Effects of Fertilizer Application on Growth and Yield of Jatropha curcas L. in an Aeric Tropaquept of Eastern India
Keywords:Jatropha, NPK, oil content, seed yield
In recent years Jatropha curcas L. has emerged as a biofuel crop attracting considerable interest of the researchers. The seeds of the plant yield non-edible oil with properties that are well suited for production of biodiesel. However it is still considered a semi-wild plant and systematic crop improvement programmes need to be undertaken to exploit its full yield potential. The present study deals with agronomic trials pertaining to optimum requirements of N:P:K fertilizers for better economic returns. Field experiments were conducted between 2008 and 2009 at the research farm of IMMT, Bhubaneswar, India (20°40’ North and 85°50’ East) to evaluate the effect of N:P:K fertilizers on the yield attributing characters of Jatropha. Five-year-old standing crop plantation was treated with two levels of N (60 and 50 g/plant), P (80 and 100 g/plant) and K (75 and 60 g/plant), either alone or in combination. Analysis of the results revealed significant differences in growth as well as yield characteristics due to application of inorganic fertilizers. While maximum seed yield (427.21 kg/ha) was recorded in N60 treatment, the seed oil content varied significantly from 32.00% to 35.69% under various regimes of N:P:K applications. Treatment with N50P100K60 and N60 resulted in consistent higher yield of seed oil. Based on the results of growth and yield attributes, application of N fertilizer proved to be beneficial for Jatropha under tropical agroclimatic conditions in an Aeric Tropaquept of eastern India.
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