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Modified panchakavya for better yield

Panchakavya application is more profitable than recommended fertilizers and chemical spray.

THE ORGANIC manures such as biogas slurry (BGS), poultry manure and vermicompost can substitute inorganic fertilizers to maintain productivity and environmental quality.

Panchakavya is a traditional method, used to safeguard plants and soil micro-organisms and to increase plant production.

In Sanskrit, Panchakavya means the blend of five products obtained from cow.

It contains ghee, milk, curd, cow dung and urine. Based on the detailed discussions with the organic growers of Tamil Nadu, experiencing indigenous technical knowledge, the following ingredients and methodology were used to prepare approximately 20 litres of Panchakavya stock solution for scientific evaluation. BGS/ cow dung (5 kg), cow's urine (3 litres), cow's milk (2 litres), cow's curd (2 litres) and cow's ghee (1 litre).

In addition, sugarcane juice (3 litres), tender coconut water (3 litres) and ripe banana (1 kg) were also added as a modification.

All the materials were placed in a wide mouthed mud pot and kept open under shade.

The contents were stirred twice a day for about 20 minutes, both in the morning and evening to facilitate aerobic microbial activity.

About fifteen days after the preparation, from the stock solution three per cent concentration was prepared and foliar sprayed with hand-operated sprayer using high pore size nozzle.

Basal application of BGS to meet the nutrient requirements and three per cent modified Panchakavya spray at the critical stages were effective on maize, sunflower and greengram crops grown in sequence.

Presence of growth regulatory substances such as IAA, GA and cytokinin, essential plant nutrients, naturally occurring, beneficial, effective micro organisms (EMO's), predominately lactic acid bacteria, yeast, actinomycetes, photosynthetic bacteria and certain fungi besides beneficial and proven biofertilizers such as Acetobacter, Asospirillum and Phosphobacterium and plant protection substances can be detected in modified Panchakavya.

From the field experimentation, it is inferred that, for the organic production of maize, sunflower and greengram as a cropping system, application of BGS at 10 tonnes per hectare for maize, 3 tonnes per hectare for sunflower and 2 tonnes per hectare for greengram with three per cent modified Panchakavya foliar spray four times at 15,30, 45 and 60 days after sowing (DAS) for maize and sunflower and at 15, 25, 40 and 50 DAS for greengram has been found to be viable with highest net returns while maintaining soil fertility.

Panchakavya application is found to be more profitable than recommended fertilizer application and chemical spray.

E. Somasundaram, N. Sankaran & T. M. Thiyagarajan

Department of Agronomy, TNAU, Coimbatore 641 003

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