Improving the Yield and Quality of Faba Bean Grown in Alkaline Soils Using Agricultural Gypsum, Organic Fertilizers and Cobalt

Document Type : Original Article


1 agricultural research center

2 Soil, Water and environment Research Institute, Agric. Res. Center, Egypt


Reclaiming degraded soils, such as alkaline soils, is essential for sustainable agriculture and food security. So, a field experiment was conducted in the El-Serw region, Damietta, Egypt, to enhance the yield and quality of faba bean grown on alkaline soil using agricultural gypsum, organic fertilizers and cobalt. The experimental design included main plots treated with or without agricultural gypsum as gypsum requirements (GR; 4.2 Mg fed-1), sub-plots receiving different types of organic fertilizers (control, farmyard manure compost, and plant residue compost at 20 m³ fed-1), and sub-sub plots treated with varying rates of cobalt (0.0, 5 and 10 mg Co L-1). Biochemical analyses at 70 days from sowing including malondialdehyde (MDA), peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) enzyme activities were measured. Concurrently, leaf nutrient content (NPK), chlorophyll and carotene levels were measured. At the harvest stage, yield components such as the number of pods per plant, pod weight and seed yield, along with seed protein, carbohydrate and total dissolved solids (TDS) content were assessed. Soil parameters like electrical conductivity (EC), N, P and K content were also measured. Results indicated that applying gypsum, organic fertilizers and spraying cobalt individually reduced MDA, POD, SOD and CAT levels, while enhancing leaf nutrient content, photosynthetic pigments and yield components compared to control groups. Furthermore, gypsum decreased soil EC, whereas organic fertilizers increased available soil N, P, and K, with plant residue compost showing superior effectiveness. The combination of gypsum application with plant residue compost and 10 mg L-1 cobalt spray achieved the highest overall performance. Generally, integrating gypsum, organic fertilization, and cobalt can significantly improve the biochemical and agronomic traits of faba beans in alkaline soils. Future research should explore the long-term impacts and optimization of these treatments for various crops and soil types.


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