Soil fertility status, nutrient uptake, and maize (Zea mays L.) yield following biochar and cattle manure application on sandy soils of Lombok, Indonesia

Sukartono , Wani Hadi Utomo, Zaenal Kusuma, Waego Hadi Nugroho


A field study was conducted to evaluate the effects of biochar application on soil fertility status, nutrient uptake, and maize yield in the sandy soils of semiarid Lombok, Indonesia during the rainy season of 2010–2011 and dry season of 2011. Three organic amendments (coconut shell biochar, CSB; cattle dung biochar, CDB; cattle manure, CM, and no organic amendments as control, C) constituted the treatments. Biochar application improved soil fertility status, especially soil organic C, CEC, available P, exchangeable K, Ca, and Mg, and increased nutrient uptake and maize yield. Soil organic C increased from about 0.9% (untreated soil) to about 1.20% (biochar and CM treated). Soils treated with biochar had consistently higher organic C contents, which also remained more stable compared to the soils treated with CM, implying the higher potential of biochar for soil carbon sequestration. The highest maize yield during the rainy season was noted for CM, followed by CDB and CSB (5.98, 5.87, and 5.71 Mg ha–1 respectively). However, yield of the second crop in one-time CM application treatment declined. This was not the case for maize yield on biochar treated soil.


Cattle manure; Coconut shell; Exchangeable bases; Organic amendments

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A KAU publication [CODEN: JTAGEI; ISSN 0971-636X; eISSN 0973-5399]