Sugar Tech

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Bio-intensive Modulation of Sugarcane Ratoon Rhizosphere for Enhanced Soil Health and Sugarcane Productivity Under Tropical Indian Condition

  • A. S. TayadeEmail author
  • P. Geetha
  • S. Anusha
  • R. Dhanapal
  • K. Hari
Research Article


Intensive cropping and exhaustive nature sugarcane crop in tropical India have led to depletion of inherent soil fertility resulting in serious threat to sustainable sugarcane production. Improving soil organic matter and soil fertility are important factors for sustainable sugarcane production. Microbial consortia comprising of Trichoderma viride, Humicola spp, Paecilomyces lilacinus, Gluconacetobater diazotropicus, Azospiriillum brasilense, and Bacillus subtilis have great potential to recycle crop residue and restore soil fertility which eventually promote sugarcane growth. Field experiments with in situ trash management in plant crop and bio-intensive modulation of sugarcane ratoon rhizosphere in ratoon crops were conducted during 2014, 2015 and 2016 at ICAR—Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. The results revealed that green manuring with sunnhemp, in situ trash management and application of 280:62.5:120 kg NPK ha−1 in plant crop sustained the soil health by way of reducing soil bulk density (1.26 kg dm−3), lower soil penetration resistance in the ratoon rhizosphere (1.79, 1.82 and 1.75 MPa) and higher soil organic carbon (0.52%) which in turn increased ratoon cane yield 12.24% (99.02 t ha−1) and sugar yield by 8.64% (12.83 t ha−1) over the control. Further, bio-intensive modulation of ratoon rhizosphere by off barring, trash shredding plus soil incorporation with microbial consortia and application of 350:62.5:120 kg NPK ha−1 in ratoon crop recorded significantly higher cane yield (100.95 t ha−1) and sugar yield (13.19 t ha−1) over the control. The improvement in cane yield and sugar yield to the tune of 16.35 and 14.10% due to bio-intensive modulation of ratoon rhizosphere over control have clearly established that productivity of sugarcane ratoon can be significantly improved with balanced use of fertilizers, green manuring, crop residue recycling and microbial consortia application. Similarly, bio-intensive modulation of sugarcane ratoon rhizosphere (S3) with lowest soil bulk density (1.26 kg dm−3) and soil penetration resistance values (1.69, 1.81, and 1.75 MPa) was found effective in minimising the soil compaction and improving nutrient availability (NPK) with build-up of soil microbial population than control (Trash removal). Based on the results of 3-year field experiments, it is concluded that sunnhemp green manuring and in situ sugarcane trash management coupled with application of 280:62.5:120 kg NPK ha−1 in plant crop followed by bio-intensive modulation of ratoon rhizosphere including off barring, trash shredding and soil incorporation with microbial consortia and application of 350:62.5:120 kg NPK ha−1 in ratoon crop can be recommended for sustaining soil health and sugarcane productivity under wide-row sugarcane planting systems of tropical Indian condition.


Microbial consortia In situ trash management Bio-intensive modulation of ratoon rhizosphere Soil compaction Soil organic carbon Sugarcane yield and sugar yield 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

We, the authors, declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society for Sugar Research and Promotion 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. S. Tayade
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Geetha
    • 1
  • S. Anusha
    • 1
  • R. Dhanapal
    • 1
  • K. Hari
    • 1
  1. 1.Crop Production DivisionICAR-Sugarcane Breeding InstituteCoimbatoreIndia

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