Soils, crop nutrient status and nutrient dynamics on small-holder farms in central Tibet, China

Paltridge, N, Grover, S, Gouyi, L, Tao, J, Unkovich, M, Tashi, N and Coventry, D 2011, 'Soils, crop nutrient status and nutrient dynamics on small-holder farms in central Tibet, China', Plant and Soil, vol. 348, no. 12, pp. 219-229.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Soils, crop nutrient status and nutrient dynamics on small-holder farms in central Tibet, China
Author(s) Paltridge, N
Grover, S
Gouyi, L
Tao, J
Unkovich, M
Tashi, N
Coventry, D
Year 2011
Journal name Plant and Soil
Volume number 348
Issue number 12
Start page 219
End page 229
Total pages 11
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Abstract Little is known about the soils that support agriculture in Tibet. The aim of this paper is to investigate the physical and chemical properties of Tibet's agricultural soils, the nutritional status of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) crops, and the sustainability of current soil management practices. Physical descriptions of Tibet's agricultural soils were based on soil pits dug at three locations across Tibet's agricultural zone. Chemical analyses were conducted on soils from seven sites across the zone. Nutritional constraints to a griculture were identified through leaf tissue tests on wheat and barley crops from 23 fields. These results, combined with published information on farm inputs and yields, provided insight into the sustainability of current nutrient practice. Soils were found to be silty or sandy clay loams with alkaline reaction, low organic content and low K and Zn status. Leaf analysis revealed one third to one half of cereal crops were marginal or deficient for K, Zn and Mg. Most farmers export grain and import only nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers leading to a nutrient imbalance. A balanced fertilizer program is required to halt nutrient depletion and increase grain production. Reduced tillage and crop residue retention are needed to improve soil health. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Agriculture
Barley
Magnesium
Potassium
Wheat
Zinc
DOI - identifier 10.1007/s11104-011-0859-y
Copyright notice © Springer Science & Business Media BV 2011
ISSN 0032-079X
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