encouragement and personnel which have provided good and smooth basis for my doctoral research tenure.
I take this opportunity to say heartfelt thanks to Dr. P. Santhy and Dr. S. Thiyageswari Professor, Soils and Environment for her technical assistance throughout my research program. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. G. Balasubramanian and Dr. Ratinasamy, Professors, Department of Soils & Environment, for a valuable modification and suggestions.
My thanks are due to Dr. J. Prabhakaran, Assistant Professor for his valuable suggestions and untried help during field trails and soil sample collection.I owe a great deal of appreciation and gratitude to Dr.K . Manikandan, Dr. Saliha, Dr. Mini and Dr. Sridevi, Assitant professors, Soils and Environment, who willingly devoted so much time in giving guidance to me.
Special mention goes to my enthusiastic mentor Dr. S. Mani, Professor (Rtd) who gave his tremendous academic support to receiving Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for my financial support during the doctoral program. And also I expand my thanks to Dr. V.P. Duraisamy, Special Officer (NRM), Dr. V.V. Krishnamurthy, Professor and Head, Dept. of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Dr. P. Malarvizhi, Dr. R. Shanthy, Dr. K. Arulmozhiselvan, Dr. P. Stalin, Dr. S. Sivasamy, Dr. K. Subramanian, Dr. N. Chandrasekar, Dr. T. Chitdeshwari and Dr. R.K. Kaleeswari, Professors and all the staff members of Dept. of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, TNAU, Coimbatore for their kind help, valuable suggestions and excellent teaching & co-operation extended to me during the course of my study.
My special appreciation goes to J. Jeyaprabha for her friendship and encouragement. I would also like to extend huge, warm thanks to my senior Dr.Vairam who willingly support to preparing the manuscript and Dr. S. Manikandan, ARS, Dr. Jothimaniwho willingly guided me in my academic tenure. My thanks go in particular to my colleague Mr. S. Sivagnanam with whom I started this work and many rounds of discussions on my dissertation with him helped me a lot. I am ever indebted to Premalatha, Ambika, Nithya, Thilogavathy, Baskar, Balamurugan and Mallaiah for their valuable support and admire their distinguished helping nature.
Words are short to express my deep sense of gratitude towards my following beloved sisters, Sudha, Eswari, Padma and beloved colleagues Thirumurugan, Dhinesh, Bhargav, Yoga, and Suganya for their love, care, support and creating a pleasant atmosphere during my college life. I convey special acknowledgement to my beloved juniors Nagaraj, Kodi, Rajeswari, Ramya, Susen, Premalatha, Gayathiri, Vimal, Vinothini, Maruthu, Sudhakar, Goutham, Deepa and Kanifor their care, support and during the inevitable ups and downs of conducting my research. This helped me a lot to work for hours together tirelessly. I doubt that I will ever be able to convey my appreciation fully, but I owe her my eternal gratitude.
I express my immense and whole hearted thanks to Brothers Prem and M.Dinesh and Mr. Periyamaruthan and all lab assistants and non-teaching staff for their untiring assistance during the analyses of my research programme.And also I sincerely thanks to Mr.Vini Irwin and Vittalpatti farmers who are willingly gave their field for taking field trail and I learnt field level experience from them.
I sincerely owe my deep sense of gratitude toUGC- RGNF, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, New Delhi for their financial assistance towards completion of my research programme.
Last but not least, I would like to pay high regards to my parents, Mr. K
.Bagavathsingh and Mrs. B. Rajammal for their sincere encouragement and inspiration throughout my research work and lifting me uphills this phase of life. I extend my special thanks to my brother B. Sathiskumar and my sister B. Rohini, who motivate and suggested me to this level.
Above all, I owe it all to Almighty God for granting me the wisdom, health and strength to undertake this research task and enabling me to its completion.Finally my special acknowledge to all scientist helped me in the successful completion of this thesis.
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OPTIMIZING THE SULPHUR SOURCES AND RECOMMENDATION FOR MAXIMIZING THE PULSES PRODUCTIVITY IN MADURAI DISTRICT OF TAMIL NADU By
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Sulphur is an important secondary nutrient to meet balanced approach in nowadays. In Tamil Nadu most of the soils are deficient in S which significantly affects the quality. In black gram adequate sulphur is essential to optimize vegetative growth, reproductive potential and ultimately to provide sulphur for seed tissues for maximizing the productivity. Lack of sulphur application in pulses growing areas urges the need for sulphur optimization in pulses. Hence this present investigation was undertaken to optimise the sulphur sources and recommendation for maximising the blackgram productivity in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu.
The survey was conducted in the pulses predominant blocks of Madurai district which showed that, all samples portray deficiency of available S. The frequency distribution of available S in Usilampatti block ranged from 2.49 to 5.2 mg kg -1, Kallupatti block was 1.6 to 3.5 mg kg -1, Thiruparamkundram block was 2.00 to 3.9 mg kg -1, Thirumangalam block was 1.0 to 4.2 mg kg -1, Kallikudi block was 2.7 to 5.4 mg kg -1 and Chellampatty block was 1.8 to 4.8 mg kg -1 in surface soils.
Incubation experiment were conducted in four major soil series of pulses growing areas viz., Peelamedu (Typic Haplustert), Palaviduthi (Typic Haplustalf), Irugur (Typic Ustropept) and Vylogam (Typic Rhodustalf) with different S sources viz., Gypsum, Ammonium sulphate and Potassium sulphate with the levels of 10, 20 and 30 kg ha-1to study the releasing pattern of S. The results revealed that different S sources and levels had a significant effect on releasing pattern of S at different days of incubation.
The result indicated that the releasing pattern of S was high when increasing the incubation time and increased the S levels. Among the different S sources and levels, S @ 30 kg ha-1 as Potassium sulphate at 70DAI showed the higher CaCl2 - S in all the series. The releasing pattern of S from different sources and levels are in the order viz., Peelamedu > Irugur > Vylogam > Palaviduthi series.
In adsorption the data were fitted in to the two adsorption isotherms viz., Langmuir and Freundlich equations. With respect to Langmuir adsorption isotherm, the SO42- sorption maxima (b) was observed by the following ascending trend of Peelamedu > Vylogam > Irugur > Palaviduthi series. Bonding energy was in the ascending order of Irugur > Palaviduthi > Vylogam > Peelamedu series. The trend of Maximum buffering capacity was in the order of Peelamedu > Palaviduthi > Vylogam > Irugur series.
The field experiments were conducted at two locations under Vylogam and Peelamedu series in the farmer’s field at Thenamanallur (T.Kalligudi block) and Annaikaraipatti (T.Kallupatti block) in Madurai district. The experimental site I belong to Vylogam series and according to USDA soil taxonomy it is classified as sandy clay loam Fine Loamy Mixed Isohyperthermic Typic Rhodustalf and experimental II belong to Peelamedu series and according to USDA soil taxonomy it has been classified as clay loam fine montmorillonitic isohyperthermic Typic Haplustert. Laboratory investigations of soil and plant samples were collected at the critical stages and observations on growth attribute of black gram besides and its yield components were recorded.
There was pronounced effect of sulphur application on growth and growth attributes, yield and yield attributes and quality of blackgram in both the experimental sites. Application of S @ 20 kg ha-1as Potassium sulphate plus 0.5 per cent K2SO4 as foliar spray plus 100 per cent RDF registered significantly the highest plant height, number of leaves per plant and haulm yield in both the locations. Like that, the grain yield and yield attributes viz., the higher number of pods per plant, number of grain per pod and hundred grain weight were registered at S application with Potassium sulphate @ 20 kg ha-1 plus 100 per cent RDF with foliar spray of K2SO4in blackgram.
Combined application of sulphur with 100 per cent RDF positively influenced the uptake of N, P, K, S and micro nutrients (Fe, Zn, Mn and Cu) at vegetative, haulm and grain of blackgram in both Vylogam and Peelamedu series.
With respect nutrient status of N, P, K, S and micronutrients (Zn, Fe, Mn and Cu) were enhanced initially and decreased gradually with crop maturity with association of sulphur application with 100 per cent RDF in both the locations. Regarding the quality of blackgram, protein (%) and methionine (mg g-1) were higher while applying sulphur @ 20 kg ha-1 as Potassium sulphate plus 0.5 per cent K2SO4 as foliar spray plus 100 per cent RDF in Vylogam and Peelamedu series.
The enhanced response ratio, partial productivity factor, agronomic efficiency and apparent nutrient recovery were significantly influenced by different levels of S as Potassium sulphate in both series. Regarding N: S and N: P ratios also narrow with application of S as Potassium sulphate in both series.
The present investigations indicated that, application S @ 20 kg ha-1as Potassium sulphate plus 0.5 per cent K2SO4 as foliar spray (30 DAS and 45 DAS) plus 100 per cent RDF (N, P2O5 and K2O) for blackgram suggested on the basis of net return of . 31831 ha-1 and . 38926 ha-1and benefit cost ratio of 1.92 and 2.17 which revealed that highest yield and profit of blackgram in Vylogam and Peelamedu series in Madurai district.
