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Effects of bacterial inoculants and mineral fertilizer interactions on spring barley yield and soil properties
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1  Vytautas Magnus University
Academic Editor: Antoni Sánchez


Heavy use of mineral fertilizers unbalances biological processes in the soil. It is therefore necessary to develop more effective fertilizers or fertilizer complexes that ensure agricultural productivity and soil conservation. The hypothesis of this study is that complex mineral fertilizers (N5P20.5K36) coated with a bacterial inoculant (Paenibacillus azotofixans, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus mucilaginosus, Bacillus mycoides provided by JSC Nando, Lithuania) have a positive effect on the agrochemical composition of the soil and on the yield of spring barley. Experimental studies were carried out between 2020 and 2022 on sandy loam soil in four different treatments: no N5P20.5K36 (control), 300 kg ha-1 N5P20.5K36 (Tr-1), 150 kg ha-1 N5P20.5K36 coated with a bacterial inoculant (Tr-2) and 300 kg ha-1 N5P20.5K36 coated with a bacterial inoculant (Tr-3). A positive effect of the bacterial inoculant on barley grain yield was found: in 2020, Tr-3 yielded 23% higher than the control and 8% higher than Tr-1. In 2021, yields were 67% and 7% higher, and in 2022, yields were 1.3 times and 17% higher than the control and Tr-1, respectively. The bacterial inoculant was found to slightly increase the potassium and phosphorus content in the soil. Comparing the spring results of 2020 and 2022, Tr-3 soil contained 14 mg kg-1 more potassium and 13 mg kg-1 more phosphorus than Tr-1 and comparing the autumn results of 2020 and 2022, 2 mg kg-1 and 11 mg kg-1, respectively. This means that the bacterial complex used helps to release phosphorus and potassium in the soil. The bacterial inoculant-enriched fertilizer can increase the yield of barley grain without exhausting the soil.

Keywords: barley yield, bacteria, potassium, phosphorus, soil