Organic Matter

In olden days, ginger was cultivated in freshly cleared forest soils and as such there was no need to apply fertilizers. But the situation has changed and now it has become impossible to realize a satisfactory yield without an adequate supply of fertilizers together with a heavy dose of organic matter. Sadanandan and Iyer (1986) observed that organic amendments such as neem cake and Pongamia cake reduced the incidence of rhizome rot and improved the yield in ginger. Cho et al. (1987) opined that the ginger yield was positively correlated with the soil organic matter content. In Kerala, the major ginger-producing state of India, the recommended dose of organic matter is 25 to 30 t/ha of FYM and 30 t/ha of green leaves as mulch applied in three splits, 15 t at the time of planting and 7.5 t each at 60 days and 120 days after planting (KAU, 1993).

In a field trial on alfisol, application of 45 t/ha of FYM and 600 kg KCl/ha resulted in the highest yield of rhizome with acceptable quality in terms of fiber content (Sugito and Maftuchah, 1995). Khandar and Nigam (1996) reported that the rhizome yield of ginger increased with an increased ratio of FYM application (33 t/ha) compared to

Figure 5.7 Effect of different sources of organic manure and Azospirillum on fresh weight of ginger rhizomes.

22 t/ha. Plant height was greater with FYM. Chengat (1997) studied the effect of organic manure and Azospirillum on the growth and yield of ginger in Kerala (Figure 5.7). Application of FYM at the rate of 48 t/ha resulted in the highest returns and benefit-cost ratio (2.32), giving an additional profit of 32.04 percent over control. Sadananandan et al. (1998) reported that among six organic fertilizers (FYM, neem cake, brasicca cake, groundnut cake, and gingelly cake), groundnutcake gave the highest soil organic matter. Neem cake gave the highest benefit-cost ratio followed by groundnut cake.

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