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Pulses are the second most important group of crops after cereals. India is producing 14.76 million tons of pulses from an area of 23.63 million hectare, which is one of the largest pulses producing countries in the world. India accounts for 33 per cent of the world area and 22 per cent of the world production of pulses.Despite India being the largest producer (18.5 million tons) and processor of pulses in the world also imports around 3.5 million tons annually on an average to meet its ever increasing consumption needs of around 22.0 million tons. According to Indian Institute of Pulses Research’s Vision document, India’s population is expected to touch 1.68 billion by 2030 and the pulse requirement for the year 2030 is projected at 32 million tons with anticipated required annual growth rate of 4.2 per cent. However, about 2-3 million tons of pulses are imported annually to meet the domestic consumption requirement. In India, cropping area of pulses about of 8.5 M ha, production of 8.8 MT with the average productivity of 1036 kg ha-1during the year 2012 – 13 whereas in Tamil Nadu the cropping area of 7040 ha with, production of 4500 tonnes and an average productivity of 645 kg ha-1 was recorded. The country has achieved a record pulses production of 18.45 million tonnes in the crop year 2012-13. Thus, there is need to increase production and productivity of pulses in the country by more intensive interventions. To achieve the target of additional production of pulses, it is necessary to take efforts on five most important pulse crops depending upon their contribution in national production viz., chickpea (39%), pigeonpea (21%), mungbean (11%), urdbean (10%) and lentil (7%). Applications of essential nutrients in the form of fertiliser play a vital role in food grain production. In reality, achieving higher yields is not possible without the use of inorganic fertilisers. There are number of factors responsible for low yields of food grains in our country. To this effect imbalanced nutrition particularly, inadequate use of phosphorus and sulphur are major factor for pulses.
Sulphur is a vital plant nutrient and a constituent of amino acids which are essential in protein synthesis. It plays an important role in the synthesis of chlorophyll which is a basic component in the process of photosynthesis. Pulses in India have long been considered as the poor man’s meat and an important diet due to rich protein content that nutritionally imbalances the protein from cereal grain. It supply minerals, vitamins and also provides an abundance of energy. But protein deficiency is a chronic problem in the developing countries like India. The World Health Organization recommends a per capita consumption of pulses at 80 g per day and the Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended a minimum consumption of 47 grams but at present the per capita availability of pulses is only 40g per day in India. (Chaturvedi and Masood Ali, 2002).
Even the green revolution has not increased the yield of pulses, indeed its emphasis on cereals which has often led to decrease in legume production (Bhatnagar, 1985). The reasons for decreasing pulse productivity in India are cultivation of pulses in marginal and poor soil conditions, cultivation under rainfed situation, cultivated as rice fallow, imbalanced nutrient management practices, improper irrigation management, minimum care by the farmers and grown in off- season. Modern intensive farming has resulted in higher demand for fertilisers because of removal of all the essential nutrients in higher proportions by the crops. Most of our attention for fertiliser use has been restricted to the use of N, P and K, the three primary nutrients required by the crops in large quantities. Sulphur nutrition to crops has not been fully realised during the past mainly because of the fact that S deficiency was not a serious problem. Recently interest on S as a plant nutrient has increased dramatically. It general crops require as much as S as they need P. It is indispensable for the synthesis of certain amino acids like cysteine, cystyine and methionine besides being involved in various metabolic and enzymatic processes of plants. It is also a constituent of protein and glutathione, a compound that play a part in plant respiration and synthesis of essential oils.
Tamil Nadu government aims at doubling the food grain production and tripling the net income of the farmers in 12th five year plan. The average productivity of the major crops grown in Tamil Nadu is only 60 per cent of the potential yield. The yield gap is mainly attributed to decline in soil fertility and loss of soil organic matter. It has been assessed that over seventy per cent of the farmers lack awareness on the best farming practices due to inadequate advisory services at their reach. Also the extent of adoption of crop production technologies was found to be very low. Hence, there is an urgent need to strengthen the advisory services at block levels for effective dissemination of technologies. The adoption of suitable crop production techniques and soil test based fertilizer recommendation will pave way for enhanced crop productivity.
Facing the task of feeding the geometrically expanding population, Indian agriculture has made a commendable progress during the post-independence period, as is evident from the four fold increase in food grain production. Despite the impressive gain, we cannot be complacent, as the country has to produce 380 million tonnes to feed the population of 1.4 billion by 2025. The vision document released during 88th session of the Indian science congress states that “2020 India will be free of poverty, hunger and malnutrition and become an environmentally safe country”. With the possibility of horizontal expansion or putting more land under cultivation being remote, future augmentation in yield would have to be harnessed vertically through judicious management of all the input reasons. Among the various factors contributing to the high yields of the crops, soil fertility management is very important to ensure the supply of nutrients in sufficient amounts and desirable proportions. Plant nutrients applied through fertilisers and other sources are not fully utilized by the crops. Depending upon the solubility and mobility of nutrients in the soil, their utilization by the crops and the losses through processes like leaching and volatilization, different proportions of the applied nutrients would remain in the soil as residues enriching the reserves, which could be utilized by the succeeding crops. The response of the succeeding crops to the successive application of nutrients would depend upon the residual efficiency of the nutrients concerned.
Fifteen years ago, while looking at future prospects Kanwar had written that “As intensive farming practices are followed and the use of concentrated fertilizers free from S becomes more popular, the areas which are more presumed to contain adequate amounts of S may also begin to show S deficiency. In countries like India, vitally concerned with increasing of food production, S is one element that must not be overlooked”.
In Madurai district, charnockites and khondalites of Archaean age are the two main rock types are encountered. Charnockites include acid charnockite and related migmatites with bands of basic granulite and magnetite and quartzite. The khondalite group of rocks consists of crystalline limestone, calc – gnesis, calc – granulite, garnet sillimanite gnesis, hornblende and biotite gnesis and related migmatites with bands of quartzite. They are exposed mainly in the plains of Melur taluk with acid intrusive of pink and gneissic granite. Minor pegmatite and quartz veins are seen throughout. Indeed most of the Madurai soils are deficientin S due the calcic and acidic nature. Sulphur deficiencies have been reported in crops such as groundnut, clover, cotton, alfalfa, tobacco, maize, wheat, rice, tea, citrus and cruciferous crops (Tandon, 1991). It is characterized by bleaching of the youngest leaves, which are the first sign of S deficiency and the symptoms of deficiency spread rapidly to the whole plant. Sulphur requirements vary greatly among the crops. Sulphur responses have been observed in many crops in India and its application to the S deficient soils have been found to increase the crop yield and improve the quality of produce. The S containing amino acids cysteine, cystyine and methionine are found to increase with application of S in different crops. Sulphur in the arable land would be in the form of soluble SO42-in solution, in organic matter or adsorbed in the soil complex. It is fairly well established that in most of the soils 80 per cent of S is in organic forms. Several workers have attempted in various soils to assess the S status and its availability to the plants. Consolidation of information shows that S deficiency in Indian soils is more extensive than in generally thought. The sulphur status of major pulses growing soils of Madurai district is lacking. Besides the information regarding, correct source and levels of sulphur recommended for blackgram is also not available. Therefore, inorder to shed some light on the thrust areas, the study has been contemplated to evaluate the sources and levels of sulphur for maximizing the productivity of blackgram in Madurai district, Tamil Nadu in the following objectives.
1. To delineate sulphur status of soils of pulses growing areas in Madurai district.
2. To study the release pattern of different sulphur sources through laboratory incubation.
3. To study the adsorption and desorption behavior of sulphur in various soil types.
4. To evaluate the effect of different sources of sulphur on yield, nutrient uptake and quality of blackgram.
Sulphur is one of the important nutrients in balanced nutrition of crops to meet the complete nutrient requirement to meet the growing demands of food and nutrition. Plants require as much S as phosphorus one of the elements usually considered a major plant nutrient. Sulphur is found in amino acids such as cystyine, cysteine, and methionine that make up plant proteins. Intensification of agriculture with high yielding crop varieties and multiple cropping, coupled with use of high analysis S free fertilisers and restricted use of organic manures, has accelerated the depletion of soil reserves. The nature of sulphur element as anion and its transformations affect its plant availability. In India, red and lateritic soils cover a larger area and these soils derived from granite, gneiss, schist, sand stone and shale parent materials on gently to undulating geomorphic surfaces. However, these soils are well drained and acidic with lower cation exchange capacity and organic matter content and have mixed or kaolintic clay mineralogy enriched with sesquioxides is often deficient in S.
Literature pertaining from various experimental sites associated with status and availability, releasing pattern and sorption behaviour of S in soils and sources and optimisation of sulphur for maximizing the pulses productivity in various places have been furnished here under in the following headings.
Sankaran (1989) reported that in Tamil Nadu, sulphur deficiency is found 7- 40 per cent in red soils coming under Alfisol, low level laterite soils and alluvial soils with low organic status.
Ganeshamurthy et al. (1994) found that sulphur is one of the limiting plant nutrients threatening the sustainability of crop production in semi-arid tropical regions of India cover 73 million ha of vertisols and associated soils. Ganeshamurthy and Saha (1999) reported that the widespread S deficiency in Indian soils depends more on climate, vegetation, parent material, soil texture, and management practices.
