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International Journal of Scientific Research in Knowledge, 2(5), pp. 233-240, 2014 Available online at http://www.ijsrpub.

com/ijsrk ISSN: 2322-4541; 2014 IJSRPUB http://dx.doi.org/10.12983/ijsrk-2014-p0233-0240

Full Length Research Paper Impact of Organic Amendments and Inorganic Fertilizers on Production Potential, Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Nitrogen Balance in Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.)
Ranjit Chatterjee1*, Subhendu Bandyopadhyay2, Jagadish Chandra Jana1
1

Department of Vegetable and Spice Crops, 2Department of Agronomy, Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pundibari, Cooch Behar-736165(W.B), INDIA *Corresponding Author: ranchat22@rediffmail.com
Received 29 January 2014; Accepted 15 April 2014

Abstract. Tomato plant demands adequate plant nutrients especially nitrogen for optimum growth and yield. Amount of dry matter produced per unit of nitrogen applied or absorbed can be judged by estimating the nitrogen use efficiency of different nutrient sources used for tomato cultivation. The present experiment was aimed to examine the effect of 15 different combinations of organic and inorganic nutrient sources on growth and yield attributes, nitrogen use efficiency and soil nitrogen balance. The result revealed that tomato growth and yield attributes as well as different parameters of nitrogen use efficiency (PFP, AE, PUE and AR) were remarkably influenced by the application of different sources of nutrients. Substitution of 25% of recommended fertilizer dose was possible when higher amount of organic manures and biofertilizer were combined together. Vermicompost emerged as better organic nutrient source over farmyard manure. Inoculation with biofertilizer exerted more positive result over uninoculated treatments and benefits of biofertilizer application were prominent in presence of vermicompost. The nutrient schedule comprising of 75% recommended fertilizer dose of inorganic fertilizers and vermicompost (4 t/ha) inoculated with biofertilizer was found best for growth, yield attributes as well as the NUE parameters and soil nitrogen balance. This should be practiced to achieve desired yield, nutrient use efficiency and sustaining the fertility and productivity of soil. Keywords: Inorganic fertilizers, nitrogen efficiency, organic amendments, tomato

1. INTRODUCTION India is the second largest producer of vegetables just after China in the world and contributed 14% of world production where tomato occupied an area of 0.87 million ha with 16.83 million metric ton production covering 11.5% of total vegetable production (Annonymous, 2011). Tomato is a high input responsive crop and demands adequate nitrogen throughout growth period. However indiscriminate application of chemical fertilizers tends to hamper the crop productivity and quality, deteriorating the soil health and makes the plant susceptible to pests and diseases. Excess use of nitrogenous fertilizers encourages nitrate accumulation in fruits and ground water pollution. With the changing scenario, recent years have witnessed a renewed interest for sustainable crop production with greater emphasis on application of organic amendments supplementing the chemical fertilizers. Organic amendments act as a store house of plant nutrients.

They played direct role in supplying macro and micro nutrients and indirectly in improving the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil (Palaniappan and Siddeswaran, 1994). However, different authors reviewed that the complete substitution of inorganic fertilizers by organic amendments is not possible to fulfill the large crop nutrient demand particularly crops like tomato. Therefore, it is inevitable to frame out a strategy for judicious combination of sources of nutrients, which will not only augment the efficiency of both the sources but will also minimize the ill effect of over use of chemicals. Several workers reviewed the significant role of organic amendments particularly farmyard manure, vermicompost and biofertilizer in influencing the soil properties and enhancing the yield and quality of different vegetable crops like brinjal (Naidu et al., 2002), chilli (Patil and Biradar, 2002), spinach (Peyvast et al., 2008) and tomato (Das et al., 2008). However under acid soil of eastern Himalayan region the nutrient use efficiency of different organic

