Skip to main content

Please note that this site in no longer active. You can browse through the contents.

Polythene mulching in groundnut

Polythene Mulching in groundnut

Polythene mulching in groundnut has been attributed as one of the major improved cultivation practices for enhanced productivity in China. Because of its contribution in increasing groundnut production in China, polythene mulching is called as the “White Revolution”. Polythene mulching was introduced in China in 1978 from Japan. Polythene mulching has been found to be effective not only in increasing the yield but also in increasing seed oil content, protein content, and the level of eight essential amino acids. In China, the polythene mulching was found to increase yield between 18 to 49% depending on soil fertility conditions.

When grown under polythene mulch system, groundnut is sown approximately 10 days earlier and it matures about 10 days earlier than under non-mulched condition. With the polythene mulching groundnut producing areas could be extended to the northern cooler region. Polythene mulching increases the soil temperature by retaining the heat from the sun. The increased accumulated temperature shortens the crop period. During the hot season it also protects the soil from direct sunlight. Its impermeability to hot air ensures optimum temperature for the middle growth phase of groundnut . It also helps in retaining soil moisture by preventing evaporation loss of soil moisture. Besides these, polythene mulching helps in improving soil texture, increase in soil microorganisms activity and microclimate. Polythene mulch also prevents late set pegs from penetrating the soil thus saving nutrients for earlier set pods. Polythene mulching has been found effective in controlling weeds.

There are also some disadvantages of using polythene mulching. All the polythene film used in mulching cannot be retrieved, thereby causing environmental pollution. Residual film in the soil may interfere with the root development of the next crop. Sowing with polythene mulch takes much more time, labor and the cost of cultivation. It has also been found that seeds produced under polythene mulch condition are less viable.

Although polythene film of 0.004 to 0.014 mm thickness can be used, a thickness of 0.007 mm is optimum and more economical. The thinner (less than 0.005 mm) film does not well maintain the soil temperature and moisture and does not stop late set pegs from penetrating the soil. A film of light transmittance of more than 70 percent is optimum.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)