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Higher yield, profit and soil quality from organic farming of elephant foot yam

Suja, Girija; Sundaresan, Sukumaran ; Susan John, Kuzhivilayil; Sreekumar, Janardanan and Misra, Raj Sekhar (2012) Higher yield, profit and soil quality from organic farming of elephant foot yam. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 32 (3), pp. 755-764.

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Summary

Alternative agricultural systems, like organic farming, that are less chemical intensive, less exploitative and environment friendly are gaining popularity. Elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson) is an important starchy tuberous vegetable with high nutritive and medicinal values. Since information on the organic farming of tuberous vegetables is scanty, field experiments were conducted in this crop at the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, India, over a 5-year period. The impact of organic, conventional, traditional and biofertilizer production systems on growth, yield, quality, soil physico-Chemical properties and economics were evaluated in elephant foot yam. Our results show that organic farming favoured canopy growth, corm biomass and lowered collar rot disease. Dry matter and starch contents of organic corms were significantly higher than those of conventional corms by 7% and 13%, respectively. Organic corms had 12% higher crude protein and 21% significantly lower oxalate contents. The content of K, Ca and Mg in corms were slightly higher, by 3–7% under organic farming. After 5 years of farming, the organic plots showed significantly higher pH, by 0.77 unit, and higher organic C by 19%. The exchangeable Mg, available Cu, Mn and Fe contents were also significantly higher. Organic management lowered the bulk density by 2.3%, improved the water-holding capacity by 28.4% and the porosity of soil by 16.5%. In short, organic farming proved superior and produced 20% higher yield (57.097 t ha−1) over conventional practice (47.609 tha−1). The net profit was 28% higher and an additional income of Indian Rs. 47,716 ha−1 was obtained. Thus organic farming was found to be an eco-friendly management strategy in elephant foot yam for sustainable yield of quality tubers and higher profit besides maintaining soil health. Technologies for organic production involving farmyard manure incubated with bioinoculants, green manuring, neemcake, biofertilizers and ash were also standardized.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Amorphophallus, paeoniifolius, Organic, Conventional, Corm yield, Dry matter, Starch, Oxalate Soil physico-chemical properties . Income
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Root crops
Research affiliation: India
ISSN:ISSN 1774-0746
DOI: 10.1007/s13593-011-0058-5
Deposited By: G., Dr.(Mrs.) Suja
ID Code:27871
Deposited On:28 Jan 2015 14:51
Last Modified:28 Jan 2015 14:52
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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