Microbial inoculants like Azospirillum, Acetobacter, Azotobector, and Phosphate solubilizing biofertilizer (PSB) are proposed for sugarcane. The initial three fertilizers are nitrogen-fixing bacteria and PSB is used to convert the insoluble phosphorus into a more absorbable form for the root of these plants.
Sugarcane is one of the prominent cash crops in India that is grown in tropical and semi-tropical regions of the country. Around 2.8 lakhs of farmers are contributing to this farming. Uttar Pradesh is the leading producer of sugarcane followed by major Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Bihar.
On the global level, India stands in the second position in sugar export. This agriculture has been a major source of sugar as well as cattle feed, bagasse, alcohol, paper, and electricity. Currently, the sugar export of India has reached $4.6 billion in 2021-2022. Despite the pandemic, it managed to cross one billion dollars in export between 2019-2021.
Sugarcane farming is highly water-intensive. The maturity period for it is around 12 to 18 months. The growth stages in its production include germination, tillering, early growth, active growth, and elongation. It requires 20ºC to 50ºC temperature and the recovery is high in dry weather with low humidity. This indicates that the crop’s bright sunshine hours, cooler nights with wide diurnal variations, and minimal rainfall during the ripening phase work well. Likely, the nutrient requirement for it is very high. It should be grown in loamy soil that has a high chance of retaining moisture and is rich in minerals like nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.
In that case, integrated management of nutrients is essential to enhance the sugarcane productivity which won’t disturb the soil fertility. The application of biofertilizers will contribute to fulfilling this objective and enhance plant growth in a better way.
This biofertilizer colonizes the plant roots and performs nitrogen fixation in the soil. It is a free-living bacterium that is closely connected to grasses. It also produces growth-promoting substances and polysaccharides. These natural polymers help in storing extra glucose that will be essential in fuelling the seedlings during their growth.
Azospirillum increases the tolerance of abiotic and biotic stress that eventually helps nurture crop development. It is equipped to solubilize phosphate, zinc, and iron as well. It should be mixed with farmyard manure, or compost and then applied to the crop base.
This is another nitrogen-fixing bacteria that form colonies in crop tissue. In addition to that, it generates growth hormones like IAA (Indole-3-acetic acid), an auxin in plants that will help in developing processes like cell division, tissue differentiation, and apical dominance. It helps in escalating rootlet density and root branching as well as contributes to the increased absorption of minerals and water.
Azotobacter is also a free-living bacterium and aerobic found largely in the rhizosphere layer of soil. It uses organic matter present in the humus and fabricates growth-promoting substances like Gibberelic, Indole acetic acids, and polysaccharides. These elements assist in improving the physical characteristics of the crop. They are relatively impactful when used for soils that are very rich in organic matter.
Phosphate solubilizing biofertilizer (PSB)
In most soils, the phosphorous matter is present in insoluble form and that is not apt for crop production. So to convert that into easily digestible ways, the microorganisms residing in the soil transform this content into soluble forms through the generation of organic acids. It helps in biological nitrogen fixation, synthesizing phytohormones, and enhances the growth of essential elements like zinc and iron. It is essential for the formation of proteins that will intensify crop yields.
It’s beneficial to apply them to soil with a mixture of organic manure. Their application should be post-irrigation and the time of application should be molded according to water availability.
Recommended biofertilizer products for Sugarcane
Krushagra aims to provide the best eco-friendly solutions to enhance the agricultural output for all kinds of crops. For a labor-intensive crop like sugarcane, we have a range of products that can serve it well with mentioned nutrients. Krushagra Nitfit AS can help in plant growth-promoting activities and Krushagra Acetofit provides nitrogen-fixation as well as enhances root development. Krushagra PSB solubilizes the insoluble tricalcium phosphate and rock phosphate in soil and makes it accessible to plants.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the recommended dose quantity of biofertilizers for sugarcane?
It is suggested to use 10kg of Azospirillium, 10 kg of PSB, per hectare with soil application, and 2kg of Acetobacter for sett dipping.
- What is an ideal way of storing biofertilizers?
Biofertilizers should be stored at room temperature away from direct exposure to sunlight.