Significant variation was recorded in various quantitative parameters of the mulberry with the application of various bio-inoculants like phosphate solubilising microorganisms, nitrogen fixing bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The longest shoot length was recorded in T4 (175.43 cm) receiving 350: 140 kg/ha/year N and P along with co-inoculation followed by T6 (172.78 cm) receiving 175: 70 kg/ha/year N and P along with co-inoculation respectively. The treatment T8 receiving 175 kg nitrogen and 70 kg phosphorus/ha/year (with rock phosphate as a source of P) has indicated significantly higher number of shoots per plant (6.43) as compared to T0 control recording only (5.64) number of shoots per plant. Significantly higher number of leaves per shoot was recorded in treatment T8 (27.53) as compared to the rest of the treatments including T0 (26.37) as control. The study also clearly indicated that it is possible to curtail the application of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers in mulberry cultivation to an extent of 25 to 50% without any adverse effect on leaf yield and quality by supplementing nitrogen and phosphorus through the use of nitrogen fixing bacteria Azotobacter, phosphate solubilizing bacteria, fungi and VA-mycorrhiza. The studies on economics of using bio-inoculants in mulberry also indicated that approximately Rs 2000 to 4500 /ha/year can be saved only on the input cost of nitrogen and phosphorus in mulberry cultivation.
Key words: Mulberry, biofertilisers, economics.
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