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nutrient sources in conjugation with inorganic fertilizers on frontier vegetables like tomato is still very meager. The goal of the present study was to evaluate diverse nutrient source for tomato growth and yield performance and to identify the best nutrient combination for maximizing production potential and nitrogen use efficiency of the applied nutrients. The soil nitrogen balance was also worked out to determine the sustainability of the production system. 2. MATERIALS AND METHODS 2.1. Experimental site and materials The field experiment was conducted during winter season (November to March) of 2005-06 and 2006-07 at the University farm of Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pundibari, CoochBehar, West Bengal, India (89o2353 E longitude and 26o1986 N latitude). The area is characterized by high rainfall (2100 to 3300 mm/annum), high relative humidity, moderate temperature (minimum of 7-8oC to maximum of 24-33.2oC), prolonged winter with high residual soil moisture. The temperature range of this area varies from minimum of 7-8 oC to maximum of 24-33.2oC. The annual rainfall ranges between 2100 to 3300 mm, 80% of which is received through southwest monsoon during July-September. The soil was sandy loam (61, 20, 18% sand, silt and clay respectively) in texture and slight acidic in reaction (pH 5.71). The initial soil organic carbon was 0.83% and available N, P, K contents were 154.28, 21.17 and 124.48 kg/ha respectively. 2.2. Treatments The treatment consisted of 15 combinations of different nutrient sources and was laid out in randomized block design (RBD) with three replications. The treatments were selected for sole and combined application of varied levels of vermicompost (VC) and farmyard manure (FYM) along with 100% and 75% of recommended dose of inorganic fertilizers in presence and absence of biofertilizer along with a control (no manure or fertilizer). The combinations were T1- Control ; T2100% Recommended Dose Fertilizer (RDF) (100:60:60 kg N P K /ha) ; T3-100% RDF + 6 tonnes FYM /ha + biofertilizer ; T4-100% RDF + 2 tonnes VC /ha + biofertilizer ; T5-100% RDF + 3 tonnes FYM /ha + 1 ton VC /ha + biofertilizer ; T6 -75% RDF + 6 tonnes FYM /ha ; T7 -75% RDF + 6 tonnes FYM/ha + biofertilizer ; T8 -75% RDF + 2 tonnes VC /ha ; T9 -75% RDF + 2 tonnes VC /ha + biofertilizer ; T10-75% RDF + 3 tonnes FYM/ha + 1ton VC /ha + biofertilizer ; T11 - 75% RDF + 12 tonnes FYM /ha ;

T12-75% RDF +12 tonnes FYM /ha+ biofertilizer ; T13 -75% RDF + 4 tonnes VC /ha ; T14-75% RDF + 4 tonnes VC /ha + biofertilizer and T15 -75% RDF + 6 tonnes FYM /ha + 2 tonnes VC /ha + biofertilizer. The recommended dose of inorganic fertilizers 100: 60: 60 kg N P K/ha were applied as per treatment combination. Full doses of P and K and half N were applied just before transplanting and remaining half N was applied after 4 weeks of transplanting. Inorganic fertilizers were applied in the form of urea (N-46%), single super phosphate (P-16%) and muriate of potash (K-60%) respectively. Full dose of P and K along with half N were applied as basal and rest N was top dressed at two equal splits of 30 and 45 days after transplanting. The biofertilizer- Azophos containing Azotobacter and Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria (PSB) with standard microbial population was used in the experiment. The biofertilizer were applied just before transplanting as seedling root dipping at 250 g/litre of water using rice gruel as adhesive. Pusa Ruby is an open pollinated tomato variety having indeterminate growth habit with small to medium sized mild acidic uniform red flattish round fruits was taken for the study. Healthy seedlings were raised in the nursery beds during first week of October and 5 weeks old seedlings were transplanted in the main field during mid November in 3.75 m x 3.75 m plots with a spacing of 75 cm within and between rows for both the years. The crop was raised adopting standard cultural practices. The observations were recorded on ten randomly selected plants from each plot on different growth attributes and yield characters (Table 1).The use efficiency of applied nitrogen was worked out in terms of partial factor of productivity (PFP), agronomic efficiency (AE), physiological use efficiency (PUE) and apparent recovery (AR) by employing the following formula used by Dua et al.(2009) and Sharma and Banik (2012). PFP ( kg dry fruits/kg N applied) = Yf/Na AE ( kg dry fruits/kg N applied) = (Yf Yc)/Na PUE (kg dry fruits/kg N applied) = (Yf Yc)/(Nupf Nupc)

