Integrated Sugarcane Trash Management: A Novel Technology for Sustaining Soil Health and Sugarcane Yield
Authors: Suma R and Savitha CM
Publisher: Advances in Crop Science and Technology
With the raising concern on soil conservation and health in the context of depleting traditional organic manures, efforts are required to harness the potentiality of crop biomass wastes effectively. Sugarcane is one such crop that produces 7-12 t ha-1 of trash, which is a rich source of organic carbon and plant nutrients. The burning of trash would lead to environment pollution besides depleting the soil biological properties and fertility. In this context, integrated sugarcane trash management (ISTM) that conserves and decomposes trash using microbial enriched (Trichoderma viridae) farm yard manure and urea (75 kg/ha) serve as a novel technology in sustaining soil health and sugarcane yield. The results revealed that intense heat generated due to trash burning has reduced the germination of sugarcane to an extent of 68 percent compared to 82 percent in ISTM. The ISTM has increased the organic carbon content, available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in soil to an extent of 11.2, 3.6, 8.5 and 11.2 percent respectively in three years. The increased average cane yield was 12.8 percent over trash burning. The economic analysis showed that the gross income increased to 18.2 percent with the benefit of 2.63 rupees per rupee invested over three years. Farmers surveyed indicated that the trash management technology increased soil moisture and number of earthworms, and reduced weed incidence. Farmers also expressed that buds germinated 15 days earlier in ISTM practice and that ISTM increased cane yield and did not hinder ratoon practices.
Illustration Photo: A sugarcane plantation in Bangladesh (Credit: Terry Sunderland for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://adalidda.net/posts/ShLvcan32qtobd2sD/integrated-sugarcane-trash-management-a-novel-technology-for