Tandon (1995) reported that the response to S fertilisation is seen not only in high S demanding oilseed, legume and pulse crops, but also in cereal, fodder, cash and plantation crops largely in intensively cultivated or coarse textured soils. Umadevi et al. (2000) observed the available sulphur content of fourteen villages of Andhra Pradesh which ranged from 2.70 to 14.16 mg kg-1. Analysis of 410 red soils collected from cluster of eight villages of Erode district of Tamil Nadu showed that 21 per cent soil samples were low and 29 per cent samples were medium in available sulphur (Savithri et al. 2000).
Singh (2001) reported that extensive soil surveys in India have revealed that S deficiency varies from 15 to 83 per cent with an overall average of 46 per cent. Most of the alluvial soils of the Indo - Gangetic Plains were found to be deficient with respect to plant available S. He had also reported that out of 1716 soil samples, 26 per cent of the soil samples have exhibited S deficiency in Tamil Nadu and 41, 33 per cent of samples showed medium and high S status respectively.
Arunageetha (2001) reported that the occurrence of sulphur deficiency in Tamil Nadu was more than 40 per cent in Madurai, Villupuram, Thiruvannamalai and Thiruvallur districts, 20 to 40 per cent in Coimbatore, Erode, Trichy and Dindugal districts, less than 20 per cent in Thanjavur, Tuticorin, Kanyakumari, Ramnad and Nilgiris. The available sulphur status of the soils from Coimbatore district was found to be low to medium in red soils (Udic Haplustalf) and medium to high in alluvial soils (Fluventic Haplustalf) (Sankaran et al. 2002).
Renukadevi et al. (2002) revealed that the total sulphur content of Indian soil was between 19 and 3836 ppm and the amount depended upon the primary minerals and organic compounds present in the soil solution. Available sulphur content ranged from 19.7 to 291.9 ppm in Vertisols, 4.9 - 208.3 ppm in Alfisols, 6.0 to 101.5 ppm in Entisols and 17.2 to 84.5 ppm in Inceptisols of rice growing soils of Tanjavur district (Appavu et al. 2002).
Rakesh Kumar et al. (2002) reported that the available sulphur content of the soil collected from Lachimpur and Dumka soil series of Jharkhand ranged from 2.3- 6.7 and 23.4 - 31.7 mg kg -1. The available sulphur content in the soils of Jharkhand ranged from 2.50 to 35.35 mg kg-1. Soils of 42.2 per cent of the area are low (<10 mg kg -1) whereas soils of 41.4 and 14.4 per cent area are medium (10-20 mg kg-1) and high (>20 mg kg-1) in available sulphur content respectively.
Katyal and Rattan (2003) reported that more than 75 per cent of agricultural land is deficient or likely to be deficient. In India, 45, 40 and 15 per cent of soil samples collected from 240 districts exhibited, respectively >40 per cent, 20 - 40 per cent and < 20 per cent deficiency of S. Tripathi (2003) reported that in India, nearly 57 m ha of arable land suffers from various degrees of sulphur deficiency.
Srinivasa Rao et al. (2004) reported that the contribution of lower two layers of soil profile to available S was the highest in Kanpur profile and the lowest in Delhi. Thus subsoil S contribution to crops is greater in light texture soils where leaching occurs. Jamal et al. (2005) reported that widespread deficiency of S in the soil of crop fields has been noticed in many parts of India. Sahrawat et al. (2007) also reported that the S deficiency was extended upto 50 per cent (Karur District) and 70 per cent (Salem District) of the soils in farmer’s field. And also the five districts of Tamil Nadu viz., Tirunelveli, Kancheepuram, Karur, Salem, Vellore shows S deficiency.
Bharathi and Sangeetha (2008) revealed that 30 per cent of the soil samples were deficient in available S that were found in Kallimangalam, Mukasimangalam, Vadivelampalayam and Nathegoundenpudur which need S application to enhance the crop productivity in Thondamuthur block of Coimbatore district.
Goutam Kumar Ghosh and Nishi Ranjan Das (2012) reported that 87 per cent of surface soil samples collected from Birbhum district and 67 per cent of subsurface soil samples collected from Burdwan district of West Bengal were found to be deficient in S. Raja Rajeswaran (2012) also reported that in Madurai District, 95and 5 per cent of the samples of the study area were found to be deficient and sufficient in available sulphur content. Bhaskaran et al. (2012) reported that about17 per cent of the soils were low in available S status (<10 ppm) 35 per cent were in medium (10 - 20 ppm) and 48 per cent were in high (>20 ppm) category in sugarcane growing soils of Tamil Nadu.
Shukla and Tiwari (2014) reported that among the states, 46.5 per cent soils of delineated districts of West Bengal were low in available S (<10 ppm S) closely followed by Bihar (46.4%), Gujarat (43.3%), Haryana (35.8%), Tamil Nadu (16.5%) and Uttar Pradesh (32.5%). Overall S deficiency in Indian soils (27.8%) is a cause of concern for farmers and other stake holders. Murthy et al. (2014) also reported that total S content in soils generally varies from 50 to 300ppm. However, it is not uncommon to find very high S levels in acid sulphate soils testing >1000ppm. Though the total S content shows high value the plant requiring organic and available S status is low in most parts of India.
Soil sulphur is continuously cycled between inorganic and organic S forms. Organic S compounds are unavailable to plants and must be converted by biochemical or microbiological mineralisation to inorganic SO42- before plant uptake (Castellano and Dick, 1991).Microorganisms also mediate other parts of the sulphur cycle, particularly S oxidation and reduction. Oxidation and reduction are key processes in S transformations because the occurrence of SO42- depends on oxidation. Completely mineralised S compounds can be transformed to SO42- or H2S by microbes. Hydrogen sulphide is a common product of mineralisation.
Classon and Ramaswami (1990) reported that an increase in available S with increasing levels of applied S and time of incubation. Increase in the available sulphate S in the S treated acid soil is due to the multiplication of S oxidising organisms in the soils after the application of sulphur as reported by Swift (1985).
Ghani et al. (1991) found that soil mineralisation rate of S increased until the 60th day of incubation followed by a significant drop in mineralisation between 60 and 120 days and immobilisation of SO42- occurred within 24 hours of incubation. A maximum of 90 per cent of the soil sulphate - S was immobilised by the 5th day of the 2- incubation. The amount of net immobilised SO4 dropped sharply between days 10 and 24, indicating the end of the lag phase of soil microbial growth.
Saha et al. (1995) studied the effect of decomposition of various organic manures on the available S and noticed that availability of S was the highest on 15 DAI followed by steady decline the highest was registered with Ipomea cornea. Mineralisation of applied S peaked from 30 days onwards in Alfisols and from 40 days onwards in vertisol, peaking between 75 days to 90 days and 90 and 105 days respectively (Sreemannarayana and Sreenivasaraju, 1995). Das et al. (1995) noticed that S availability in soil applied with residues increased upto 60 days and decreased thereafter.
MacDonald et al. (1995) conducted experiments with five temperature levels between 5 and 25°C for 32 weeks and found that the S mineralisation rate increased with increase in temperature and reported that rates of microbiological respiration and the mineralisation of S may be related to a temperature dependent constraint on microbiological access to substrate pool. Kirchman et al. (1996) also studied the releasing pattern of S from various organic amendments by using 34S and observed that the mineralisation rate of organic resources followed the order; (NH4)2 SO4 > animal manure > green manure > sewage sludge > peat.
Sulewski and Schoenau (1998) studied the effect of sewage sludge and hydrated lime on oxidation of elemental S. The result indicated that an enhanced rate of S oxidation occurred 12 weeks after incubation by amending with hydrated lime. Venkatesh and Satyanarayana (1999) also observed in their experiment that rapid release of available S with 15 days after incubation in soils of North Karnataka and was more in ammonium sulphate added soils than other sources. Pareek (2000) studied the mineralisation potential in ten different Mollisol soils through incubation experiment for 12 weeks and noticed that mineralisable S increased upto 8thweek of incubation in all the soils and then decreased.
Palaniswami et al. (2000) studied the oxidation potential of S in different soils of Kerala and found that the rate of oxidation was more in Kari soils as compared to sandy and laterite soils due to higher organic C content. Further the rate of oxidation of S was increased with an increase in incubation period upto 40 DAI and declined thereafter and increased after 80 days. Sulphates tend to be unstable in anaerobic environments. They are reduced to sulphides by bacteria and other organisms. The 2- organisms use the combined O2 in SO4 to oxidise organic materials.
Schueneman (2001) reported that the microbial oxidation of elemental S to SO42 - produces acidity that reacts with the soil and reduces pH and enhances P release from CaCO3, which in turn increases P and micronutrients availability to crops. In Alfisols, Ahamed and Mubarack (2001) studied the releasing pattern of SO42-and the higher rate of release of SO42- was noticed in soils with higher P status.