Where Yf = dry fruit yield (t/ha) from fertilized plot ; Yc = dry fruit yield (t/ha) from control plot ; Na= amount of N applied (kg/ha) ; Nupf = nitrogen uptake (kg/ha) in fertilized plot and Nupc = nitrogen uptake (kg/ha) in control plot. While computing the above indices the amount of nitrogen added through fertilizers as well as through farmyard manure and vermicompost were considered. The mean N (on dry matter basis) and dry matter content of farmyard manure was 0.78% and 34.20% where as for

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vermicompost 2.12% and 42.40% respectively. The initial surface (20 cm) soil samples were collected prior to the layout of the treatments to access the initial fertility status of the soil. Soil samples were also drawn after harvest for studying the post harvest fertility of soil. The collected soil samples were dried, powered and sieved for chemical analysis. The available nitrogen in the soil was estimated by modified Macro Kjeldahl method (Jackson, 1967). The total uptake of nitrogen was worked out from the dry matter production and estimated nitrogen content of dry fruits and plant residues (Tandon, 1999). Nitrogen balance sheet was worked out by comparing
Treatments* Plant height (cm) 60 DAT T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12 T13 T14 T15 S.Em () CD(P=0.05) 29.43 60.56 53.44 56.63 55.21 40.65 41.92 44.27 44.42 45.27 45.81 47.65 48.22 50.44 48.74 1.48 3.94 105 DAT 47.68 77.24 82.42 87.12 84.37 80.21 82.37 83.48 86.27 84.59 86.88 87.34 89.26 93.38 91.78 1.60 4.52 Primary branches/ plant 4.28 8.29 11.27 13.20 12.60 10.16 10.56 11.37 12.28 11.65 13.10 14.09 15.47 17.10 16.12 0.94 2.66

the applied nitrogen and total removal of nitrogen by the different treatment combination. 2.3. Statistical analysis The observations recorded from different treatments were subjected to statistical analysis by adopting the randomized block design (RBD) as per method suggested by Panse and Sukhatme (2000). The data for individual year was used for pooled analysis over two years and the mean were compared at 0.05 level for statistical significance (Gomez and Gomez, 1984).

Table 1: Effect of different nutrient sources on growth and yield attributes of tomato
Days to first picking 97.34 91.68 87.28 84.31 85.79 83.69 82.26 81.21 79.52 80.34 80.57 80.31 79.47 77.81 81.34 1.97 2.66 No. of fruits/ plant 21.78 33.41 38.87 40.37 39.50 36.24 36.96 37.42 38.74 37.79 41.29 41.84 43.92 47.39 45.54 1.72 4.86 Fruit weight (g) 39.16 41.27 48.51 51.17 50.21 45.34 46.83 47.36 49.57 47.91 51.86 53.41 56.12 59.48 57.64 1.80 5.09 Fruit yield/ plant (kg) 0.83 1.13 1.52 1.58 1.54 1.34 1.36 1.40 1.51 1.46 1.61 1.64 1.68 1.89 1.74 0.08 0.21 Fresh fruit yield (t/ha) 6.84 15.42 21.67 22.20 21.89 19.68 20.23 20.89 21.48 21.13 22.76 23.82 24.26 26.14 24.83 0.98 2.77

*Treatment details are given in the text; S.Em- Standard error of the mean; CD-Critical difference

3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 3.1. Growth attributes The observation recorded (Table 1) on plant height at 60 days after transplanting (DAT) revealed that the treatment N100P60K60 recorded maximum plant height (60.56 cm) and was at par with the treatment N100P60K60 + VC (2 t/ha) + biofertilizer. In contrast, the treatments involving combination of inorganic, organic and biological sources of nutrients recorded lower plant height at this stage. At 105 DAT, unlike 60 DAT the plant height showed significant differences and the treatments combining inorganic, organic and biological sources of nutrients recorded significantly taller plants compared to control and N100P60K60. The highest plant height (93.38 cm) was recorded for the treatment N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer which was 45% and 17% higher over control and N100P60K60 respectively. The enhancement of plant height with 100% inorganic fertilizers at 60

