FAQ - Organic cultivation

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FAQ - Organic cultivation
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  1. What is the role of organic matter in soil?
  2. Soil organic matter, helps in better soil structure formation and provides the most favourable air and water regimes. It is the source of plant nutrients including micro-nutrients, which are liberated in available form during mineralization. It increases the water holding capacity, buffer and exchange capacity and microbial activity of the soils. Hence soil organic matter is considered as an elixir of soil productivity.
  3. Is it possible to grow sugarcane with organic manures alone?
  4. Yes. It is possible to grow sugarcane with organic manures alone. The quantity of organic manures to be applied should be able to supply the entire quantity of the nutrients recommended to the crop. Normally the quantity of organic manure that has to be applied would exceed 50 t/ha. The availability organic manures in such huge quantities and their high cost limits its adoption.
  5. What are the bio-fertilizers recommended to sugarcane?
  6. The recommended dose for sugarcane crop is 10.0 kg Azospirillum (or Gluconacetobacter) plus 10.0 kg Phosphobacteria per hectare. The recommended dose of bio-fertilizers is applied in two splits. For fields wherein chemical fertilizers are to be applied in two splits (45 and 90 days), bio-fertilizers are to be applied on 30 and 60 days, at the rate of 5 kg Azospirillum (or Gluconacetobacter) and 5 kg phosphobacteria each time. For fields wherein chemical fertilizers are applied in three splits (30, 60 and 90 days), bio-fertilizer are to be applied on 45th and 75th days, at the rate of 5 kg Azospirillum (or Gluconacetobacter) and 5 kg phosphobacteria each time.

    Mix Azospirillum ( or Gluconacetobacter) and phosphobacteria thoroughly with about 500 kg of powdered farmyard manure and apply uniformly near the base of the sugarcane clumps. Immediately give a light earthing up and irrigate. Alternatively the bio-fertilizer can be mixed in water and applied in the wet soil near the base of the sugarcane clumps.

  7. What is the nutrient composition of pressmud?
  8. Pressmud contains 20 to 24 of organic carbon, 1.26% N, 3.85% P2O5, 1.46% K2O, 11.0% CaO, 1.6% Mg, 0.23 % S, 2000ppm Fe, 898ppm Mn, 59ppm Zn and 52ppm Cu.


  1. What are the microbes used for rapid composting of pressmud and trash?
  2. Trichoderma viride and Pluerotus are used for rapid composting of pressmud and trash.
  3. How to prepare sugarcane trash compost?
  4. Sugarcane Breeding Institute has developed a rapid trash composting technique for decomposition of trash. The trenches with convenient width and length can be formed near the boundary of the sugarcane field. During de-trashing and harvesting the trashes and tops are kept in layers in the trenches. One kg of cultures (Trichoderma viride and Pleurotus) 7.5 kg of urea + 50-75 kg of fresh cow dung for every tonne of trash are to be applied to every layer. Frequent watering is to be done for maintaining the moisture content. The compost will be ready within 10-12 weeks for use. This trash compost can be done in both pit and heap methods. Trash compost has the nutrient content of 0.8% N, 0.25% P and 0.7% K with C:N ratio of 22:1. Trash can also be composted along with press-mud.
  5. How will you compost the pressmud?
  6. Fresh pressmud is spread to 1 metre width and 3 metre length (depending upon the quantity) to about 15 cm thickness. Then microbial culture - Pleurotus or Trichoderma viride (1 kg/tonne of pressmud), urea (5 kg/tonne of pressmud) and cow dung as a starter (50 kg/tonne of pressmud) are sprinkled over this layer by mixing them in water. Then another layer of pressmud to a thickness of 30 cm is added. Again microbial culture, urea and cowdung are sprinkled. This process is repeated until we reach a height of about one metre. The top layer is covered with soil. Water is sprinkled to moisten it to 50% water holding capacity. This moisture level is to be maintained throughout. Decomposition will be over within 6 to 8 weeks. Rock phosphate, ferrous sulphate, zinc sulphate etc. can also be added to improve the nutrient contents. The pressmud thus composted is dark in colour with narrow C:N ratio (about 12:1). It contains about 2.08 % N, 3.63 % P2O5, 1.40 % K and 22.38 % organic carbon.
  7. How to make vermi-compost?
  8. Vermi compost can be prepared by pit method (5m X 4m X 0.5m). Vermi compost can be prepared using crop residues, farm wastes like sugarcane trash, straw, pressmud and cow dung. The organic materials available are partially decomposed using microbes (Trichoderma viride / Pleurotus), cow dung and urea as suggested for enrichment of pressmud and trash composting. In the partially decomposed organics, the earthworms (Lambido marutii, Eudrilus eugeniae, Eisenia fetida and Perionyx excavatus) are released @ 2000/tonne and water is sprayed. Maintenance of optimum temperature and moisture (>40%) is very important in vermi-culture. A layer of one inch thickness soil is applied over the compost pit. After 120 days, the compost will be ready for usage. The earthworms in the compost may be collected and re-used. Vermi compost can also be prepared by heap method.
 


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