Dhananjaya and Basavaraj (2006) reported that available S increased from 11.01 to 46.55 mg kg -1 after 30 days and from 14.72 to 52.89 mg kg-1 after 60 days from T1 (0 kg S ha-1) to T7 (45 kg S ha-1) treatments, respectively. Mineralisation was enhanced in the presence of plants which may be probably due to greater microbial population in the rhizosphere subsequently leading to its uptake by crop plants. Application of S significantly increased the water soluble S and available S but decreased with progressive crop growth. These two S fractions of the soil appeared to be the preferred forms by the plants which might have contributed to the pool of available S.
Zhou et al. (2005) found that these C-bonded S (organic S in reduced and intermediate states) are the main source for S mineralisation. In aerobic incubations, losses of C-bonded S forms are commonly observed when microorganisms transform C-bonded S functionalities to ester-S as an intermediate product before being released as inorganic sulphate
Saravana Pandian (2010) reported that, the releasing pattern of S on six major soil series of Madurai showed that a linear relationship was observed between days of incubation and rate of release of S upto 4th week there after the rate of release of S got declined. The interaction effect of sulphur levels and incubation period showed that the maximum amount of available sulphur (28.4 mg kg-1) was registered when 50 mg kg-1 of sulphur was applied and incubated for 4 weeks. Irrespective of the incubation period, the lower amount of available sulphur was noticed in control.
Ye et al. (2010) reported that extractable SO4 - S was significantly correlated to extractable organic S (r = 0.89), elemental S (r = 0.52), total organic S (r= -0.61), and potentially mineralisable S (r = 0.39), which may suggest that microbial oxidation of elemental S and organic S were two major sources of soil SO4-S (Jaggi et al., 2005; Zhou et al., 2005).
Satheesh Kumar (2011) reported that both organic sources and inorganic S had a significant effect on release of S at different days of incubation. Regarding the inorganic S, highly significant increase in available S was observed upto 40 DAI there after it got declined with the advancement of incubation period. And decrease in C- bonded sulphur was observed for most residue applications after three days of incubation, showing that in the initial phase the biological S mineralisation was dominant (Soloman et al., 2011).
Basumatary and Das (2012) reported that the organic S was found to be the dominant fraction in soils and accounted for 75.20 – 91.45 per cent of total S in different districts of Assam soil samples. The soils of Sonitpur district recorded the highest amount of organic S with mean value of 384.33 mg kg -1 followed by Darrang (382.96 mg kg -1) and Lakhimpur district (381.66 mg kg-1). Such variation was due to accumulation of soil organic matter and soil texture (Basumatary et al., 2010). These observations were substantiated by the significant positive correlation of organic S with organic carbon and clay.
Churka Blum et al.(2013) observed an increase in ester sulphate during the first three days of incubation agree with several authors who have also observed increase in ester-S during the initial stages of residue decomposition in soil. In addition, the periodic leaching employed in this study had stimulated the enzymatic hydrolysis of ester-S by removing excess sulphate. Jalali et al. (2014) reported that the amount of SO42- released in the depths of third and fourth was greater than in the depths of first and second that could be due to the decreased C/S ratio with depth. Therefore, the decrease in C/S ratio increases S mineralisation in subsurface soils. As the adsorption of negatively charged ions in natural and calcareous soils is negligible, increasing SO42- concentration with depth results in increasing SO42- leaching
Inorganic SO42- in soil solution is termed as soluble SO42- and is highly mobile. However, SO42- can be retained physically in the soil in the short or long term by adsorption. Adsorbed SO42- sometimes is called insoluble SO42-because it cannot be desorbed just with water (Fuller et al., 1985). Anion adsorption can be nonspecific or specific. Nonspecific adsorption involves only electrostatic (Coulombic) attraction, while specific adsorption occurs by ligand exchange.
In soils in which permanent negative charges predominates, practically all of the SO42- is in the soil solution. But in variable charged soils especially if the pH is less than 6.5, most of the SO42- is sorbed. In nonspecific adsorption, SO42- is held within the diffuse double layer as a counter ion to positively charged surfaces on organic matter, layer silicates, or oxide and hydrous oxide-dominated surfaces. Johnson and Todd (1983) compared the effect of organic residues on SO42- adsorption and the adsorption behaviour followed the order: animal manure > wheat straw > sewage sludge > compost.
Singh (1984a) suggested the use of Freundlich equation for describing SO42- sorption by podzolic soils from Norway. Singh (1984b) reported that the removal of organic matter had little effect on SO42- adsorption capacity of podzols. Using three soils from West Bengal, it was found that a significant relationship between SO42- adsorption and Fe2O3 (r=0.82) and Al2O3 (r= 0.85). Similarly, Bohn et al. (1985) also reported that the functional groups involved with the protonation are hydroxyl (OH), carboxyl (COOH), phenolic (C6H5OH), and amine (NH2) groups and these materials are amphoteric they can have positive, negative, or zero charges with the net charge being pH dependent. Positive charges are created on the surfaces by the presence of H+. As pH decreases and H+ becomes more available, more positively charged colloidal surfaces are created. In turn the increased number of positive surfaces available for anion adsorption increases (Johnson and Cole, 1980).
Fuller et al. (1985) reported that the specific adsorption results in a greater adsorption capacity than would occur by nonspecific adsorption alone and specifically adsorbed anions are held more tightly. Most specific adsorption occurs in soils with high levels of free iron and aluminum oxides and hydroxides though hydroxyl - aluminum polymers bonded to clays and organic matter, and broken bonds on clays also provide surfaces for specific adsorption. Ligand exchange can occur when a net negative, positive, or zero charge exists (Bohn et al., 1985).
Nodvin et al. (1986) reported that because only electrostatic attraction is involved in nonspecific adsorption, desorption can be achieved relatively easily either by increasing solution pH or by exchange with other anions that have a greater or equal affinity for adsorption. Evans (1986) also reported that the SO42- and low molecular weight organic anions were competing for the similar sorption sites. Haung and Violante (1986) showed that the organic acids interfere with the crystallisation of Al precipitation products leading to the formation of short range Al solid phases which favoured the high SO42- retention than well crystallised oxides.
Dolui and Nandi (1987) reported that relative release of adsorbed S to KH2PO4 solution was in the order of laterite > red > alluvial soils. Bolan et al. (1988) conducted a SO42- adsorption study in 4 different soils and the adsorption decreased in the order; Sequqa > Fergaga > Davidston > Healaugh. The reasons attributed for this sequence was Sequqa and Fergaga soils contained significant amount of Fe and Al oxides, while chlorite and vermiculite were the dominant clay minerals in Davidston and Healaugh soils.
Gobaran and Nilsson (1988) reported that SO42- adsorption was completely inhibited by forest floor leachate rich in dissolved organic carbon. Martinez and McBride (1989) reported that SO42- adsorption decreased in soil with an increase in organic C content. High mobility of SO42- in an Ultisol in the presence of aliphatic acids was observed by Evans and Anderson, (1990).
Curtin and Syres (1990) reported that the addition of SO42- reduces that Cal- adsorption in tropical soils. Despite the decrease in Ca++ adsorption, there was a substantial increase in the adsorption of total amount of added anions (Cl- + SO42-) were noticed. Ortiz and David (1990) found that a unit increase in pH, decreased the SO42- adsorption to the extent of 25 per cent. On studying the effect of pH on SO42- 2- sorption by Ajwa and Tabatabai (1995) reported that the SO4 adsorption was found to be greater at lower pH values and decreased with increasing equilibrium solution pH and ionic strength.
Langmuir isotherms produced parameter estimates with lower standard deviation than estimates produced by multisite Langmuir isotherm and linear models (Wolt et al., 1992). Shanley (1992) observed a significant positive correlation between Langmuir SO42- sorption maximum and clay (r=0.941**), amorphous Fe (r=0.942**), crystalline Fe (r=0.028**) and Al (r=0.938**). Also, Bolan et al. (1993) reported that sulphate adsorption measurements from batch and column showed that SO42- adsorption increased with the increasing adsorption of Ca2+. The increase in SO42- adsorption per unit increase in Ca2+ adsorption was reported to be 12 times more in soils containing Fe and Al hydrous oxides.
Courchesne and Landry (1994) studied the kinetic competition between SO42- and organic anion for sorption sites of two spodosols. The results envisaged that the slope parameter (1/β) or Elovich equation was reported to be higher (51 to 97 µ mol kg -1 min -1) in a system enriched with organic acids. A negative correlation between organically complexed Fe and Al and SO42- sorption in fourteen podzol soils of Sweden were accounted by Karlatum and Gustaffson, (1999).
Stankogolden et al. (1994) observed a positive relationship between the SO4 adsorption maximum and the sesquioxide in laterite soils. The lower values of adsorption maximum and bonding energy coefficient in manured soils may be attributed to the saturation of the adsorption sites by organic anions. Ajwa and Tabatabai (1995) also reported that the SO42- adsorption was found to be greater at lower pH values and decreased with increasing equilibrium solution pH and ionic strength. The adsorption of SO4 decreased with the increasing concentration of added S in calcirothents. As regards the organic manures the S sorption was lower in urban compost (29.7%) followed by green leaf manure (34.2%) and FYM (49.5%) treatments (Bhogal et al., 1996).
