For growth and prosperity

For growth and prosperity

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Fertigation schedule for Banana and advantages of using Water Soluble Fertilizers

FERTIGATION:
Fertigation is the process of applying the right quantities of different nutrients in the right proportions for a particular crop based on its requirements at different stages of crop growth. For this purpose, use only water soluble fertilizers.
 
VARIOUS TYPES OF FERTIGATION SYSTEMS

 
A COMPOSITE FERTIGATION UNIT WITH VENTURI ASSEMBLY


 ADVANTAGES OF FERTIGATION TECHNOLOGY:
  • Maximizing water & fertilizer use efficiency by 30 to 40% 
    Increases the availability & uptake of nutrients
    Delivers water & nutrients – root zone
    Decrease nutrient losses from leaching
    Maximizing crop and soil productivity
    Prevents soil degradation as the soluble fertilizers have low salt index.
    Steep-slope & marginal land – cultivation 
    Minimizing production cost 
    Saving labour and water
    Minimizes pollution of ground water by preventing run-off and leaching. 
    Higher yields and top quality produce
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE FOR FERTIGATION:
To attain high yield in Banana, it is essential that all limiting factors in the cultivation are identified and minimized. One of the major impediments other than problematic farm soil and irrigation Water is the poor knowledge among farmers about fertilizer application.

Farmers are blindly following ‘Blanket recommendation’ of Agriculture Universities & Research Stations without considering the native fertility of his farm soil. By following ‘Blanket recommendation’, there are more chances of lesser or excessive application of fertilizer doses. In other words, by applying lesser fertilizers the yield will get affected and by applying more there is avoidable monetary loss in addition to physiological stress the plant undergoes due to overdose and deterioration of soil health due to accumulation of chemicals in the soil starta. 
 
Farmers have to understand that the fertilizer recommendations for Banana cultivation provided by Agriculture Universities, Fertilizer / Biotech / Drip Irrigation companies as mere guidelines and the correct method is to arrive at a fertilizer application schedule based on your field soil test reports.

One of the General fertilizer recommendations for banana (Area:1 acre) for fertigation method by applying some select easily available water soluble fertilizers is:

All 19 (19:19:19) -220 Kg,
MKP / Mono Potassium Phosphate (0:52:34) – 40 Kg,
Potassium Nitrate / Multi K (13:0:46) – 760 (640) Kg
Urea – 170 Kg.

FERTIGATION SCHEDULE FOR BANANA: 
Fertigation schedule of water soluble fertilizers for one acre TC plantation of Grand Nain (6 feet X 5 feet spacing). 

Days after Planting
Grade of Fertilizer
Total Qty
(Kg)
Kg/day/acre
Water
Requirement
(lit/plant/day)
1 – 45 days
19:19:19
13:0:46
Urea
100 Kg
80 Kg
40 Kg
2.22 Kg
1.77 Kg
0.88 Kg
4
46 – 90 days
19:19:19
13:0:46
Urea
120 Kg
80 Kg
40 Kg
2.66 Kg
1.77 Kg
0.88Kg
8
91 – 135 days
0:52:34
13:0:46
Urea
40 Kg
120Kg (100)
50 Kg

0.88Kg
2.66 Kg (2.22)
1.11 Kg

12
136 – 180 days
13:0:46
Urea
140 Kg (100)
40 Kg
3.11 Kg (2.22)
0.88 kg
16
181 – 226 days
13:0:46 
140 Kg (120)
3.11Kg (2.22)
20
227 -  270 days
13:0:46
120 Kg (100)
2.66 Kg (2.22)
24
271 – 300 days
13:0:46
80 Kg
2.66 Kg
24

NOTE OF CAUTION 1:
Please note that the total cost of fertilizers will be exorbitantly high if you chose to use the entire fertilizer requirement as water soluble fertilizers.

SUGGESTIONS TO REDUCE THE COST OF CULTIVATION: 
The entire Phosphate ('P') requirement can be applied as basal and as top dressing, directly as soil application within 3 - 4 months of planting.

