Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Evaluation of Bio-fertilizers on Cauliflower Productivity



1. Background.

The center resorted to undertake this research trial as such initiatives are felt mandatory if we are to achieve our nation's steadfast mission of going organic by the year 2020. It is also geared towards finding means of replacing our current trend of agricultural system, wherein we are using excessive chemical fertilizers in nourishing our plants while we are least bothered about the health of our soils. While many dwelling in the farming  community have minimal or no knowledge on the beneficial soil microbes, it is also to be emphasized that farmers need to be educated on this aspect of maintaining soil health and the crucial role such microbes can play in agriculture. The need to stress on the maintenance of soil health which is a gateway to sustainable farming is also to be prioritized.

Seedlings in the nursery

2. Objectives:

Ø  To address the increasing problems associated with the use of synthetic agro-chemicals in agriculture through the use of bio-fertilizers.
Ø  To find means of practicing sustainable agriculture by providing an ecological environment where all the microbial community could live in harmony wherein they can balance each other in their quest for food and space.

3. Materials & Methodology

The RCBD experimental design was used to carry out the trial. A total of 7 treatments including control and 3 replications were designed. The trial encompassed a total area of 105 sq. m. with 21 plots of 5 sq. m. each. The seedlings were spaced at 30*45 cm, amounting to a total plant strength of 693.

Transplanting Stage
The 7 treatments namely; FYM, vermi-compost, vermi-wash, liquid manure form biodigester tank, compost tea, heap compost and control were used. 
Treatments 1-3: FYM; Vermi-compost;Vermi-wash.

Treatments 4-7: Liquid manure; Compost tea; Heap compost & Control
The solid bio-fertilizers were applied around the root zone  while the liquid formulations were poured around the root zone of the crop on fortnightly interval except for FYM which was stopped after its second application. In total, there were 6 applications in the entire crop period.
Treatment application

4.  Result & Discussion

For yield analysis against different treatments, 10 plants per plot were randomly selected and the curd weight recorded. The average curd weight are as depicted in table 1. 

Table 1: : Average curd weight(g) of 10 randomly selected plants/plot 
Sl. No.
Treatment plots
Average curd weight(g)
1.
R1T1
300
2.
R1T2
300
3.
R1T3
400
4.
R1T3
273
5.
R1T4
385
6.
R1t5
405
7.
R1T6
413
8.
R1T7
547
9.
R2T1
471
10.
R2T2
411
11.
R2T3
448
12.
R2T4
780
13.
R2T5
523
14.
R2T6
372
15.
R2T7
332
16.
R3T1
359
17.
R3T2
517
18.
R3T4
363
19.
R3T5
455
20.
R3T6
379
21.
R3T7
289

From the data, the average curd weight of the plots with same treatment were derived, & the yield per acre and the comparative yield advantage of the other treatments over the control plot were also worked out accordingly as illustrated in table 2.

Table 2: Comparison of yield  between treatments
Sl. No.
Treatments
Avg. yield/curd(g)
Yield/acre of individual treatments(MT)

Comparative yield advantage of other treatments over control plots

1.
FYM
393
10.38
0.93MT(930kg)
2.
Vermi-compost
376.7
9.94
0.49MT(490kgs)
3.
Vermi-wash
442.7
11.69
2.24MT(2240kgs)
4.
Liquid manure
361.3
9.54
0.09MT(90kgs)
5.
Compost tea
540
14.26
4.81MT(4810kgs)
6.
Heap compost
435.7
11.50
2.05MT(2050kgs)
7.
Control
358
9.45

Cauliflower curds from first replication

Curds from second replication

Curds from third replication

4. Conclusion

Though the data didn't show much statistical significance between the treatments, it does have some difference in the physical weight of the curds. Accordingly, the comparative yield advantage of the different treatments over control can be seen.