Nutrient plays major role in sugarcane cultivation. There is no doubt that sugarcane crop needs nutrient because fertilizers are responsible for nearly 50 % of yield in sugarcane.
During early stage of the sugarcane plant (during tillering), from the third to the sixth months after planting, sugarcane needs nutrient. These nutrients are essential for proper crop development.
Growing crops continuously and reducing the use of green manure & organic manure reduces the fertility of the soil.
Generally, fertilizers recommendation vary from state to state depending upon the soil type, crop duration, yield level & irrigation practices. Before fertilizer application, soil test should be done to know about all the soil nutrient deficiencies and corrective measures for achieving optimum yield.
Therefore, before sowing, ploughing should be done by spreading rotted manure of cow dung at the rate of 200 quintal per hectare.
Apart from this, sugarcane crop requires 180-200 kg nitrogen, 60-80 kg phosphorus, 50-60 kg potash and 30 kg sulphur.
Along with this, a mixture of 25 kg of micronutrients should be used per hectare.
Do not mix micronutrients with main nutrients.
Apply one-third quantity of nitrogen and full quantity of phosphorus, potash & sulphur at the time of sowing. Apply two thirds of the remaining nitrogen 2-3 times in the standing crop after irrigation in the evening at appropriate moisture.
On light textured soil, iron deficiency generally appears on sugarcane. Spray 1 % solution of ferrous sulphate, 2 or 3 times at weekly intervals.
Application of Azospirillum is also beneficial to the crop as it gives atmospheric nitrogen to the sugarcane crop.
As sugarcane is a long duration crop, it has huge biomass production potential demands i.e. large amount of water, nutrients & sunlight.
In tropical states, the doses of fertilizers are generally higher than that of subtropical states.