Nitrogen ('N') can be given as Urea and Ammonium Sulphate which are very cheap and fully water soluble.

Potassium ('K') requirement can be met by using white colour MOP which is highly soluble when compared to red coloured ones which are normally available in market.

Water soluble fertilizers are very costly so use them judiciously. There are farmers who give fertigation 2 days / week and there are some who give fertigation daily from the date of planting to harvest.

In addition to Nitrogen ('N')  and Potash ('K'), Secondary nutrients (Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphur) and Micro Nutrients also should be applied through fertigation at recommended dosages at the appropriate growth stages to reduce cost of cultivation. 

Except Calcium and Boron which are available as Calcium Nitrate and Borax (Sodium tetraborate), all the other nutrients are available in ‘Sulphate’ form i.e., Magnesium sulphate, Zinc sulphate and Ferrous sulphate, Copper sulphate etc., which are fully water soluble in nature

FERTILIZER TARGET CHART FOR BANANA ADOPTING
PRECISION FARMING TECHNOLOGY:

CAUTION: REQUIREMENTS GIVEN HERE ARE TARGETS ONLY,
SO DO NOT APPLY THE GIVEN QUANTITY AT THE GIVEN AGE.


T A R G E T



GROWTH STAGE
Age
Requirement in gms/plant
Requirement in %


N
P
K
N %
P%
K%
EARLY ESTABLISHMENT STAGE -I
30
30
30
10



45
45
40
20



60
60
60
40
21
50
11
ESTABLISHMENT STAGE -II
90
90
80
80



120
110
90
120
19
25
21
VEGETATIVE STAGE -III
150
150
120
160



180
180
120
200



210
200
120
240
32
25
31
SHOOTING STAGE- IV
240
230
120
270



270
260
120
310



300
280
120
350
28
0
29
DEVELOPMENT OF BUNCH AND HARVESTING STAGE -V
330
do
120
380
0
0
8


280
120
380
100
100
100


CAUTION: REQUIREMENTS GIVEN HERE ARE TARGETS ONLY,
SO DO NOT APPLY THE GIVEN QUANTITY AT THE GIVEN AGE.

The above chart is a NPK target chart that is entirely different from the 'fertilizer quantity cum schedule chart' usually recommended by Agri.Dept, Agri. Universities and Fertilizer manufacturers. 

In practical it is highly impossible to apply the fertilizers as prescribed by the above agencies. There are varied reasons like unavailability of recommended fertilizers, cost of them when cheaper ones with the same NPK value are available, scarcity of manpower to apply them, difficulty to provide adequate irrigation after fertilizer application Etc. 

Please read the chart carefully. I have not recommended any variety or quantity of fertilizers that are to be applied within a given age.

In the chart:
1.     Age is given as number of days.
2.     Fertilizer requirements are given as targets only.
3.     Learn to calculate NPK requirement in the following links:
4.     Since the figures given in the chart are targets, do not apply the given quantity at the given age.
5.     To put it simply, apply whatever fertilizer that are available in the market that you finds them as economical (falls within your budget)the npk target should be achieved within that age.
6.     As a farmer I know very well that it is impractical to adhere to any date schedule for fertilizer application. So apply the nutrients on whatever date that you find as convenient but try to achieve the targets given in the NPK chart.

ADVANTAGES OF USING WATER SOLUBLE FERTILIZERS :

Solubility.
Application uniformity equal to that of the water
Quick dissolution in irrigation water
Minimum content of conditioning agents
Fine grained product
High nutrient content in the saturated solution
No Wastage
Can be combined with Plant protection chemicals


         Efficiency       N        P     K (%)
Straight fertilizers  30.5   20   50
Water Soluble Fert. 95     45   85 


Minimum Soil and ground water pollution
Yield increase is visible
Suitable for all crops


Water Soluble Fertilizers (WSF) vs. Straight Fertilizers (SF) :

