Influence of integrated soil fertility management in wheat and tef productivity and soil chemical properties in the highland tropical environment

G. Agegnehu*, C. van Beek, M.I. Bird

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Soil fertility depletion and soil quality decline have been threatening the ecological and economic sustainability of crop production. In order to improve soil fertility and nutrient management approaches, on-farm integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) trials were conducted to evaluate the effects of organic and inorganic fertilizers on wheat (Triticum estivum L.) and tef (Eragrostis tef) yield and soil fertility in the highland Nitisol area of Ethiopia during 2010 and 2011 cropping seasons. The treatments were five selected combinations of N and P, manure and compost. These included control, farmers’ practice (23/10 kg NP ha-1), recommended NP rate (60/20 kg NP ha-1), 50% of recommended NP rate (30/10 NP kg ha-1) + 50% manure and compost as inorganic N equivalence (3.25 tons ha-1). and 50% manure + 50% compost as N equivalence. Results revealed that yields of wheat and tef, and some soil chemical properties significantly responded to the different soil fertility management treatments. The application of 60/20 kg NP ha-1 and 30/10 kg NP ha-1 with 50% manure and compost as N equivalence increased mean grain yield of wheat by 151 and 129% respectively compared to the control, and by 85 and 68% respectively compared to the farmers’ treatment (23/10 kg NP ha-1). Similarly, the same treatments increased tef grain yield by 141 and 122% compared to the control, and by 44 and 33% compared to the farmers’ treatment.The application of compost or manure with half the recommended NP fertilizer rate resulted in a comparable yield as that of full NP dose, which could beconsidered as an alternative option for sustainable soil health and crop productivity. In conclusion, the two year result showed that the application of ISFM may optimize yield of wheat and tef as well as improve the fertility status of the soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-545
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • Compost
  • Integrated soil fertility management
  • Manure
  • Nitisols
  • NP fertilizer
  • Tef
  • Wheat

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