EFFECT OF FERTILIZER DOSE AND SPLIT APPLICATION OF FERTILIZER ON GROWTH, YIELD AND NUTRIENT USE EFFICIENCY IN MULBERRY
Field experiment was conducted at Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Berhampore- 742 101 during 2016 to study the effect of fertilizer dose and split application of fertilizer on growth, yield and nutrient use efficiency of mulberry leaves. The treatments comprised of four levels of fertilizer (75, 100, 125 & 150% RDF), two types of split application (2 splits: 15th & 45th day after pruning and 3 splits: 15th, 30th & 45th day after pruning). A control plot of 100% RDF with one time application of fertilizer on 15th day after pruning was also maintained. The experiment was laid out in randomized block design with three replications. Recommended dose of fertilizer was used at 67.2:36: 22.4 kg NPK ha-1 crop-1. The required nutrient as per treatments were applied through Urea, DAP and MOP. The experimentation was done under existing S-1635 mulberry garden with 2'×2' spacing. The results revealed that mulberry showed positive response to fertilizer levels and split application of fertilizer. Growth and yield attributes were significantly higher under 125% RDF with 2 split application and this was on par with 150% RDF with in both 2 split and 3 split applications. Significantly higher leaf yield of 506.40 g/plant (14.07 t ha-1 crop-1) was registered under fertilizer dose at 125% RDF with 2 splits. Total soluble protein (mg/g of fresh green weight) was 31.82% higher in 125% RDF with 2 splits than control. Nutrient use efficiency (NUE) was markedly decreased with higher fertilizer dose (i.e. 150% RDF) than lower fertilizer dose (75% RDF). The results indicated that 11.10% higher NUE was registered under 125% RDF with 2 splits compared to control. From the above study, it could be concluded that application of 84:45:25 kg NPK ha-1 crop-1 in 2 split was found to be a suitable technology for achieving higher mulberry leaf yield with enhanced fertilizer use efficiency. However, split application of fertilizer could reduce total nitrate emissions from mulberry field due to better nutrient use efficiency and this could one of the climate change mitigation option.
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