Patil et al. (1997) reported that the SO 2- adsorption was found to be pH independent in vertisols and pH dependent in Alfisols. Adetunji (1997) found that 2- power function kinetic equation was the best model to explain desorption of SO4 . They also reported that total Fe2O3 was the most predictor variable contributing 88.4, 70.6 and 84.6 per cent to κ, α and β respectively in low affinity clays. Nearly et al. (1997) reported that the amount of inorganic fractions of soil matrix, amorphous and crystalline forms of Fe and Al were found to control the SO4 retention kinetics of podzols
Zoyza and Hedney (2001) studied that the SO42-adsorption on variable charge soils and reported that at pH 7.5, the soils adsorbed a small amount of SO42-especially the Orthic Acrisol that has low clay content (18%). Reddy et al. (2001) noticed an affirmative relationship between SO42- retention and sesquioxide content of soils.
Bandyopadhyay and Chattopadhyay (2001) observed a significant negative correlation between oxides of Fe and Al and 0.15 per cent CaCl2 extractable S in soils.
Li et al. (2001) reported that among the organic acids like oxalic, citric and salicyclic acids, the extent of SO42- sorption inhibition was found to be higher with citric acid at equimolar concentration. And in Orissa the effect of removal of organic matter on the adsorption of SO42- in four types of Alfisols were studied. The results evinced that there was an increase in Langmuir bonding energy constant and adsorption maximum in the soils where the organic matter was removed as compared to the original soils (Das et al., 2002).
Das et al. (2006) compared the efficiencies of Freundlich, Langmuir, Temkin 2- and initial mass adsorption equations to describe SO4 adsorption in four Alfisols of Orissa before and after removal of organic matter. The results showed that there was an increase in SO42-adsorption in all the four soils after the removal of organic matter. And Indranil Das et al. (2009) also found that the Freundlich isotherms expressed higher sulphate sorption and greater extent of hysteresis (indicating greater deficiency) in Auric Haplaquept and Typic Ustorthent soils.
Saravana Pandian (2010) reported that the extent of S adsorption was relatively higher in the control plot soil than in the S added plots. Similarly, the adsorption of S was found to be lower in the manure added soils than the unmanured ones. The rate of desorption of sorbed S was relatively higher in the manure treated soils than the unmanured ones. Among the organic manures, addition of urban compost reduced the rate and amount of adsorption of added S. The adsorption data were fitted well with the Langmuir adsorption isotherm than the Freundlich isotherm equation.
Satheesh Kumar (2011) reported that the manured treatment possessed lower S adsorption capacity (55%) than the unmanured one (71%). However, among the organic manure added soils, the lowest amount of adsorption of S was registered in vermicompost (50.6%) followed by pressmud (52.9%) and FYM (61.7%). In contrast to adsorption, desorption of the sorbed S was found to be higher in manured ones (26%) than in the unmanured soil (15.6%) and the percentage of desorption of sorbed S in the soils followed the descending order as vermicompost (29.5%) > pressmud (27.4%) > FYM (21%) > unmanured control (15.6%).
Goutam Kumar Ghosh and Nishi Ranjan Dash(2012) reported that sulphate sorption capacity varied widely among the soils and increases with the increase in S concentration of equilibrium solution. However, the adsorption tends to reach a maximum limit with increase in the ambient S concentration. The mean recovery of sorbed SO4-S that was desorbed varied between 52.7 to 66.4 per cent in soils. The 2- extents of hysteresis effects involved in the given SO4 sorption desorption process could well mean that the sorbed SO4-S has undergone a transformation that imparts to it a greater affinity for the surface.
NadiyaTabbiruka et al. (2014) reported that activating Morupule coal increased its specific surface area, slightly increased the average pore radius by creating new wider pores and also altered the trends and magnitudes of SO2 heats of adsorption. Adsorption of SO2 by the two samples shows that activation immensely increased adsorption capacity of the coal for the pollutant probably because of the increased surface area from the new pores. High values of adsorption at lower temperatures indicate physical adsorption. It clearly shows that at low temperatures, the activated coal sample adsorbs more of the pollutant than the unactivated sample.
Singh et al. (1997) reported that application of graded levels of sulphur at 15, 30 and 60 kg ha-1 in mungbean increased the number of root nodules by 9.0, 19.4 and 22.9 per cent respectively and dry matter accumulation by 10.3, 17.6 and 20.6 per cent respectively over control. On the other hand, Kumar and Pareek (1997) noted that the significant increase in plant height, number of branches per plant, dry matter and nodules per plant in cowpea with increasing levels of sulphur up to 120 kg ha-1.
Srinivasan et al. (1997) reported that application of sulphur at 40 kg ha- 1significantly increased the plant height, dry matter production and number of branches per plant of blackgram over 20 kg ha-1 and control. Sharma and Singh (1997) also reported that sulphur fertilisation at 40 kg ha-1 significantly enhanced the plant height and number of branches per plant in green gram.
Ramamoorthy et al. (1997) also reported that sulphur fertilisation upto 40 kg ha-1 resulted in higher values of growth parameters of black gram viz., plant height and plant dry weight under red lateritic soil conditions. Similarly, Singh and Tripathi (2002) observed that application of sulphur at 20 kg ha-1 increased the number of branches per plant in mungbean as compared to control on sandy loam soils at CAZRI (Jodhpur)
Singh and Aggarwal (1998) found that among the various sources of sulphur, gypsum produced significantly higher pods per plant and seed per pod of black gram. Singh et al. (1999) reported that potassium sulphate was significantly better than elemental sulphur and pyrite but remained on par with gypsum in production of pods per plant and seeds per pod of Lentil. Among the sources, sulphur applied in the form of gypsum was found to be superior to pyrite.
Shivakumar (2001) who reported that application of with or without P increased significantly the seed yield of chickpea up to 40 kg S ha-1. In mungbean, Singh and Tripathi (2002) also observed that sulphur fertilisation at 20 kg ha-1 increased the number of branches and pods per plant as compared to control. Sharma et al. (2004) reported that application of 20, 40 and 60 kg S ha-1 increases the dry matter accumulation per plant in cluster bean, pearlmillet, castor and sesame to the extent of 15.0, 26.0 and 32.0 per cent, 13.0, 25.0 and 30.0 per cent, 18.0, 31.0 and 38.0 per cent and 16.0, 24.0 and 27.0 per cent over the control, respectively.
Jawahar et al. (2003) reported that the highest plant height, LAI, chlorophyll content, DMP and number of branches plant-1 was noticed under gypsum. Chettri and Mondal (2004) also reported that plant height and crop dry matter accumulation attained the highest values when crop was fertilised with 30 kg S ha-1 and was significantly superior in comparison to 15 kg ha-1 and control.
Yadav (2004) found that application of sulphur significantly improved the plant height, number of branches per plant and dry matter accumulation in green gram upto 40 kg ha-1. Kumawat and Rathore (2006) found that application of sulphur at 60 kg ha-1registered the highest chlorophyll content, active Fe, shoot weight and root nodule weight in summer mungbean.
Khatkar et al. (2007) noted significant improvement in plant height of blackgram up to S at 20 kg ha-1. Further increase in its level to 40 kg ha-1 rather decreased the plant height. Kumar and Singh (2008) found that root mass of blackgram at 40 DAS increased with increasing levels of sulphur upto 35 kg ha-1. Similarly in green gram, Ram et al. (2008) also reported that application of S at 40 kg ha-1 significantly increased the dry matter production, dry matter weight per plant, plant height and branches per plant over control at Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh). Application of sulphur upto 40 kg ha-1 gave significantly higher dry matter accumulation and number and dry weight of root nodules per plant of mothbean (Sepat and Yadav, 2008).
Dhanushkodi et al. (2009) reported that sulphur fertilisation at 20 kg ha-1 in blackgram through gypsum (18% S) and SSP (12%) increased the growth attributes like plant height, cluster number per plant, nodules per plant, root volume and dry matter production in comparison to fertility levels devoid of sulphur. Deshbhratar et al. (2010) also reported that application of sulphur at different levels significantly influenced grain yield, haulm yield, yield attributed characters like number of pods per plant, number of grains per pod as well as quality like test weight and crude protein content. The mean increases in grain yield (11.8 q ha-1), number of grains (3.35), grain yield per plant (25.10 kg), test weight (9.925 g) and crude protein content (21.10%) was significantly increased upto 20 kg S ha-1.
Pable et al. (2010) reported that increase in oil content in soybean on addition of sulphur. Similarly, Prajapat et al. (2011) observed that application of sulphur upto 30 kg ha-1 to mungbean sole and intercropped with sesame significantly increased the plant height (at 40 DAS and harvest) and dry matter per metre row length (at 40 DAS and harvest) of mungbean, which remained at par with S at 45 kg ha-1. Varun et al. (2011) reported that plant height, number of branches, pod per plant, 100 grain weight of soybean were significantly higher by the application of sulphur.
