RAJASEKARAN MURUGAN1, PETER VON FRAGSTEIN1, SWAMINATHAN CHITRAPUTHIRAPILLAI2
1University of Kassel, Department of Organic Farming and Cropping Systems, Germany
2Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Department of Agronomy, India
India is the leading country in area, production (25%) and growing wide variety of pulse crops but still the largest importer of pulses with 34% of the global food use. The national average pulse productivity (597kgha-1) is far below than the global average of 857kgha-1. Consequently, per capita availability of pulses declined from 60.7 to 29.4 g day-1 during 1951 to 2007. This is mainly due to the growing importance on cereal crops, decreasing soil nutrient status and emerging secondary and minor nutrient deficiencies. Therefore, a field experiment was conducted with black gram (Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper) in Tamil Nadu, India to investigate the influence of farm yard manure (FYM), neem cake (NEC) in combination with Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. phaseoli (RHL), Pseudomonas fluorescence (PSF). Parameters of assessment were soil fertility, grain yield, plant dry matter and protein content of black gram seeds. The highest grain yield (1122kgha-1) was recorded with combined application of NEC+RHL+PSF, which is 194 % higher than control treatment. Combined application of RHL+PSF with either NEC or FYM increased the soil organic carbon by 30 %, over control. The addition of nitrogen in soil was ranged from 3.2 to 43kgha-1 in treated plots. RHL inoculation with either NEC (15kgNha-1) or FYM (26kgNha-1) recorded higher nitrogen addition than PSF. On the other hand, PSF application recorded higher phosphorus availability than RHL treatments. Co-inoculation of RHL+PSF with NEC was the most potent combination with the addition of 43kgNha-1 and 4.2kgPha-1 than FYM. Contrastingly, negative balance was observed with potassium availability. Unlike nitrogen and phosphorus, combined inoculation of RHL+PSF with FYM increased the bacterial, fungal and actinomycetes population by 172, 333 and 268%, respectively, over initial soil status. The NEC+RHL+PSF combination increased the average total plant dry matter and seed protein content by 158 and 30%, respectively, over control. The results indicate that integrated supply of RHL and PSF along with NEC or FYM plays a significant role in improving soil fertility and pulse productivity.
Keywords: Co-inoculation, black gram, neem cake, per capita availability, productivity, pulses