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Impact of Hydrogels on Early Growth of Maize in Sandy Regosols: Progress towards Improving Growth Performance by Enhancing Water and Nutrients Retention Capacity of the Soil

Authors:

T. S. Rasadaree,

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila (NWP), 60170, LK
About T. S.
Department of Plantation Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management
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H. M. I. K. Herath ,

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila (NWP), 60170, LK
About H. M. I. K.
Department of Plantation Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management
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H. T. Dedduwakumara,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, 10250, LK
About H. T.
Department of Chemistry Faculty of Applied Sciences
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N. Kottegoda,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, 10250, LK
About N.
Department of Chemistry Faculty of Applied Sciences
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T. Kuruwita- mudiyanselage

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, 10250, LK
About T.
Department of Polymer Science, Faculty of Applied Sciences
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Abstract

Super Absorbent Polymers or hydrogels are known for enhancing the water-holding properties of soils. This experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of four different locally-produced hydrogels and one commercially available hydrogel on the early growth of maize in sandy Regosols. Maize variety, Pacific 984 was tested with six treatments in Randomized Complete Block Design. T1 - Reference hydrogel (Sodium polyacrylate-based), T2 - Acrylic acid and acrylamide-based hydrogel where urea has incorporated chemically up to 11.08% (g/g), T3 - without urea incorporating to the hydrogel used in T2, T4 - similar to T2, but urea incorporated only up to 6.17% (g/g), T5- agriculture grade commercial hydrogel (Potassium polyacrylate-based) and T6 - control (without hydrogel) were used for the study. Soil properties and plant growth parameters were quantified. A significant difference was observed in soil pH, total N and available P among treatments after one month of application. Treatment 2 showed the highest total N (0.19%) while T4 showed the highest P (18.94 ppm). The highest growth performances were given by locally produced hydrogels over commercial hydrogel and control treatments. Treatment 2 recorded the highest leaf area (1153.3 cm2/plant), plant height (128.90 cm) and total dry mass production (49.36 g/plant) while T4 has recorded the highest stem girth (4.87 cm). It was observed that locally produced hydrogels including the hydrogel without incorporating urea, have given superior performance over commercial hydrogels. Therefore, it can be concluded that locally produced hydrogel-formulations can enhance the growth of maize effectively than imported commercial hydrogels.
How to Cite: Rasadaree, T.S., Herath, H.M.I.K., Dedduwakumara, H.T., Kottegoda, N. and Kuruwita- mudiyanselage, T., 2021. Impact of Hydrogels on Early Growth of Maize in Sandy Regosols: Progress towards Improving Growth Performance by Enhancing Water and Nutrients Retention Capacity of the Soil. Journal of Food and Agriculture, 14(1), pp.36–48. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jfa.v14i1.5241
Published on 26 Jun 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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