Konthoujam Nandini Devi et al. (2012) revealed that application of sulphur at 30 kg ha-1 produced significantly higher number of branches per plant, number of pods per plant and maximum 100 seed weight of soybean over other levels except 40kg per hectare. Fahmina Akter et al. (2013) also reported that among the different fertilizer doses, S @ 40 kg ha-1 resulted in highest plant height which was statistically similar with that of S @ 20 kg ha-1. Plant height increased with increasing levels of sulphur upto maximum level of S application. Among the different levels, application of S @ 20 kg ha-1 showed the highest number of primary branches plant-1 (3.49) in soybean.
Mir et al. (2013) reported that sulphur @ 40 kg ha-1 significantly increased the plant height (39.59%), number of leaves per plant (15.86), grain yield (13.46%) and haulm yield (10.93%) of black gram as compared to no sulphur application. Sulphur application significantly influenced the grain and haulm yields of blackgram. Similarly, Mahmoodi et al. (2013) also reported that sulphur enhanced the branches per plant, capsules per plant, and grains per capsule and 100 grain weight of soybean
Kokani et al. (2014) reported that application of sulphur @ 20 kg ha-1recorded significantly the highest plant height at harvest (37.07 cm), number of branches (5.17), number of pods per plant (20.93), number of seeds per pod (6.30), grain(1153 kg ha-1) and haulm yield (2548 kg ha-1) over control in blackgram. Verma et al. (2014) also reported that sulphur level at 40 kg ha-1recorded significantly higher plant height (34.06, 50.2 and 59.0 cm) and branches per plant (3.53, 5.67 and 8.00) at 60, 90 DAS and at harvest stage over control and 20 kg ha-1.
Kasthuri et al. (1992) observed that application of sulphur as gypsum and elemental sulphur had significant effect on enhancing the grain yield and total biomass production in urdbean. Ravichandran et al. (1995) reported that three sources of sulphur as SSP (12% S), pyrite (22% S) and gyspum (18% S) and three levels of sulphur (0, 20 and 40 kg ha-1 indicated that sulphur application was highly beneficial and its application at 20 and 40 kg ha-1 recorded 37.2 and 48.2 per cent higher grain yield than control in blackgram.
Shivran et al. (1996) obtained significantly higher number of pods per plant and test weight with the application of sulphur at 60 kg ha-1 which ultimately increased seed and haulm yields of cluster bean. Also Sharma and Singh (1997) reported that application of sulphur upto 40 kg ha-1 maximised the number of pods per plant, test weight, grain and haulm yields of green gram and they also reported that combined application of 50 kg P2O5 + 20 kg S ha-1, being at par with 50 kg P2O5 + 40 kg S ha-1, significantly increased grain yield of green gram.
Srinivasan et al. (1997) found that number of pods per plant, pod length and number of seeds per pod increased significantly with every increase in level of sulphur upto 40 kg ha-1 than 20 kg ha-1 and control. The highest grain yield, net return and B: C ratio were also obtained at this level of sulphur fertilisation in blackgram. Similarly, sulphur application in terms of pods per plant, pod length, seeds per pod and 100 seed weight. The significant response was noted upto 30 kg ha-1 accruing 26 and 11.9 per cent higher seed yield than control and S @ 60 kg ha-1 (Singh and Agarwal, 1998).
Kumar et al. (1999) reported that application of sulphur at 40 and 80 kg ha-1 significantly increased the yield of green gram and black gram over no sulphur application. According to Shankaralingappa et al. (1999) seed yield of cowpea increased significantly with the application of sulphur at 20 kg ha-1. Significant increase in yield attributes and seed yield of green gram upto 45 kg ha-1of sulphur has been reported by Singh and Yadav (2000).
Chaubey et al. (2000) who reported that number of primary branches, pods per plant, 100 kernel weight of groundnut were significantly increased by the application of sulphur. The sulphur fertilisation at 40 kg ha-1 significantly increased the grain and haulm yields of moth bean under light textured soils. Grain yield recorded with application of sulphur at 40 kg ha-1 was 31.99 and 8.57 per cent higher over the control and sulphur at 20 kg ha-1 (Ghanshyam and Pareek, 2002). Similarly in green gram, Singh and Yadav (2000) also revealed that yield attributes of green gram viz., pods per plant, seeds per pod and seed, straw and biological yields increased significantly with increasing levels of sulphur upto 45 kg ha-1.
Budhar and Tamil Selvan (2001) recorded significant improvement in number of pods per plant, grains per pod, test weight and grain yield of mungbean with S at 30 kg ha-1 as compared to control. However, it was found at par with S at 40 and 50 kg ha-1. The different sources and levels of sulphur viz., gypsum, elemental sulphur and pyrite at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 kg ha-1registered the maximum yield while applying S @ 30 kg ha-1as gypsum compared to other sources in blackgram (Srinivasan et al., 2001).
Chanda e t al. (2002) recorded significantly higher seed yield and harvest index of mungbean with S at 40 kg ha-1 than control. Similarly, Mali et al. (2003) observed 51.8 per cent higher seed yield of mungbean due to application of sulphur at 50 kg ha-1 through gypsum in comparison to control.
Vijayapriya et al. (2003) reported that application of 30 kg S ha-1 significantly increased the number of pods per plant (51.7), 100 seed weight (14.98 g) and seed yield (22.90 g per plant) over control in soybean under clay loam soil. Similarly in soybean Vikas Gupta and Thomas Abraham (2003) reported that application of sulphur at 30 kg ha-1 recorded 31.61, 6.57, 23.76, 12.5 and 23.31 per cent increase over control (S at 0 kg ha-1), for the parameters viz., number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, grain and stover yield and oil.
Singh and Yadav (2004) recorded significant improvement in pod length, number of grains per pod, pods per plant and test weight of green gram with increasing levels of sulphur upto 30 kg ha-1. An increase of 20.6, 40.0 and 41.6 per cent in grain yield and 18.0, 33.9 and 35.3 per cent in haulm yield over control was noted due to application of S at 15, 30 and 45 kg ha-1, respectively.
Chettri and Mondal (2004) found that the application of sulphur at 15 and 30 kg ha-1 recorded an increase in number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod and test weight in blackgram over control. Seed yield also increased with successive addition in level of sulphur and attained its maximum value with 30 kg ha-1. Yadav (2004) reported that application of sulphur at 40 kg ha-1 gave 25.4 and 9.7 per cent higher seed and 9.3 and 29.5 per cent higher haulm yield of green gram over 20 kg S ha-1 than control. Nagar and Meena (2005) also reported that application of sulphur 60 kg ha-1 significantly increased the number of pods per plant, seeds per pod and seed, straw and biological yields of cluster bean. However, it remained at on par with 40 kg ha-1of sulphur with respect to length of pod and test weight.
Kumawat et al. (2006) reported that graded levels of sulphur upto 40kg ha-1 significantly improved the number of pods per plant, seeds per pod and seed and haulm yields over preceding levels. Improvement was in the order of 27.0, 53.3, 65.9 and 29.6 per cent over control. Indeed in improvement of 1000seed weight and harvest index was noted upto S @ 20 kg ha-1, only in blackgram. Kumar and Singh (2008) registered significant enhancement in yield attributes and grain and haulm yields with increasing levels of sulphur in urdbean. Application of sulphur at 20 kg ha-1 through gypsum and SSP significantly increased the number of pods per plant, number of grains per pod as well as grain yield of irrigated rabi urdbean (Dhanushkodi et al., 2009).
In green gram, Ram et al. (2008) reported that application of sulphur at 40 kg ha-1 significantly increased the number of pods per plant, pod length, number of seeds per pod, 1000 grain weight and seed yield over control. Sepat and Yadav (2008) observed that application of sulphur upto 30 kg ha-1 to mothbean gave significantly higher number of pods per plant and grain and haulm yields, whereas, number of seeds per pod and test weight increased significantly only upto S at 20 kg ha-1. Application of sulphur at 30 kg ha-1 along with foliar spray of Fe + Zn recorded the highest growth, yield and nutrient uptake of safflower.
Deshbhratar et al. (2010) reported that mean increase in grain yield (12.65 q ha-1), haulm yield (38.39 q ha-1), number of pods per plant (110.78), number of grains per pod (3.46), grain yield per plant (28.39 kg), test weight (10.33 g) and crude protein content (21.29%) were significantly increased upto application of 20 kg S ha- 1which was significantly superior over other levels in pigeonpea.
Prajapat et al. (2011) observed that application of sulphur upto 30 kg ha-1to mungbean sole and intercropped with sesame significantly increased pods per plant, seeds per pod and seed and haulm yields of mungbean. And in cluster bean, Yadav (2011) reported that number and weight of nodules, grain and haulm yield, P and S contents were increased with increase in the level of P and S.
Ram Bharose et al. (2011) reported that application of varying doses of sulphur had significant effect on the seed yield of Toria. The seed yield increased from 11.80 to 15.89qha-1 progressively with increase in level of sulphur from 0 to 20 kg ha-1 and yield decreased with the application of higher dose of sulphur (40 kg ha-1). Bairwa et al. (2012) also reported that progressive application of sulphur upto 45 kg ha-1 significantly increased the grain and haulm yield of summer greengram by 14.41 and 13.07 per cent over control (649 and 1084 kg ha-1), respectively.
