Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour established on 5th August, 2010 is a basic and strategic institution supporting more than 500 researchers and educationist towards imparting education at graduate and post graduate level, conducting basic, strategic, applied and adaptive research activities, ensuring effective transfer of technologies and capacity building of farmers and extension personnel. The university has 6 colleges (5 Agriculture and 1 Horticulture) and 12 research stations spread in 3 agro-ecological zones of Bihar. The University also has 21 KVKS established in 20 of the 25 districts falling under the jurisdiction of the University. The degree programmes of the university and its colleges have been accredited by ICAR in 2015-16. The university is also an ISO 9000:2008 certified organisation with International standard operating protocols for maintaining highest standards in teaching, research, extension and training.VisionThe Bihar Agricultural University was established with the objective of improving quality of life of people of state especially famers constituting more than two third of the population. Having set ultimate goal of benefitting society at large, the university intends to achieve it by imparting word-class need based agricultural education, research, extension and public service.
(Department of Agronomy, BAU, Sabour, 2015) Kumar, Rohit
A field experiment was carried out C6 block at Bihar Agricultural College Farm, Sabour, Bhagalpur during rabi season 2011-12 to study the effect of hydrogel on growth and yield of maize well as on soil properties, water productivity and the economics of applying hydrogel in maize. The experiment was conducted in split plot design, replicated thrice. The treatments comprised of two main plot treatments i.e. two sources of hydrogel, Stockosorb and Pusa gel and six sub-plot treatments having doses of hydrogel i.e. control, 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150 % recommended dose of hydrogel. Rabi maize is a crop having high water requirement with short interval in its reproductive phase. Water saving technology through hydrogel is very useful in achieving higher productivity and profitability of maize. Hydrogel (Super absorbent polymer) is a water retaining, biodegradable, amorphous polymer which can absorb and retain water at least 400 times of its original weight and make at least 95 per cent of stored water available for crop absorption. When it is mixed with the soil, it forms an amorphous gelatinous mass on hydration and is capable for retaining it for longer period in soil and releasing water slowly as per crop root demand. The soil of the experimental plot was silty loam, neutral pH (7.3), low in organic carbon (0.48%) and available nitrogen (117.1 kg ha-1), medium in available phosphate (34.2 kg ha-1) and potash (187.8 kg ha-1). Sources of hydrogel did not affect significantly the moisture content in plant at flowering, plant growth parameters viz; plant height, number of leaves, dry matter production, leaf area index, crop growth rate, relative growth rate and net assimilation rate at periodic stages, yield attributes like number of grains, number of rows, girth of cob, test weight, yield of maize in respect of grain, stover and stone, root growth, soil properties in terms of bulk density, porosity and water holding capacity, available water and water productivity (water use efficiency) and economics of production of rabi maize. Doses of hydrogel had significant effect on growth, yield, soil properties, water productivity and economics of production. Plant height was increased significantly up to 100 % recommended doses of hydrogel (20 Kg ha-1). LAI increased progressively from 40 to 120 DAS and thereafter declined at harvest, however it was enhanced significantly only up to 75 % recommended doses of hydrogel except at 40 DAS. Dry matter production was increased progressively up to maturity/harvest and with every increase in doses of hydrogel up to 150 %, significant response was noted. As the age of crop progressed, the value of CGR increased and the maximum CGR was registered at 120 DAS to harvest. The doses of hydrogel influenced CGR only up 75 %. The value of RGR was found to be enhanced up to 80-120 DAS, thereafter its value decline. The crop growth in terms of NAR showed less increase in between 40-48 DAS to 80-120 DAS than 80-120 DAS to 120 DAS- harvest. However doses of hydrogel did not influenced significantly to increase NAR. Yield attributes like number of cobs per m2, number of rows per cob, number of grains per row, length of cob, girth of cob and number of grains per cob was significantly enhanced with doses of hydrogel, however, test weight and number of cobs per plant did not improve significantly. Yield of maize in respect of grain, stover and stone was also increased with hydrogel doses. Application of 150 % gel dose recorded highest grain and stover yield. Stone yield was increased only up to 100 %, however, harvest index was found to be non-significant. The value of root length and root width increased up to 75 % of gel doses, however number of rootlets was increased even up to 150 % of hydrogel dose. Economics in terms of net return B:C ratio indicated that 75 % gel doses recorded highest net return significantly superior over rest of the treatments but at par with 50 and 100 %. However, none of the gel doses was found to increase B:C ratio over control. Significantly highest water use efficiently was observed under 150 % gel dose. The value of was holding capacity and available water of soil was found higher than its initial value indicating its improvement. Highest water holding capacity was observed under 150 % gel dose while significantly maximum available water of recorded at 125 % gel dose. Soil physical parameter reflected though bulk density and porosity also improved under gel doses from its initial value. 150 % gel doses exhibited minimum bulk density and maximum porosity of soil which showed statistical parity to 125 %. From the results of the present experimentation, it can be concluded that hydrogel sources did not have significant effect on performance of maize, however, gel doses could make some significant impact in increasing yield of maize and enhancing soil physical properties and water productivity.