Sugarcane Cultivation is Highly Profitable with Potato and Mungbean as Successive Intercrops Without Loss in Cane Quality

The experiment was carried out at the Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute (BSRI) farm, Ishurdi, Pabna, Bangladesh in two successive years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 to investigate the profitability of sugarcane (cv. Isd 37) with potato (cv. Cardinal) and mungbean (cv. BINAmung5) as successive intercrops. Row to row spacing of sugarcane were 80 cm (S1), 100 cm (S2) and 120 cm (S3) with 1, 2 and 3 rows of potato followed by same rows of mungbean were intercropped, respectively. For sugarcane cultivation method of BSRI and for intercrops the cultivation systems indicated by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute were followed. To provide more light to intercrops bended leaves of sugarcane were cut at middle (C1) and compared to non-cutting of leaves (C0). The experiment was laid out following randomize complete block design. The cane yield and sugar yield were the highest at 100 cm row to row spacing (RRS) of sugarcane (non-leaf cutting=C0) intercropped with 2 rows (2R) of potato followed by 2R of mungbean (S2C0). The lowest yield of sugarcane was found at 80 RRS (C0) with 1R of potato and 1R of mungbean (S1C0). The effect of light interception on growth and yield of first intercrop (potato) was insignificant but significant for second intercrop. The highest yield of potato tuber was 15.28 t ha-1 in S5 (sole potato) followed by 10.85 t ha-1 in S3C1 (sugarcane under leaf cutting at RRS 120 cm with 3R of potato followed by 3R of mungbean). For the yield of mungbean (2nd intercrop), light interception ratio (%) was significantly lowest in (S3C1 ) where sugarcane RRS was 120 cm with 3R of potato followed by 3R of mungbean under leaf non-cutting (LC0) of sugarcane. The highest adjusted cane yield (170.66 t ha-1), benefit cost ratio (3.49) and LER (2.33) were observed in sugarcane at RRS 120 cm with 3R of potato followed by 3R of mungbean (S3C1). In both the years result indicated that intercrops gave higher land equivalent ratio and net return over sole sugarcane planted while sole sugarcane gave maximum benefit cost ratio compared with other intercrops. Finally on the basis of results it may be concluded that sugarcane transplanted at RRS at 120 cm with 3R potato followed by 3R of mungbean can be grown as intercrops for higher economic return and therefore, might be recommended for high profit earning in AEZ 11 of Bangladesh.

Author(s): Obaidul Islam M and Shariful Islam

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