Shivran et al. (2012) reported that application of S @ 40 kg ha-1 registered significantly higher number of pods per plant (61.01), seed per pod (2.52), 100 seed weight (9.75), seed (22.50 q ha-1), haulm (34.34 q ha-1), and biological yield (56.83 q ha-1), This increase was due to better growth of plants in terms of biomass accumulation, availability of photosynthates synchronized with the demand of growth and development of each yield components in soybean. In groundnut, the highest yield and nutrient uptake were noticed when plants treated with sulphur (S) combined with foliar spraying of Zn and B (EL - Kader and Mona, 2013).
Patel et al.(2013) reported that application sulphur @ 40kg ha-1 in green gram recorded significantly highest number of pods per plant(18.00), length of pod (7.30cm), number of seeds per pod (10.45) haulm yield (2161.79kg ha-1) and seed yield (1436kg ha-1) over control. Similarly, Islam et al. (2012) reported that there was an increase upto 12 per cent in the seed yield of chickpea due to application of S @ 30 kg ha-1. Hussain (2011) also reported that 15 per cent increase in seed yield of soybean (Glycine max) due to application of S @ 30 kg ha-1 under rainfed conditions.
Fahmina Akter et al. (2013) reported that sulphur fertilizer application also increased grain yield of soybean and the highest grain yield was recorded in S2 (S @ 20 kg ha-1) and S3 (S @ 40 kg ha-1) treatments which were at par with each other.. Sriramachandrasekharan et al. (2004) also found highest grain yield with the application of S @ 30 kg ha-1 in the presence of Bradyrhizobium inoculation in soybean.
Among the pulses, application of 24, 30 and 60 kg S ha-1 significantly increased black gram, lentil and soybean yields by 239 (24%), 260 (17%) and 510 (42%) kg ha-1(Singh and Sarkar, 2013). In chickpea, application of sulphur @ 20 kg ha-1 gave maximum grain (807 kg ha-1) and haulm yields (1996 kg ha-1), which was remain at par with the treatment of S @ 40 kg ha-1 (Patel et al., 2014).
Sushil Kumar Singh et al. (2014) reported that increased plant height, green leaves, number of pod per plant, grain and haulm yield upto 40 kg sulphur and 60 kg phosphorus per hectare and superiority maintained as compared to control plot. Kokani et al. (2014) also reported that grain (1153 kgha-1) and haulm (2548 kg ha-1) yield of blackgram were produced significantly higher with S @ 20 kg ha-1 over control. The yield attributing parameters like pods per plant and number of seeds per pod were found to be significant under different levels of sulphur. Application of S @ 20 kg ha-1 registered significantly higher number of pods per plant (20.93) and number of seeds per pod (6.30) than control.
Yadav et al. (2010) reported that, available nitrogen in soil after the harvest of the crop was significantly influenced by sulphur levels, the sulphur applied @ 40 kg ha-1. Each successive dose of sulphur resulted in significant increase in available nitrogen. The maximum nitrogen content (256.44 kg ha-1) was recorded in S40 level of sulphur while the minimum (237.96 kg ha-1) was in S0 level in Indian mustard growing soils. Deshbhratar et al. (2010) also reported that maximum available nitrogen (269.36 kg ha-1) was recorded due to the application of 20 kg S ha-1 over control. It indicates that application of increasing level of sulphur improved the soil available sulphur status.
Yadav (2011) reported that the interaction of P and S was significant and maximum nitrogen content was recorded at 40 kg P2O5 and 20 kg S ha-1. Anil Kumar Singh et al. (2012) reported that gradual build-up of N due to the application of sulphur and zinc.
Dhage et al. (2014) found that available nitrogen content increased with increase in rates of P and S application in the soil up to 60 kg P2O5 and S @ 60 kg ha- 1 and the N content increased from 102.28 in control to 108.99 kg ha-1 and from 92.48 in control to 106.08 kg ha-1 with application of 60 kg P2O5 and S @ 60 kg ha-1 in soybean. Similarly, Patel et al. (2014) also reported that significantly higher available nitrogen was registered under sulphur treated plots over no sulphur application. In general, the residual available status of nitrogen in soil after crop harvest showed considerable improvement over initial levels irrespective of the treatments.
Majumdar (2003) reported that available phosphorus and sulphur in post- harvest soil increased significantly with their respective application of S @ 20 kg ha-1 and P 100 kg ha-1 P in garlic. Skwierawska and Zawartka (2009) also reported that application of 120 kg S ha-1 caused significant increase available phosphorus content in soil in the layers at 0-40 and 40-80 cm depth.
Taalab et al. (2008) found that application of Tri Super Phosphate granulated with elemental sulphur (TSP-S) resulted in a considerable gradual increase in available phosphorus. After 50 days of incubation, extractable P in soil treated with TSP-S was two times higher than that when conventional TSP was added. This gradual increase in available P even after 50 days of incubation may provide an evidence for the effectiveness of elemental sulphur mixed and granulated with TSP in maintaining higher level of available P for plant in the of corn growing soils.
Yadav et al. (2010) reported that available phosphorus in sulphur treated plots increased progressively with the increase in level of added sulphur after harvest of the crop. The available phosphorus in soil was in order of S40>S20>S60>S0. Each level of sulphur increased the available phosphorus in soil significantly. Maximum available phosphorus (29.43 kg ha-1) was recorded in S40 level of sulphur while the minimum (22.97 kg ha-1) was in S0 level in Indian mustard. Deshbhratar et al. (2010) reported that significantly maximum availability of phosphorus (19.67 kg ha-1) was recorded due to application of 20 kg S ha-1. It indicates that application of increasing level of sulphur improved the soil phosphorus status.
Yadav (2011) reported that with increasing level of both phosphorus and sulphur grain and straw yields of cluster bean were increased significantly. The per cent increase in grain yield due to phosphorus and sulphur application varied from 11.8 to 24.2 per cent and 5.3 to 10.8 per cent, respectively, whereas the straw yield was increased from 9.2 to 17.7 per cent and 7.5 to 10.5 per cent.
Fatereh Karimi et al. (2012) reported that available P were affected significantly in sulphur, cattle manure (<0.01) and S × cattle manure treatments (<0.05). The highest amount of available P in soil were obtained in 4500 kg of S with Thiobacillus plus 50 ton cattle manure ha-1 treatment (T12), where the available P status was increased 1.86 times as compared to control in canola in calcareous soils of Iran. Anil Kumar Singh et al. (2012) also reported that application of sulphur and zinc increases the available P in rice growing soil.
Ahmed (2013) reported that sulphur application significantly increased the availability of P as compared to other treatments devoid of sulphur. The maximum availability was registered to 135 per cent over control. This may be due to decrease in pH as a result of sulphur application in maize.
Dhage et al. (2014) reported that application of sulphur did not affect available phosphorus significantly in the soil but it tended to increase with increasing levels of sulphur at harvest of soybean. Similarly in chickpea, Patel et al. (2014) also reported that application of S @ 20 kg ha-1 increased the available P content of soil.
Chitra and Janaki (1999) reported that application of sulphur, cattle manure and the combination of S × cattle manure had significant effect on the amount of available K in soil. The highest amount of available K in soil (398.16 mg kg-1) was obtained in the treatment receiving 4500 kg of S with Thiobacillus +50 ton of cattle manure ha-1 and the lowest amount of K (178.48 mg kg-1) were obtained in control in canola growing soils.
Yadav et al. (2010) reported that available potassium in soil increased significantly by the successive levels of sulphur. Consequently, the available potassium in soil was in order of S40>S60>S20>S0. The maximum available potassium (252.15 kg ha-1) was recorded at S40 level of sulphur application while the minimum (232.83 kg ha-1) was recorded at S0 level. Similarly, Deshbhratar et al. (2010) reported that significantly maximum available potassium (369.60 kg ha-1) was recorded due to application of S @ 20 kg ha-1 over control and 40 kg ha-1. It indicates that application of increasing level of sulphur improved the soil available potassium status in pigeonpea growing soils.
Anil Kumar Singh et al. (2012) reported that application of sulphur and zinc increases the available K content in rice growing soil. Similarly, Patel et al. (2014) reported that application of S @ 20 kg ha-1 increases the soil K in chickpea growing soils.
Jat et al. (2005) reported a positive influence on yield due to residual effect of S, P and other nutrients. Applications of sulphur combined with phosphorous fertiliser @ 20 kg S ha-1 and 50 kg P2O5 ha-1significantly improved soil fertility, grain and straw yields also crude protein content as well as residual fertility status of soil.
Yadav et al. (2010) reported that available sulphur increased significantly by the successive dose of applied sulphur. The highest dose of added sulphur @ 60 kg ha-1 (S60) significantly increased the available sulphur status as compared to non- addition of sulphur (S0). The maximum available sulphur in soil after harvest of the crop (22.90 ppm) was recorded at S60 level while the minimum (16.18 ppm) was registered at S0 level in Indian mustard growing soils.
Yadav (2011) reported that application of S significantly increased the available S content in the soil and the increase was 56 and 24 per cent with the application of S @ 10 and 20 kg ha-1respectivelyover control in cluster bean growing soils. Kothari and Jethra (2002) and Chandra Deo and Khaldelwal (2009) also reported that the available sulphur was increased with increasing levels of sulphur application.
