Effects of organic and inorganic fertilization with bio-inoculants on the sustainable management of plant-parasitic nematodes infesting okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
Root-knot nematodes are believed to be amongst the biological constraints causing severe damage and a great reduction in the productivity of okra. The purpose of this study was to apply organic matter and non-symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria to minimize the addition of chemical fertilizers that constantly pollute the environment. Experimental studies were conducted in the field for two summers to determine the effect of inoculations of non-symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria, such as Azotobacter chroococcum and Azospirillum brasilense singly and in combinations, with different recommended doses of inorganic nitrogen as well as organic matter such as neem seed cake on the growth, yield, and organic parameters of the okra crop towards the management of plant-parasitic nematodes. The results show a significant reduction in nematode multiplication through soil application of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and neem seed cake along with different recommended doses of nitrogen inoculated plants. Azotobacter was found to be less effective than Azospirillum in agronomic parameters and nematode control. The most pronounced increases were observed in the yield and growth parameters such as plant height, fresh as well as dry weights, fruit weights/plant, number of total fruits/plant and primary branches, chlorophyll content, and ascorbic acid content when A. chroococcum and A. brasilense were added concomitantly in various combinations. Agronomic parameters such as NPK content in the plant as well as in residual soil increased considerably in almost all the combinations irrespective of these biofertilizers and neem seed cake. In conclusion, the combined application of a 100% recommended dose of nitrogen fertilizer along with Azospirillum and neem seed cake is recommended for better growth and yield of okra with better control of nematodal population.
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