DAT may be due to the direct effect of higher amount of inorganic nitrogen, which is an integral part of protein and chlorophyll molecules. In case of number of primary branches, the treatment comprising of N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer recorded highest number of primary branches (17.10) which was at par with the treatments N75P45K45 + FYM (6 t/ha) + VC (2 t/ha) + biofertilizer (16.12) and N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) (15.47). Dass et al. (2008) recorded maximum number of primary branches (14.70) of Navjyoti tomato with 50% of N120P75K100 along with VC (5 t/ha), whereas Patil et al. (2004) observed minimum number of primary branches (8.10) of Parbhani Yashshri tomato for sole N100P50K50. The data on days to first picking showed statistically significant differences among control, sole inorganic fertilizers and combined use of different sources of nutrient. Integration of different nutrient sources significantly reduced the maturity days compared to control or N100P60K60. The earliest picking of fruits (77.81 days) was recorded for

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N75P45K45 + VC (4t/ha) + biofertilizer which was 16% and 15% advancement over the control and N100P60K60 respectively. Earliness in fruit picking in vermicompost loaded treatments could be attributed to enhanced vegetative growth coupled with adequate reserved food material which facilitated early differentiation of vegetative buds, flowering and subsequently early harvesting of fruits. The result clearly showed that organic amendment along with reduced level of inorganic fertilizers performed better
Treatments* T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12 T13 T14 T15 A 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 154.28 B 0.00 100.00 116.00 117.98 116.99 91.00 91.00 92.98 92.98 91.99 107.00 107.00 110.96 110.96 108.98 C 28.73 50.61 71.52 82.69 78.53 67.44 70.17 73.13 77.62 76.43 88.32 92.44 95.11 110.27 96.87

over individual application of 100% inorganic fertilizers for all the growth attributes. Again, among the organic manures vermicompost emerged as better growth medium over farmyard manure. Addition of biofertilizer under reduced inorganic fertilizers and higher organic manures showed significant positive results over uninoculated treatments. Significant positive influence of vermicompost on tomato growth attributes was previously reported by Federico et al. (2007) and Samawat et al. (2001).
D 114.63 147.38 156.43 161.32 159.23 152.21 160.27 158.16 164.2 161.52 166.24 168.38 169.26 174.45 172.31 E= (A+B)-C 125.55 203.67 198.76 189.57 192.74 177.84 175.11 174.13 169.64 169.84 172.96 168.84 170.13 154.97 166.39 F= D-A -39.65 -6.9 2.15 7.04 4.95 -2.07 5.99 3.88 9.92 7.24 11.96 14.1 14.98 20.17 18.03 G= D-E -10.92 -56.29 -42.33 -28.25 -33.51 -25.63 -14.84 -15.97 -5.44 -8.32 -6.72 -0.46 -0.87 19.48 5.92

Table 2: Soil nitrogen balance as influence by different nutrient sources

A: Initial soil N (kg/ha); B: Applied N(kg/ha); C: N Uptake by plants (kg/ha); D: Available soil N after tomato harvest; E: Expected soil N balance (kg/ha); F: Actual soil N gain/loss (kg/ha);G: Apparent soil N gain/loss(kg/ha). *Treatment details are given in the text.

