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Nutrient Leaching Losses from Continuous Application of Washed Rice Water on Three Contrasting Soil Textures

Abba Nabayi, Christopher Boon Sung Teh, Ngai Paing Tan and Ali Kee Zuan Tan

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 31, Issue 4, July 2023

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjst.31.4.20

Keywords: Contamination, environment, leaching, nutrients, nutrient retention, soil texture

Published on: 3 July 2023

Washed rice water (WRW) is often used as liquid plant fertilizer. However, there is no study on nutrient leaching of soils due to frequent WRW application. Therefore, a column study was undertaken to evaluate the rate of nutrient leaching losses, nutrient retention, and recovery of elements in leachates of three different soil textures irrigated with WRW. The treatments were 3 soil textures and 2 water types. The treatments were evaluated for 8 weeks, and the soils and leachates were measured biweekly. Factorial and repeated measurements in a completely randomized design were therefore employed. Higher cumulative leaching of the elements was found in sandy clay loam soil with 666.29, 378.13, 138.51, 50.82, 44.61, and 27.30 mg L-1 of K, P, Mg, Ca, NH4+-N, and NO3--N, respectively. Higher percentages of elements recovery in leachate were found in the sandy clay loam soil with a range of increase by 37.8–283.1% than the other two soil textures. In contrast, after 8 weeks of WRW application, the clay and silt loam soils had a range of increase in nutrient retention by 0.43–1358.5% than the sandy clay loam, with P and NO3--N being the highest and the lowest elements retained, respectively, for all soil textures. This study showed that frequent WRW disposal on sandy textured soils risks higher environmental contamination, mainly due to the soil’s lower water retention and nutrients, leading to nutrient leaching. Therefore, organic amendments should be added to sandy textured soils.

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