HomeCropEnhancing Sugarcane Yield And Sustainability Through Integrated Nutrient Management (INM)

Enhancing Sugarcane Yield And Sustainability Through Integrated Nutrient Management (INM)

Are you worried about the depleting fertility of your soil? Have you noticed a decline in your crop’s productivity?  

If so, it’s time to take action and restore the health of your soil to secure the long-term success of your sugarcane farm. Sugarcane is known for being an exhaustive crop, depleting vital soil nutrients. The continuous cultivation of sugarcane, coupled with imbalanced and exclusive use of inorganic fertilizers, has led to this situation. This poses a significant threat to the long-term productivity of your soil, ultimately impacting your farm’s profitability. 

Don’t worry! The solution you’ve been seeking is here: Integrated Nutrient Management (INM). Discover the power of INM for higher yields and superior crop quality. 

Why INM? 

  • INM ensures that your sugarcane plants receive a balanced supply of essential nutrients, meeting their specific requirements for optimal growth and development. 
  • Incorporating organic manures and biofertilizers improves soil fertility, enhancing nutrient availability and nutrient-holding capacity. 
  • Promotes sustainable agricultural practices by reducing reliance on synthetic fertilizers, minimizing environmental pollution and maintaining long-term soil health. 
  • The use of organic amendments in an integrated approach promotes carbon sequestration in the soil, contributing to climate change mitigation. 
  • Proper nutrient management enhances the resilience of sugarcane plants against pests and diseases. 

Integrated Nutrient Management for Sugarcane 

Bulky Organic Manures

Apply 4 – 6 tons of Farmyard manure (FYM) / compost or 2 tons of composted press mud for 1 acre field at the time of ploughing.  

Green Manures

Green manure crops can be utilized in INM in 2 ways; 

  1. Seeds of green manure crops such as dhaincha or sunhemp can be sown in the field and allowed to grow for up to 40 days. Then, it can be incorporated into the field using rotavator. Sugarcane can be planted in that field. This increases the nitrogen content of the soil and will make crop grow lush green. 
  2. They can also be grown as an intercrop and incorporated into the field after 30 – 45 days after sowing. Give earthing up partially after applying N fertilizer 90 days after planting. 


Apply 4 kg of Azospirillum or Phosphobacteria mixed with required quantity of compost or FYM for 1 acre field in two equal splits at 30 and 60 days after planting.  

Trash Mulching

Apply a layer of cane trash uniformly across the ridges, ensuring a thickness of 10 cm, within one week of planting. It can be applied at the rate of 2 – 4 tons per acre. As the trash decomposes, it releases nutrients that enhance soil fertility. This also helps in the conservation of soil moisture, weed control and reduce shoot borer incidence. 

Inorganic Fertilizers Application

For Northern zones: The general dose of NPK fertilizers is 60:32:24 kg/acre. 

Fertilizer  Basal  30 DAP  60 DAP  90 DAP  120 DAP 
Urea*    32.5 kg  32.5 kg  32.5 kg  32.5 kg 
SSP  200 kg         
MOP    10 kg  10 kg  10 kg  10 kg 

*DAP – Days after Planting; SSP – Single super phosphate; MOP – Muriate of Potash 

For Southern zones: The general dose of NPK recommendation is 120:40:49 kg/acre. 

Fertilizer  Basal  30 DAP  60 DAP  90 DAP  120 DAP 
Urea*    65 kg  65 kg  65 kg  65 kg 
SSP  250 kg         
MOP    20.5 kg  20.5 kg  20.5 kg  20.5 kg 

*DAP – Days after Planting; SSP – Single super phosphate; MOP – Muriate of Potash 

Micronutrient Application

Micronutrient Fertilizer  Dosage (per acre) 
Zinc Sulphate  8 – 12 kg 
Ferrous Sulphate  10 kg 
Manganese Sulphate  4 kg 
Copper Sulphate  1 kg 
Borax  2 kg 

When you observe deficiency symptoms of micronutrients in plants, give foliar application of the required fertilizers at 15 days interval till the deficiency symptoms disappear. 

  • For Zn deficiency: Spray Zn EDTA 12% at 0.5 gm per lit water + 1% Urea. 
  • For Fe deficiency: Spray Fe EDTA 12% at 3 gm per lit of water + 1% Urea. 
  • For Cu deficiency; Spray Cu EDTA 12% at 0.5 gm per liter of water. 

(Or) Spray Dow Micronutrient mix at 1 – 2 gm per liter of water to correct Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, B and Mo deficiency. 


  1. Always take soil test before cultivation of sugarcane to know the required amount of nutrients to the soil. If in case it is not taken, follow the blanket recommendation given above. 
  2. *Neem cake blended urea: To enhance the efficiency of urea, blend it with neem cake powder in a ratio of 4:1. To blend the Neem Cake, powder the necessary amount and thoroughly mix it with urea, allowing it to rest for 24 hours. 
  3. It is advisable to apply the mixture of urea and potash fertilizer in holes of 10 cm depth at intervals of 15 cm spacing on the sides of the plant rows. 
  4. Follow crop rotation of sugarcane plant – ratoon followed by maize, paddy, banana, turmeric, tapioca or vegetables. 
  5. Mix micro-nutrient fertilizers with well decomposed dung manure or compost and apply them as a basal dose in the furrows. 

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