S. No.
Characters
WSF
Straight fertilizers
1
Solubility
Readily soluble
5 -7 minutes
Slowly soluble
12 – 24 minutes
2
Stock solution
10 -17 % Solution
Require more days to prepare.
3
Dispersion of Nutrient particles
Uniform
Not uniform
4
Filtration
No need to filter
3 – 4 times filtration is must
5
pH  of the 1% stock solution
3.5 – 5.5 pH
5 – 8 pH Neutral and Base
6
Salt index
40 – 50
75 – 95
7
Nutrient loss
Less
More
8
Labour requirement
Less
More
9
Possibilities for mistake
Less
More

LIST OF WATER SOLUBLE FERTILIZERS RECOMMENDED:

Name of the fertilizer
N %
P %
K %
S %
Ammonium sulphate (NH4)2 SO4 is the best slow releasing nitrogenous fertilizer.
20.6
0
0
23
Urea
46
0
0
0
Ammonium nitrate
33



Phosphoric acid
0
61
0
0
Potassium chloride (MOP). (Potash in white colour crystals is more soluble than in red colour ones normally available in market).
0
0
60
0
CAN - Calcium Nitrate




Poly Feed / All 19 (19 : 19 : 19)
19
19
19
0
MAP –Mono Ammonium Phosphate
12
61
0
0
Multi K - Potassium Nitrate / KNO3
13
0
46
0
MKP - Mono Potassium Phosphate
0
52
34
0
SOP – Sulphate of Potash / Potassium Sulphate
0
0
50
18
Water soluble Sulphur, Borax (Sodium tetraborate) and all the other secondary and micronutrients which are available in ‘Sulphate’ form (available as salt as well as  liquid) i.e., Magnesium sulphate, Zinc sulphate, Iron chelate/ Ferrous sulphate, Copper sulphate  etc., can also be used for fertigation.





Use ‘Specialty fertilizers’ which are water soluble fertilizers with multi nutrient combinations with or without secondary elements or micronutrients. They are available in the liquid or crystalline form and can be used for fertigation and foliar application.

Name of Speciality

Fertilizers:                 N %     P %     K %                 Micronutrient (ppm)
Polyfeed, ‘All 19’     19        19        19                    with Micro Nutrient
Polyfeed, ‘All 18’     18        18        18                    with Micro Nutrient
Polyfeed, ‘All 20’     20        20        20                    with Micro Nutrient
Polyfeed – Fe          11        42        11                    +1000 – Fe (Ferrous)
Polyfeed – Mn         19        09        19                    +500 – Mn (Manganese)
Polyfeed – Zn          19        09        28                    +75 – Zn (Zinc)
Polyfeed – B            15        15        30                    +200 – B (Boron)
Polyfeed – Mo         14        10        34                    +35 – Mo (Molybdenum)
Polyfeed – Cu          17        10        27                    +55 - Cu (Copper)

NOTE OF CAUTION 2: - WHAT TO DO AND NOT TO DO:
  1. Don’t put water into the Fertilizer eg. Acid fertilizers.
  2. Never mix Phosphatic fertilizers with Sulphur and Sulphate form of fertilizers like Ammonium sulphate, SOP – Sulphate of Potash / Potassium Sulphate,  Magnesium sulphate, Zinc sulphate, Ferrous sulphate etc.,
  3. Don’t mix sulphate form of fertilizers with Calcium.
  4. Don’t use Ca and Mg fertilizers for fertigation if the water is ‘HARD’.
  5. Most of the Water Soluble ‘P’ fertilizers react with Hard water.
  6. Use Phosphoric acid only in the water with low pH.
  7. Avoid using Potassium Sulfate in Hard water Irrigation should be continued at least 30 minutes after fertilizing to prevent build up of fertilizer residues in the drip lines and in drippers.
  8. The solid phosphatic fertilizers are insoluble and prone to clogging. Do not use them for fertigation.  So, Rock phosphate , Single Super Phosphate (SSP), Di - Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) are not suitable for fertigation.
  9. Do not use Soil amendments like Gypsum and other calcium supplying materials like lime (CaCO3) in fertigation system.
  10. Never mix chlorination and fertigation because it may cause unwanted chemical reactions.
CHEMICAL REACTIONS OF FERTILIZERS WITH IRRIGATION WATER:

The chemical quality of your irrigation water may affect both crop yields and soil physical conditions. It may contain essential plant nutrients, like calcium, magnesium, sulphur and boron which will definitely influence the fertilization program. Therefore, testing the irrigation water prior to selecting the site and the crops to be grown is critical. Adequate levels of these nutrients in the irrigation water can save on fertilizer use, as nutrients present in the irrigation water are available to the plant.

In water with calcium, magnesium and bicarbonates, if phosphate containing fertilizers are mixed, calcium and magnesium phosphates are formed. By reducing pH, this effect can be reduced.

If polyphosphate fertilizers are mixed with water with Calcium and Magnesium ions, gel suspensions are formed which clog filters and drippers.

When water contains Calcium and if sulphate fertilizers are mixed with it, Calcium sulphate is precipitated. With rise in temperature, this problem would get aggravated.

When water contains Calcium and bicarbonate ions, mixing with Urea precipitates Calcium Oxide commonly known as lime.

When Phosphoric acid is mixed with water containing more than 50 ppm of Calcium, Calcium Phosphate is formed. Calcium phosphate is nearly insoluble and does not readily dissolve. 

If water contains more than 0.1 ppm of Iron, and if Calcium or Phosphate fertilizers are injected, then  Iron precipitate is formed.

As it is difficult to find out what kind of chemical reaction that would occur when mixing with any fertilizer, normally it is recommended that a following test is conducted. The fertilizer solution equal to the same concentration with which, it would be applied to field is kept in a container for sometime under the same environment as that of the field. If, some precipitate get formed, then that fertilizer should not be applied through fertigation.


For more details visit the following links: 
Problems Related toIrrigation Water Quality.
Mechanism behind clogging of Drippers in Drip Irrigation System.
Management of Clogging of Drippers and Drip lines.
Chemical Reactions of Fertilizers with Irrigation Water.

Regards,
A.Vishnu Sankar

3 comments:

Shri Ramco Biotech said...

Reply to readers who have raised many questions about 'Fertigation' and water soluble fertilizers:

Dear Sir,

Fertilizer recommendations for Banana cultivation provided by Biotech companies or Drip Irrigation companies are generalized and should be treated as mere guidelines and never should be followed blindly. A correct method is to arrive at a fertilizer application schedule based on your field soil test reports.

The fertigation schedule given in our booklet is scientifically correct matching the NPK requirements in all growth stages. Please view the post 'Fertilzer Target Chart' given in this blog also. As you have correctly observed, the total cost of fertilizers will be exorbitantly high if you chose to use the entire requirement as water soluble fertilizers.

To reduce the cost:
the entire 'P' requirement can be applied as basal and as top dressing, directly as soil application within 3 - 4 months of planting.
'N' can be given as Urea and Ammonium Sulphate also which are very cheap and also water soluble.
'K' requirement can be met by using white colour MOP which is highly soluble when compared to red coloured ones which are normally available in market.
Water soluble fertilizers are very costly so use them judiciously. There are farmers who give fertigation 2 days / week and there are some who give fertigation daily from the date of planting to harvest.
In addition to NPK, Secondary nutrients (Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphur) and Micro Nutrients also should be applied through fertigation at recommended dosages at the appropriate growth stages.
Whether you adopt fertigation or prefer to apply direct fertilizers as soil application, the total cost of cultivation including Fertilizers, Pesticides, Irrigation, Labour Etc., will come to about Rs.75 to 85 per plant only.


Thanking you,

Yours truly,
A.Vishnu Sankar
Manager (Marketing)
Shri Ramco Biotech

ravi reddy said...

thank you sir

excellent information in regards to banana

Trans Agro India said...

That is a very informative article.

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