Dhage et al. (2014) reported that application of sulphur influences the available S content in the soil and the increase was 15.83 per cent with the application of S @ 60 kg ha-1 over control (8.59 mg kg-1) at harvest stage in soybean. Kothari and Jethra (2002) also reported that the available sulphur content was increased with increasing levels of sulphur and the phosphorus application had no effect on the sulphur content of soil.
Kaya et al. (2009) reported that the application of sulphur and sulphur- containing waste resulted in decrease in soil pH, but it also increased the concentrations of nutrients available to plants, such as Zn, Cu and Mn.
Islam (2012) reported that different S levels were similar regarding Zn and Cu availability in soil at Chakwal but was different at Talagang. There was a slight increase in Zn and Cu availability in soil due to S application at Talagang. Different treatments were similar in respect of available Fe and Mn concentration which might be due to two reasons. First, lower rate (30 kg ha-1) of S was applied as compared to previous studies. Second, there was no reduction in soil pH at the end of the experiment due to S application.
Skwierawska et al. (2012) reported that zinc and copper concentrations tended to increase in the treatment with a single dose of elemental sulphur. The application of 40 kg sulphur contributed to an increase in manganese content, compared with higher sulphur doses. Sulphate and elemental sulphur fertilization increased manganese concentrations in the soil, on comparison with the control.
Ahmed (2013) reported that positive increase of Zn, Fe and Mn micronutrients in the case of soil treated with sulphur such increase were significant when compared to all treatments. These results may be attributed to the biochemical oxidation of S produces H2SO4 which decrease the soil pH in calcareous soil and make the soil conditions more favourable for increasing the availability of phosphorus. Also Singh et al. (2011) reported that application of sulphur increases the soil available Zn in soil.
Dhankar et al. (1991) reported that sulphur application in green gram, cowpea, pigeonpea and cluster bean grown in sulphur deficient soil and found that nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium concentration and their uptake in these crops increased and reached maximum with 30 and 60 ppm sulphur but slightly decreased with 90 ppm.
Bansal (1991) observed that application of S at 40 kg ha-1significantly increased the sulphur uptake over control in cowpea, soybean, green gram and blackgram. Singh et al. (1997) also noted significant increase in uptake of nitrogen and sulphur due to increasing levels of sulphur upto 45 kg ha-1in summer mungbean. Bhadoria et al. (1998) reported that sulphur fertilisation upto 60 kg ha-1 markedly enhanced the contents of phosphorus, sulphur, protein and gum in cluster bean grain.
Singh and Agarwal (1998) recorded significant improvement in N, P and S concentration in urdbean seed with successive increase in level of sulphur upto 60 kg ha-1. However, significant increase was recorded upto 30 kg S ha-1. And Singh and Bansal (1999) showed that the nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur uptake by soybean was increased significantly by increasing levels of sulphur from 0 to 30 kg ha-1and application of S at 40 kg ha-1 significantly increased the sulphur concentration in grain and straw and total sulphur uptake over control and S at 20 kg ha-1 (Ghanshyam and Pareek, 2002).
Shankaralingappa et al. (2000) reported that combined application of P (50 kg ha-1) and S (20 kg ha-1) significantly increased the N, P, K and S uptake of cowpea. Teotia et al. (2000) reported that every increase in level of sulphur upto 80 kg ha-1 brought about significant improvement in S concentration both in grain and haulm of mungbean and their uptake.
Nasreen and Imamul Huq (2002) reported that the total mean nitrogen uptake by sunflower at vegetative stage was 23.3 kg ha-1 and increased rapidly to 116.5 and 220.9 kg ha-1 during reproductive and maturity stages respectively across the sulphur levels. As the total dry matter increased over time, nitrogen uptake was also increased. Similar trend was observed in case of P uptake of sunflower.
Successive addition of sulphur upto 30 kg ha-1 significantly increased the protein content N and P uptake by grain and haulm in urdbean (Singh, 2003). Sounda and Nandini (2003) reported that sulphur content and uptake was significantly higher with the application of gypsum as a source of sulphur in soybean.
Chettari and Mondal (2004) concluded that sulphur fertilisation at 30 kg ha-1 proved significantly superior over S @ 15 kg ha-1 and control with regard to uptake of N, P, K and S in blackgram. Singh (2004) reported in blackgram revealed that application of sulphur @ 60 kg ha-1 significantly enhance the uptake of S both in grain and haulm of blackgram, but it was significantly as par with 60 kg S ha-1.
Kumawat et al. (2007) reported that application of sulphur at 40 kg ha-1 given marked increase in S content in dry matter at branching, flowering and maturity by 31.7, 25.2 and 91.0 per cent respectively over control when whole plant sample of mungbean was analysed. Further, significantly higher S content in grain (0.17%) was recorded when sulphur was applied at 40 kg ha-1.
Ram et al. (2008) reported that application of S 40 kg ha-1 significantly increased N, P, K and S concentration in plant while decreased the Zn concentration at different growth stages of plant over control in green gram on Ustochrept. In mothbean, application of sulphur upto 20 kg ha-1 significantly increased the nitrogen, phosphorus concentration and protein content in seeds of mothbean which remained at par with 45 kg ha-1 (Sepat and Yadav, 2008).
Jamal (2010) also reported that the optimum ratio of available N to available S to be 7:1 below 7 gave the reduced seed yields of rapeseed and mustard. The rapeseed and mustard crops under field condition recovered 27-31 per cent of added S without N, but 37-38 per cent with 60 kg N ha-1.The combined application of S and N had the largest effect on the concentration and uptake of S and N and on protein and oil content of grains, and their yield of mustard. Also Rahman et al. (2011) who observed an increase in Mn uptake by corn plant with the application of elemental S as a result of soil acidification although temporarily.
Yadav (2011) reported that with increasing in level of S from 0 to 10 and 10 to 20 kg ha-1 significantly increased the, P and S content in grain and haulm. The combined application of P2O5 @ 40 kg ha-1and S @ 20 kg ha-1 significantly increased the P and S content in grain and straw. Phosphorus content in cluster bean ranged from 0.23 to 0.37 per cent in grain and 0.12 to0.26 per cent in straw, while S content ranged from 0.30 to 0.40 per cent in grain and 0.10 to 0.13 per cent in haulm of cluster bean.
Ram Bharose et al. (2011) reported that the interaction between phosphorus and sulphur showed a significant effect on content of NPK, in plants. The maximum content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in plants were recorded in the treatment P2 S1 (50 kg P2O5 and S @ 20 kg ha-1), which was greater among all the treatment combinations.
Rahman et al. (2011) reported that nutrients uptake by maize plant was significantly influenced (p<0.05) by the application of elemental S, N and their interaction. The highest nitrogen uptake (31.12 mg g-1) was recorded by the application of elemental S at the rate of 5 t ha-1 plus N fertilizer in Al Zaid and Al Semaih soils. The highest uptake of P and S were obtained by the application of elemental S at the rate of 10 t ha-1 plus N fertilizer, respectively in both Al Zaid and Al Semaih soils. Fe and Zn uptake was higher in elemental S at the rate of 5 t ha-1 plus N fertilizer, respectively in both Al Zaid and Al Semaih soils.
Islam (2012) found that the effect of different S sources on Zn uptake in tissue is not reported previously in chickpea. One of the reasons for increase in plant tissue Zn is pH reduction and in some studies gypsum and Ammonium sulphate S were found to have similar effect on soil pH (Ryant and Skládanka, 2009). Sulphur application resulted a significant increase in Cu uptake at both locations which is in line with previous findings and is mainly due to acidification effect produced as a result of S application (Ghosh et al., 2000, Rahman et al., 2011). Sulphur application resulted in an increase in Fe uptake, as was also recorded by Malewar and Ismail (1997).
Sushil Kumar Singh and Gopi Chand Singh (2013) reported that application of a sulphur produced significant impact on sulphur content of seeds of blackgram. The response was observed up to 40 kg hectare level of sulphur application which produced higher sulphur content over its lower levels S0(0 kg ha-1) and S1(20 kg ha-1). And Ganie et al. (2014) reported that increase in the application of sulphur led to an increase in the concentration and inturn uptake of N, P, K, S and B in pods, seeds as well as haulm upto 45 kg ha-1in French bean.
Dhage et al. (2014) reported that among different treatment combinations, application of 60 kg P2O5 with 40 kg S ha-1 registered the sulphur content of 0.395 to 0.495 per cent in grain and 0.150 to 0.188 per cent in straw. Sharma et al. (2014) reported that S @ 20 kg ha-1as gypsum along with urea @ 31.25 kg N ha-1 significantly increased the nutrient uptake of soybean. Kaur (2014) reported that S @ 20 kg ha-1 as gypsum showed maximum seed storage proteins accumulation in soybean. Bairwa et al. (2014) reported that application of 45 kg S ha-1 produced significantly higher grain uptake of NPK and S in grain and haulm as well as total uptake over lower levels of sulphur and interaction of P and S was also significantly higher in registering N, P, K and S contents in greengram.
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