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Analysis of Crotalaria juncea with special reference to its use in green manuring and fibre production

Singh, B.N., Singh, S.N.
Agronomy journal 1936 v.28 no.3 pp. 216-227
Crotalaria juncea, plant fibers, chemical analysis, roots, shoots, reducing sugars, lipids, carbohydrates, nitrogen, ash, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, fiber content, chemical composition, weight, leaves, stems, application rate, India
Crotalaria juncea was analysed as to its organic and inorganic constituents at successive stages of its life cycle. Simultaneous growth studies were also conducted and the data on the chemical composition of the plant calculated in terms of percentage of dry matter, of absolute weight of the plant, and the amount per acre to be added to the soil. The percentages of organic matter, nitrogen, and other essential elements in general increased with the age of the plant and attained a maximum during the later part of the adolescent stage (60 to 75 days) both in the entire plant as well as various parts. The absolute quantities of these materials for the entire plant, as well as the amounts calculated on an acre basis, attained maximum values when the plant was in its partial senescence (90 days), while for the different parts, especially the leaves and roots, the maximum was attained only at the initiation of the reproductive phase (75 days). The analysis of the various parts clearly indicates that the leaves have the highest manurial efficiency, with the roots and stems in the order indicated. Thus, on the basis of the development of the plant and its composition, it is inferred that the best period for green manuring would be when the adolescent stage is about at an end and when the reproductive phase commences. The fibre content, as judged by the percentage of celluloses, reaches a maximum when the plant is in its senescent stage, but the best quality of fibre can only be had when the plant is in its adolescent stage. If both green manuring and fibre production are desired, the leaves, tops, and roots could be plowed under with advantage while the stem could be used for fibre when the plant is 75 days old without in any way markedly affecting the fertility of the land.