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Effect of Living Mulch and Silica Fertilizer on Increasing the Quantity and Quality of Sorghum Forage under Drought Stress

Ehsan Rezaei, Hamidreza Larijani, Pourang Kasraie, Hamidreza Tohidi Moghadam and Farshad Ghooshchi
Department of Agronomy, Varamin-Pishva Branch, Islamic Azad University, Varamin, Iran
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(Received : June 15, 2021; Accepted : July 28, 2021)


The effect of living mulch and silica fertilizer on the quantitative and qualitative yield of forage sorghum
(Sorghum bicolor L.) was evaluated in drought stress conditions as a factorial split in a randomized complete block design during 2017-18 in Varamin city, Iran. The treatments included three irrigation levels of 60, 120 and 180 mm evaporation as the main factor (A), which were considered as optimal irrigation, medium stress and severe stress. Moreover, sub-treatments included the use of living mulch at three levels, (a) weed-free plots (complete weeding), (b) completely weeded, and (c) use of living mulch as well as silica fertilizer. The three levels of silica fertilizer included (a) non-consumption, (b) foliar spray (three per thousand) and (c) irrigating fertilizer at the rate of 10 l/ha in two stages. Mixing of living mulch with sorghum forage in medium stress conditions showed 32% more protein, 6% more dry matter digestible than the same irrigation treatment without living mulch. The use of living mulch also reduced the dry weight of sorghum weeds by 24%. The lowest amount in sorghum forage was estimated from the application of silica fertilizer as irrigation fertilizer with an average 178.65 ppm, which was 8% less than the treatment of no silica fertilizer.
Key words : : Drought stress, CP, silica fertilizer, living mulch and DMD