Balancing Nutrient Needs of Intensive Vegetable Growing Areas of the Bihar Plateau with Potassium Fertilization, 2004
Potassium (K) deficiency in red and lateritic soils of Jharkhand State is common in intensive vegetable growing areas. Limited K fertilization by farmers, even in areas of high cropping intensity in the red and lateritic soils, is a major problem in ensuring balanced nutrient use for sustainable crop yields. Farmers use only nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizers without K, and this is leading to yield and quality deterioration of vegetables produced in the state. The current study was initiated in 2001 with the aim of developing K fertilizer recommendations for intensive vegetable growing areas.
In the third year of study, on-station trials were conducted on cluster bean and chilli during the rainy season of 2003 with graded K levels (25 to 100 kg K2O/ha). In chilli, the highest yield of 8.3 t/ha was obtained with 25 kg K2O/ha applied basally, while the highest yield of cluster bean (4.5 t/ha) was obtained with basal application of 50 kg K2O/ha.
A number of field demonstrations comparing NP vs. NPK treatments were conducted in 2004 to increase farmers’ awareness of the importance of K application for improved yield and quality of crops. Twelve demonstrations on potato showed an average increase of 7.7 t/ha in NPK treatments as compared to NP treatments. For onion, the average increase was 10 t/ha, while for cowpea an average increase of 1.8 t/ha was obtained with the NPK treatment. Substantial areas of the state are under intensive vegetable cultivation and adoption of the improved K fertilization program developed under this project is expected to initiate higher K consumption in the state and increase vegetable production and quality. EZ India-34