Nutrient Management Modules for Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.): Yield, Quality, Economics, Nutrient Uptake and Post-Harvest Soil Properties
Integrated nutrient management (INM) practices have been recommended to farmers to boost crop productivity and improve soil properties. To test this hypothesis, a field experiment was conducted during Rabi 2015-16 and 2016-17 to study the influence of different nutrient management modules on yield, economics, quality, nutrient uptake and post-harvest soil properties in eggplant. The experiment was comprised of eight treatments replicated thrice in a randomized block design (RBD). The detailed of the treatments were T1 - Soil Test Based Fertilizer Recommendation (STBFR), T2 - N100 + P100, T3 - N100 + K100, T4 - P100 + K100, T5 - STBFR + Azotobacter @ 5 kg ha-1, T6 - STBFR + PSB @ 5 kg ha-1 , T7 - STBFR + Azotobacter @ 4 kg ha-1 + PSB @ 4 kg ha-1, T8 - Control. Results indicated that application of STBFR + Azotobacter @ 4 kg ha-1 + PSB @ 4 kg ha-1 produced the highest fruit yield (36.10 t ha-1) and benefit-cost ratio (3.39) which was significantly superior to other treatments. Other yield parameters like plant height (72.80 cm), number of clusters per plant (12.10), average fruit weight (44.80 g) and number of fruits per cluster (8.90) were also observed best in T7. Integration of organics, inorganic and biofertilizers in treatment T7 (STBFR + Azotobacter @ 4 kg ha-1 + PSB @ 4 kg ha-1) showed better response in quality parameters like carbohydrate content (6.93%), protein (30.43%) and ascorbic acid (3.87 mg 100 g-1 fresh weight) in fruit. The nutrient uptake (53.79 kg N ha-1, 10.17 kg P ha-1 and 61.77 kg K ha-1) and post-harvest soil nutrient status (266.17 kg N ha-1, 15.53 kg P ha-1 and 172.73 kg K ha-1) were also found to be highest with T7 which was superior to rest of the treatments.
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