3.2. Yield attributes and yield The yield attributing characters were significantly influenced by combined application of inorganic, organic and biological sources of nutrients. The results (Table 1) indicated that 75% of recommended inorganic fertilizers along with higher amount of organic manures have exerted significantly influence and surpassed the treatments having sole 100% inorganic fertilizers combination. Application of N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer resulted in maximum number of fruits per plant (47.39), average fruit weight (59.48 g), highest fruit yield per plant (1.89 kg) as well as per hectare (26.14 ton).This treatment recorded 54% and 30% more number of fruits, 34% and 31% higher fruit weight and 57% and 40% greater fruit yield per plant over control and N100P60K60 respectively. The findings suggested that irrespective of treatments, reduction of 25% of recommended inorganic fertilizers is possible only when higher amount of organic manures and biofertilizer were combined. The results further revealed that among the 75% inorganic fertilizers treatment combination, yield attributes were significantly influenced by the form and level of the

organic manures and higher levels of vermicompost emerged as better growth medium over higher levels of farmyard manure. The increase of farmyard manure level from 6 t/ha (T6) to 12 t/ha (T11) recorded 12% more number of fruits, 13% higher fruit weight and 17% greater fruit yield per plant, whereas increasing the vermicompost level from 2 t/ha (T8) to 4 t/ha (T13) recorded 15% more number of fruits, 16% higher fruit weight and 17% greater fruit yield per plant. This can be attributed that the humic acid and humic substances of vermicompost might have enhanced the soil physical condition by exerting the fulvic acids that have positive impact on nitrogen mineralization and mobilization and helped in solubilizing the reserved mineral substances which subsequently resulted in greater uptake of plant nutrients and make them available throughout the growth period of the plant. Again within the vermicompost treated plants, inoculation with biofertilizer (T14) have recorded 7% more number of fruits, 6% higher fruit weight and 11% greater fruit yield per plant, over the uninoculated treatment T13 (N75P45K45 + 4 t/ha VC).Which suggests secretion of certain growth promoting substances by bacterial inoculants and

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increased availability of nitrogen that might have led to better root development, uptake and transportation of water and nutrients and resulted in enhanced fruit production in tomato (Chatterjee, 2009). Significant positive influence of vermicompost on tomato fruit yield was earlier report by Chanda et al. (2011). 3.3. Nitrogen use efficiency 3.3.1. Partial factor of productivity The partial factor of productivity of applied nitrogen (Fig. 1A) was increased gradually with the application of higher amount of organic manures. The highest value (18.85 kg dry fruit /kg N applied) was observed for N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer, which was 59% higher over the sole chemical fertilizers (N100P60K60). Similarly plots fertilized with a combination of N75P45K45 + FYM (6 t/ha) + VC (2 t/ha) + biofertilizer and N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) were also recorded 52% and 50% respectively higher value of partial factor of productivity over N100P60K60. The result indicated that application of higher amount of organic amendment can efficiently transform the applied nitrogen to economic yield. It further showed that inoculation of biofertilizer had marked effect on partial factor of productivity and higher amount of vermicompost imparted more positive result over farmyard manure. 3.3.2. Agronomic efficiency Agronomic efficiency (Fig. 1B) varied remarkably with the source of nutrients and showed an increasing trend with increased level of organic manures. Maximum agronomic efficiency (15.76 kg dry fruit /kg N applied) was recorded when plants were treated with N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer and the magnitude of enhancement for this treatment was 73% over N100P60K60. In contrast, the lowest agronomic efficiency (4.29 kg dry fruit /kg N) by N100P60K60 indicated decreased response of applied nitrogen towards economic yield of tomato. The result further revealed that reduced rate of inorganic nitrogen along with lower level of organic manures failed to improve the agronomic efficiency of tomato, but increased level of organic manures enhanced the agronomic efficiency under reduced level of inorganic nitrogen. Among different organic manures, biofertilizer inoculation with vermicompost had marked influence over farmyard manure on agronomic efficiency of tomato. Under 75% of inorganic fertilizers treatment combination, biofertilizer inoculation with highest level of vermicompost (T14) recorded 21% improvement in agronomic efficiency over the highest level farmyard manure (T12). This could be due to

