Foliar Feeding of Nutrients during Water Stress













Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Babhaleshwar, Ahmednagar is implementing NICRA project in Nirmal Pimpri village which is rain fed village. The average rainfall of the village is 450 mm.Soybean, Bajra are the major kharif crops. In rabi, farmers are cultivating bengal gram as major crop besides wheat, sorghum and onion. During this year, this village received hardly 278 mm rainfall (49 per cent) as against 562 mm average rainfall of the district. Monsoon received late and crop sown in the second week of July. After sowing, dry spell of 27 days occurred (at initial vegetative growth stage, flowering stage). Similarly in bajra also dry spell observed during vegetation and reproduction stage. Due to dry spell at important period, there is drastic decline in the yield. During this drought period KVK has given foliar feeding of nutrients particularly 19:19:19. Similarly promoted the cycle hoeing in bajra and soybean instead of use herbicides or weeding. Due to hoeing soil mulching helped the crop to sustain in les water. This has helped to increase the yield of both crops. In soybean introduced short duration variety JS-9305, which matured 8-9 days before the regular variety JS-335. This intervention help to minimized the intensity of terminal drought. In soybean short duration variety JS-9305 gave 24.9 per cent (16.75 q/ha) higher yield than JS-335 which is ruling variety in the village. In bajra 18.39 q/ha yield received in demonstrated plot (18.6 per cent higher) which was only 15.5 q/ha in control plot. By seeing the good results of foliar feeding of nutrients, farmers have started applying these nutrients to various crops like fodder crops, wheat, onion etc.
During rabi season to protect the bengalgram crop from the water stress, foliar feeding of potassium nitrate at flowering is being done on the demonstration plots. Similarly, other farmers also advised to give the spray of potassium nitrate. Due to this foliar application of nutrients, with minimum expenditure farmers are getting good returns. During discussion with the farmers, it is observed that foliar feeding of nutrients will be adopted on large scale in future.