An assessment study was conducted in five sugarcane yielding blocks of theni district viz., Jeyamangalam, P.C.Patti, Chinnamanur, Andipatti and Usilampatti.The cane yielding zones of the district was classified into three categories viz., low yielding (less than 75 t ha-1), medium (75 to 100 t ha-1) and high yielding (more than 100 t ha-1). The key physico-chemical and biological indicators of soil were assessed in the surface (0-15 cm) and subsurface (15-30 cm) soils samples of each zone. The indicators assessed in the low cane yielding zone reflected slightly acidic pH (6.70), lower CEC (11.9 cmol (p+) kg-1) and low organic carbon (0.14 percent). The positive effects of soil physico - chemical and biological indicators on the sugarcane yield was well proved through the yield data of the high yielding zone. Almost 93 percent of the farms surveyed in the high yielding zone registered an average cane yield of 120 t ha-1. This may be attributed to a neutral pH of 7.21, non-saline soil with an average EC of 0.36 dSm-1, maximum organic carbon status (0.59 percent) and higher range of soil Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) (20 to 58.0 cmol (p+)kg-1) which resulted in maximum cane productivity. It was concluded that application of organic matter, amendments rich in calcium and magnesium in acidic soil and application of gypsum and other amendments rich in sulphur in alkali soils of low cane yielding zone can maximize productivity of sugarcane.
Biological indicator, Physicochemical indicators, Soil quality, Sugarcane productivity
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