optimum availability of N as per crop demand and reduced N loss leading to efficient uptake and utilization of applied nitrogen (Singh et al., 2009). 3.3.3. Physiological use efficiency The physiological use efficiency (Fig. 1C) of different treatment showed remarkable variation with the nutrient combination and the treatments where N was substituted through vermicompost was found superior over farmyard manure in presence of biofertilizer. The highest value of PUE (21.45) was recorded for the treatment N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer combining which was 9% higher over sole application of chemical fertilizers. The superior value of physiological efficiency under higher organic manure combination could be the result of higher yield under higher organic manure containing treatments, which reflected the better conversion of source to sink by these treatments. 3.3.4. Apparent recovery The apparent recovery(Fig. 1D) showed an increasing trend with the increased level of nitrogen application through organic manures and the highest apparent recovery (73.49%) was found for the treatment N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer. The increased apparent recovery is the expression of nitrogen uptake by the fertilized plants rather than the amount of nitrogen applied. Added organic manures not only acted as source of nitrogen but also influenced their availability. The result showed that under reduced inorganic fertilizers in combination where N was substituted through higher amount of vermicompost recorded higher values of apparent recovery compared to the treatments where N was substituted through higher amount of farmyard manure. Improvement in apparent recovery in presence of vermicompost may be attributed to better nutritional environment in the crop root zone that might have enhanced the availability of nitrogen to the plant and converted the applied nitrogen in to economic yield more efficiently as compared to farmyard manure.

3.3.5. Nitrogen balance sheet The nitrogen balance sheet was worked out (Table 2) by comparing the applied nitrogen and total removal of nitrogen by the different treatment combination and the result showed remarkable variation among the treatments. The magnitude of residual available nitrogen in the soil significantly improved with addition of higher levels of organic amendments. Uptake of nitrogen by tomato plants under different

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nutrient combination varied from 28.73 Kg/ha to 110.27 kg/ha. Application of N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer registered the highest available nitrogen (174.45 kg /ha) where as control plot showed lowest available nitrogen (114.63 kg/ha). The increased availability of nitrogen under combined nutrient sources could be attributed to favourable soil environment which enhanced the process of mineralization resulted in higher uptake of nitrogen by the plants. With increasing level of organic amendments removal of nitrogen was increased for most of the treatments. This may be due to the favourable soil environment in presence of organic amendments which ensures continuous supply of nutrients (Singh, 2001). The nitrogen balance (applied uptake) was found positive under all the treatments. The highest nitrogen balance was observed for the treatment N100P60K60.The readily available nitrogen through inorganic fertilizer might have increased the available nitrogen status of the soil. Incorporation higher vermicompost in presence of biofertilizer (N75P45K45 + VC (4 t/ha) + biofertilizer) resulted highest actual and apparent N gain where as control plots and sole 100% chemical fertilizers (N100P60K60) recorded maximum actual loss and apparent loss of nitrogen respectively. 4. CONCLUSION The findings suggested that nutrient source have significant role on crop growth, yield and different parameters of nitrogen use efficiency (PFP, AE, PUE and AR). Substitution of 25% of recommended fertilizers dose was possible when higher amount of organic manures and biofertilizer were combined together. Vermicompost emerged as better organic nutrient source over farmyard manure. Inoculation with biofertilizer exerted more positive result over uninoculated treatments and benefits of biofertilizer application were more in presence of vermicompost. The nutrient schedule comprising of 75% recommended fertilizer dose of inorganic fertilizers and vermicompost (4 t/ha) inoculated with biofertilizer was found best for growth, yield attributes and fruit yield as well as the NUE parameters and soil nitrogen balance. This should be practiced to achieve desired yield, nutrient use efficiency and sustaining the fertility and productivity of soil. REFERENCES Anonymous (2011). Indian Horticulture Data base 2011.National Horticultural Board, Govt. of India, Gurgaon, India.

