HomeInternational Rice Research Notesvol. 28 no. 1 (2003)

Managing Pressmud Cake for Nitrogen and Phosphorus Nutrition of Crops in A Rice-Wheat Rotation

Yadvinder Singh | Bijay Singh | R. K. Gupta | C. S. Khind | J. K. Ladha

Discipline: Agriculture



Rice-wheat is a nutrient-exhaustive cropping system that requires heavy inputs of fertilizers to obtain high yields. Application of organic materials to agricultural land has been viewed as an excellent way to recycle nutrients and organic matter that can support crop production and maintain or improve soil quality. Over the years, Asian farmers have used several types of organic materials. One of these is pressmud cake (PMC). PMC is produced annually from India’s sugar industry. PMC is an important byproduct when sugarcane is converted into crystalline sugar using two main processes: carbonation and sulphitation. Carbonation PMC contains high amounts of CaCO3 and is therefore not recommended for alkaline soils. PMC produced from sugar factories using sulphitation contains about 2% N and 1% P, in addition to several other plant nutrients (2.5 g Fe kg–1, 1.5 g Mn kg–1, 0.27 g Zn kg–1, and 0.13 g Cu kg–1) (Kumar and Mishra 1991). This valuable organic material has great potential as a source of nutrients for the rice-wheat system in the Indo-Gangetic Plains. No precise information is available on the availability of N and P from the PMC in the rice-wheat rotation. Similarly, there is a dearth of agronomic strategies for the efficient use of PMC in the ricewheat system.