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Journal of Environmental Management
Volume 269, 2020, 110765

Utilization of byproducts of sheep farming as organic fertilizer for improving soil health and productivity of barley forage

B.Lala, S.C.Sharmaa, R.L.Meenaa, Srobana Sarkara, A.Sahooa, Roop Chand, Balaib Priyanka, Gautamc, B.P.Meenad

ICAR-Central Sheep & Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, Rajasthan, India.


Wool is a biodegradable fiber, rich in nutrients and can be recycled in soil as a fertilizer for maximum benefits. The present study was planned with the hypothesis that waste wool could be used as a nutrient source or manure to forage crops and aim of this study was to identify practicable recycling options of sheep based wastes in agriculture. In our study, we have compared the effect of different sheep based organic wastes on soil health, crop productivity and water use. Application of waste wool in soil significantly improved the fertility status of soil, and considerable improvement was also observed in organic carbon and nitrogen, i.e. around 30.8 and 32.6% higher over control. The activities of soil enzymes were 10–30% and 3–20% higher in waste wool treatment as compared to control and sheep based manures, respectively. Application of waste wool not only improved soil health but produced 50% higher grain and dry fodder yield of barley over control. The improvement in physical properties of soil with waste wool resulted in higher water use efficiency of the system. Our study will help in distinguishing choices for safe use of organic wastes along with up gradation of soil health and crop water utilization, particularly in nutrient poor soils of arid and semi-arid region of India.

Keywords: Environment pollution, Sheep, Soil health, Waste management, Waste wool, Water use.

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