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Productivity and Economics of Drip-Irrigated Banana (Musa Spp.) under Different Planting and Fertigation Techniques in Subtropical India

Pawar, D. D., Dingre, S. K., Bhoi, P. G.
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2017 v.48 no.4 pp. 449-458
Musa, bananas, farmers, fertigation, fertilizer rates, fruit yield, fruits, microirrigation, mineral fertilizers, nitrogen, nutrients, planting, surface irrigation, water conservation, India
Banana is well known to be extremely demanding for water and nutrients, and supplemental application of these resources are prerequisites for higher yield. The study was undertaken to assess the effects of fertigation through drip on the growth, yield, quality, and economics of banana during 2007–2009. The experiment also aimed to find out a suitable method of planting for banana under drip irrigation system. Twelve treatments comprising two fertilizer sources, three fertilizer levels, and two planting systems were attempted. These treatments were compared with surface method of irrigation using conventional fertilizers applied as farmers practice. The results revealed that among the various treatments, 100% dose of water-soluble RDNPK and planting spacing of 1.5 × 1.5 m with drip fertigation recorded better values for growth characteristics. Banana fruit yield was significantly higher in normal planting (82.86 t/ha) than paired row planting (75.75 t/ha). The fruit yield increased significantly in water-soluble fertilizers (81.01 t/ha) as compared with “nitrogen (N)” fertigation (77.59 t/ha) and it also increased significantly with an increase in fertilizer levels (100% fertigation), but high costs of these fertilizers lowered the B:C ratio and net returns as compared with fertigation using conventional fertilizers. The drip irrigation gave 3–14.5% increase in banana fruit yield and 52% water saving over surface irrigation. The quality of banana fruits was not affected significantly due to any of the treatments.