Jayakumar M.,Tamil Nadu Agricultural University |
Jayakumar M.,Agronomy Regional Coffee Research Station |
Surendran U.,Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Journal of Plant Nutrition | Year: 2017
The productivity of cotton is lowest in India and far below that of the world average productivity. Suitable management practices like intercropping and judicious combination of organic and inorganic manures are considered as yield improvement technologies and can avoid environmental pollution. However, which intercrop is suitable for the study area and what combination of nutrients will perform better needs to be investiaged. With this background and to test-verify the same, field experiments were conducted on cotton with split plot design to evaluate cotton based intercropping system along with nutrient management practices for enhancing the cotton productivity. Five intercropping systems viz., sole cotton, cotton + onion, cotton + blackgram, cotton + greengram and cotton + lucerne were included in the main plot. The subplot consisted of combinations of inorganic and organic manures namely, 100% recommended inorganic nitrogen (N), 75% inorganic N + 25% N through poultry manure, 75% inorganic N + 25% N through sunnhemp, 75% inorganic N + 25% N through farm wastes, 75% inorganic N + 25% N through weed compost. The results revealed that sole cotton followed by cotton + blackgram intercropping and 75% inorganic N + 25% N through poultry manure recorded better growth and yield attributes, higher cotton yield during both the years. Cotton + onion resulted in the maximum cotton equivalent yield of 2396 kg ha−1 followed by cotton + blackgram (2240 kg ha−1). Better N use efficiency and post-harvest soil available N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) was also associated with cotton + blackgram intercropping and 75% inorganic N + 25% N through poultry manure. Benefit: cost (BC) ratios were also higher in the same treatment. It could be concluded from these results that the cotton productivity is higher under the sole crop of cotton, however, the cotton equivalent yield is significantly higher with intercropping and these treatments proved that soil fertility status can be sustained with integrated plant nutrient management practices and intercropping systems. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.