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Effect of bio-compost and zinc application on sugarcane (Saccharum species hybrid complex) productivity, quality and soil health



Effect of bio-compost and zinc application on sugarcane (Saccharum species hybrid complex) productivity, quality and soil health



Indian Journal of Agronomy 60(3): 450-456



A field experiment was conducted during 2009-12 at Pusa, Bihar to study the effect of bio-compost and zinc (Zn) levels on productivity, quality and soil health of 'BO 137' spring sugarcane (Saccharum species hybrid complex) grown in Calciorthent, rich in free calcium carbonate. Application of recommended dose fertilizer (RDF) along with bio-compost and graded levels of Zn (2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 kg/ha) significantly increased cane length, single cane weight, number of tillers and millable canes over the control. Combination of 100% NPK along with bio-compost @ 20 t/ha and 10 kg Zn/ha resulted in the highest cane yield (83.73 t/ha) and sugar yield (10.13 t/ha), being at par with treatment receiving RDF along with bio-compost either 5.0 or 7.5 kg Zn /ha but significantly superior to plots treated with organic/inorganic only. Application of 100% NPK + bio-compost @ 20 t/ha + 7.5 Zn kg/ha was found optimum for getting higher cane/sugar yield and substituting 25% Zn sulphate in sugarcane production system. Brix and sucrose per cent of juice increased significantly with the bio-compost either alone or in combination with inorganic fertilizer. The uptake of nutrients followed the similar trend as cane yield. The addition of organic manure was found beneficial on Zn uptake in particular, Fe, Mn and Cu in general. Application of bio-compost alone or in combination with inorganic fertilizer resulted in significant reduced pH, but increase in electrical conductivity, organic carbon and available macro and micronutrients content of post-harvest soil. Organic carbon content of post-harvest soil increased by 29.6% in bio-compost treated plot. Bio-compost addition significantly reduced bulk density (-0.09 to -0.17 units) from control. Increase in water infiltration rate, hydraulic conductivity and soil aggregates and decrease in bulk density were observed, indicating significant improvement in physical condition of post-harvest soil. The hydraulic conductivity ranged from 0.19 to 0.24 cm/hr and water infiltration rate from 0.22 to 0.36 cm/hr. However, addition of inorganic fertilizer alone showed net negative balance of available nutrients and deterioration in physical condition of soil compared With initial value.

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