Free access | Research Article

Water productivity and profitability of melon based cropping system under drip fertigation and polyethylene mulching

Anbumani S, R Nagarajan, B.J Pandian

Published on: 27 Dec 2017 | Volume: 4, Issue: 4 | Pages: 1-8 |

Farmers participatory research were conducted melon based cropping system with water melon and muskmelon in 20 hectare area during 2011-12 with an objective to study the water productivity and profitability of growing three melon crops under drip fertigation with polyethylene mulching. Field experiments were conducted at farmers field in Nolambur (Olakkur block and Vadanerkunam (Marakkanam block) Villupuram district of TamilNadu state. The results indicated that yield and quality characters of melons were significantly higher under drip fertigation coupled with mulching practice as compared to drip fertigation alone and or conventional irrigation method. In the first crop (watermelon) recorded highest fruit yield of 38.6 t ha-1 under drip fertigation coupled with polyethylene mulching (T3) as compared to either drip fertigation alone (T2) (31.1 t ha-1) and or farmer practice of furrow irrigation (T1) (21.8t ha-1). Similar trend was followed in second crop (Muskmelon) and third crop (Watermelon Ice box).In three-crop sequence, recorded highest cumulative fruit yield of 136t ha-1, which was 56 per cent yield advantage over the drip fertigation alone. In comparison with the conventional irrigation the yield advantage is more that 247per cent. The cumulative annual crop field analysis indicated that among the treatments drip fertigation combined with polyethylene mulching has increased the annual cost of production that increased the net profit to the maximum level of Rs. 7.59 lakhs ha-1.For the three crops 401 mm of water used under drip fertigation coupled with mulching, the saving was around 88.5 per cent over control and 34.8 per cent over drip fertigation alone.