Effect of drip fertigation and polythene mulching on growth and productivity of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) , water, nutrient use efficiency and economic benefits
Jayakumar, M.; Janapriya, S.; Surendran, U.
Agricultural Water Management 182: 87-93
ISSN/ISBN: 0378-3774 DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2016.12.012
A field experiment was conducted to study the effect of drip irrigation, fertigation and polythene mulching on coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) var. VHC 3. The experiment was laid out in Randomized Block Design (RBD) with seven treatments and three replications. The treatments comprised of 100% (T-1), 80% (T-2) and 60% (T-3) recommended dose of fertilizer with 100 mu m thickness polythene mulch and 100% (T-4), 80% (T-5) and 60% (T-6) recommended dose of fertilizer without polythene mulch. The control was with conventional method of irrigation (basin irrigation) without mulch (T-7). The recorded data on the growth and yield of coconut revealed that the plant height, canopy development and other plant growth parameters were higher in the treatment with 100% recommended dose of fertilizer (0.50:0.32:1.20 kg of NPK tree(-1)) with 100 pm thickness polythene mulch (T-1) when compared to other treatments. The maximum yield attributes viz., spathe length, number of inflorescence, number of bunches/palm/year and number of nuts/bunch of 127.76 cm, 13, 13 and 31, respectively were recorded in 100% of recommended dose of drip fertigation with 100 mu m polythene mulching. The lowest spathe length, number of inflorescence, number of bunches/palm/year and number of nuts/bunch of 92.16 cm, 8, 8 and 12, respectively were recorded in control treatment without mulch. The number of nuts per palm, an important yield contributing trait was promising with 292 nuts/palm/year in 100% of recommended dose of drip fertigation with 100 mu m polythene mulching (T-1) treatment. Likewise gradual reductions in weed population, superior water use efficiency, nutrient use efficiency and high profitability were observed in all the polythene mulch combination treatments when compared with other treatments without mulch. The study emphasised that adoption of drip fertigation with polythene mulching increases the productivity in coconut, besides ensuring the higher efficiency of water, nutrients and profitability in coconut.