Barani P, Anburani AA (2004). Influence of vermicomposting on major nutrients in bhendi var. Arka Anamika. South Indian Horticulture, 52 (1/6): 170-174. Chanda G C, Bhunia G, Chakraborty S K (2011). The effect of vermicompost and other fertilizers on cultivation of tomato plants. Journal of Horticulture and Forestry, 3 (2): 42-45. Chatterjee R (2009). Production of vermicompost from vegetable wastes and its effect on integrated nutrient management of vegetable production. PhD thesis, Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pundibari, Coochbehar, West Bengal, India. Dass A, Lenka NK, Sudhishri S, Patnaik US (2008). Influence of integrated nutrient management on production, economics and soil properties in tomato under on farm condition in eastern ghat of Orissa. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 78 (1): 40-43. Dua VK, Lal SS, Govindakrishnan PM (2009). Nutrient requirement of french bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in potato (Solanum tuberosum)-french bean intercropping. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 79 (5): 329-333. Federico A, Gutierrez M, Jorge BS, Joaquin AMM, Camerino CN, Miguel AA, Maria AOL, Reiner RR, Dendooven L (2007). Vermicompost as a soil supplement to improve growth, yield and fruit quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Bioresource Technology, 98 : 27812786. Gomez AK, Gomez AA (1984). Statistical procedures for agricultural research. A Wiley inter-science publication, John Wiley and sons, New York. Gupta AK, Pankaj PK, Upadhyaya V (2008). Effect of vermicompost, farm yard manure, biofertilizer and chemical fertilizers (NPK) on growth, yield and quality of Abelmoschus esculentus. Pollution Research, 27(1): 65-68. Jackson ML (1967). Soil chemical analysis, Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, India. Naidu AK, Kushwah SS, Dwivedi Y (2002). Influence of organic manures, chemical and biofertilizers on growth yield and economics of brinjal. South Indian Horticulture, 50 (4/6):370-376. Palaniappan S P, Siddeswaran K (1994). Integrated nutrients management in rice based cropping systems. Proceedings of the XIII National Symposium on integrated input management for efficient crop production, February 22-25, 1994, TNAU, Coimbatore, India, 41-53. Panse VG, Sukhatme PV (2000). Statistical methods for agricultural workers. ICAR Publications, New Delhi, India.

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Patil KB, Biradar DP (2002). Nutrient uptake of chilli as influenced by plant population and integrated nutrients levels in vertisols. Journal of Maharashtra Agricultural Universities, 26(3):337-339. Peyvast G, Olfati JA, Madeni S, Forghani A (2008). Effect of vermicompost on the growth and yield of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment, 6 (1): 110113. Samawat S, Lakzian A, Zamir-Pour A (2001).The effect of vermicompost on growth characteristics of tomato. Agricultural Sciences and Technology, 15(2): 83-89.

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Dr. Ranjit Chatterjee is an Assistant Professor (senior scale) and involved in teaching (UG, M.Sc. and Ph.D.), research and extension activities in the field of vegetable and spice crops for last 12 years. He obtained his Ph.D. in Vegetable and Spice Crops from UBKV, West Bengal, India. His current research is focused on organic vegetable production with special emphasis on nutrient management through vermicompost from vegetable crop residues. He has published more than 35 research papers in reputed journals and a number of technical bulletins and popular articles on vegetable crops. He also engaged in guiding students for M.Sc. and Ph.D. thesis work on vegetable and spice crops.

Dr. Subhendu Bandyopadhyay is presently working as Assistant Professor (senior scale) in the Department of Agronomy of Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, CoochBehar, West Bengal, India. Dr.Bandyopadhyay received his doctoral degree from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, West Bengal in the year 2000. He has published over 30 refereed articles in professional journals and guided several students for M.Sc. and Ph.D. thesis work in the discipline of Agronomy. He has standardized the protocol for vermicompost and several enriched compost production in North Bengal condition of India. Dr Bandyopadhyays fields of expertises are agrometeorology and resource conservation technology.

Dr. Jagadish Chandra Jana is Associate Professor and Head in the Department of Vegetable and Spice Crops, Faculty of Horticulture, Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya. Dr. Jana received his Ph.D in Vegetable Crops from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya,West Bengal in 1998. He has guided several students for MSc. and PhD degree programme and published numerous research papers in reputed journals and a number of technical bulletins, popular articles and extension bulletins on vegetable crops. Dr Janas fields of expertises are vegetable breeding and seed production, indigenous and exotic vegetables and nutritional qualities of vegetables.

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