Precision farming in banana to harvest 50 mt

Dear Mr.Ashok …Here is a technique to harvest superior yield in banana cultivation

SPACING - 1.82 M * 1.52 M ( 6’*5’)
No of plants per acre - 1445 plants
pit size - 1’*1’*1’ LBD pit size
Basal application in each pit - 3 kgs FYM+5 g phorate +200 g neem cake +40 grams DAP fertilizer -mixed well and applied in the pit before planting
Nutrient requirement per Banana
200 g Nitrogen , 55 g Phosphorus  , 400 g potash
Water requirement per plant per day
Month              Water per plant per day in Litre        Water requirement per plant per month
October              2                               62
Nov                   2                               60
Dec                    3                                                                    93
Jan                    5                                        155                                                                     
Feb                    7                                               196
Mar                    9                                         279
Apr                    10                                                                  300
May                  12                                                 372
Jun                    11                                 330
Jul                      10                                                                310
Aug                    8                                         248
Sep                      7                                 210
Total water per plant per growing season                                  2615 lit
Total water requirement per acre 1445 Plant * 2615 lit    =    3,778,675 lit water

Suppose if a day’s rainfall is above 10 mm , then irrigation must be stopped for 2-3 days depending on the soil condition

Fertigation - Water soluble fertilizers
5 th - 80 th day after planting
19-19-19 - 130 kgs ( 1.7 kgs per acre per day )
13-00-46 -130 kgs ( 1.7 kgs per acre per day )

81-90th day -
Magnesium sulphate -36.3 kgs ( 3.5 kgs per acre per day )
Micronutrientmixture - 14.5 kgs (1.5 kgs per acre per day )

91-150 th days after planting
19-19-19 - 120 kgs  ( 2 kg/acre/day )
13-00-46  -  69.2 kgs (1.2 kgs per acre per day )
Muriate of potash 100 kgs - 1.6 kgs per acre per day
Urea - 180 kgs - ( 3 kgs per acre per day )

151- 250 th day after planting
Urea - 217.4 kgs ( 2.2 kgs per acre per day )
151-300 day after planting
Muriate of potash -335 kgs ( 2.200 kgs per acre per day )

Zinc - 50-100 g Zinc sulphate soil application per plant or 5 g Zinc sulphate is dissolved in one lit water and sprayed  on the plant
Iron - 5 g irons ulphate in 1 lit water sprayed
Boron - 120 th days afer planting when the plant is about to produce flowers - 5 g borox in 1 lit water is sprayed


Thank you very much Mr Ramu for the detailed answer.However ,I wish to know the practice to be followed in organic farming for Banana.Would appreciate your expert advice.

Thank you very much Mr Ramu for the detailed answer.However ,I wish to know the practice to be followed in organic farming for Banana.Would appreciate your expert advice.
Organic cultivation methods are not same everywhere
It is designed to suit the requirement of particular soil characteristics
Soil type , structure and texture , percentage of clay and silt in total soil mineral matter , organic matter level , bulk density of the soil , inherent soil nutrient status , Soil PH etc
After studying these parameters we need to work out the mix of organic nutrient supplement partly from plant sources and partly from animal sources that in combination will keep delivering nutrients to the plants till harvest …
Like general  people perception of  organic cultivation as simply applying organic inputs at standard rate everywhere it is not easy job …
In tropical country , organic matter is rapidly depleted by microbes .so the plant starve for its nutrients during mid period or at critical period of nutrient requirement or regular and continuous supply of mineral nutrients are interrupted thus reducing potential yield
So first you need to build up soil organic matter and then need to ensure periodical nutrients supply through other organic sources being either solid or liquid …
It is all needed to be done to get higher yield .The input cost alone will eat your money in organic farming
My experience is telling me that cost of organic  inputs is 3 or 4 times more than chemical source …
If you want to do organic farming only paying no heed to input cost , then it is okay …

Can we grow banana intercrop with either brinjal or drumstick?

Brinjal can be grown as intercrop in banana but drumstick can not be grown with banana

Brinjal can be grown as intercrop in banana but drumstick can not be grown with banana

Thanks Mr Ramu for the suggestion.
How does the input costs of growing banana compare with drumstick (as intercrop with brinjal )? Which one, banana or drumstick would provide more profit ?


Banana needs intensive care while drumstick need least care . So the cost of cultivation is high in case of banana …

Banana with brinjal as intercrop needs Rs. 65,000 to 70,000 per acre - ploughing and land preparations, manure and fertilizers , TC banana seedlings & brinjal seedlings , plant protection , chemicals , weeding / mulching sheet etc

Income from Banana - 1400 bunches * Rs.300 / bunch = Rs. 4.2  lac
Income from Brinjal  - 3000 plants * 7 kgs / plant = 21,000 kgs *Rs.10 / kg = Rs.2.1  lac

Total income = 6.3  lac

In case of Drumstick with Brinjal as intercrop

Cost of cultivation = 30,000 to 35,000 per acre

Yield & income of drumstick = 250 trees * 25 kgs = 6250 kgs * Rs.30  / kg = Rs.1,87,500
Yield and income of Brinjal  =  3600 plants * 7 kgs= 25,200 kgs * Rs.10 = Rs.2.52 lac

Total income = Rs.4.395 lac

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Yield & income of drumstick = 250 trees * 25 kgs = 6250 kgs * Rs.30  / kg = Rs.1,87,500
Yield and income of Brinjal  =  3600 plants * 7 kgs= 25,200 kgs * Rs.10 = Rs.2.52 lac

Total income = Rs.4.395 lac

Thanks for the details, Mr Ramu. Very useful.
Is this for precision farming?
I thought we can get 100 MT /acre using precision farming for brinjal and drumstick?
If so, can’t we get 50MT each of Brinjal and drumstick per acre per year?

Dear DDS
Your expectation is too much …Is it possible to get 100 MT yield of brinjal in intercrop ?
Two constraints in intercrop
1.only part of the land will be occupied by brinjal and rest will be occupied by main crop drumstick
2.intercrop will grow for limited period until shade of main crop hinders intercrop …
These two constraints limit the yield in both drumstick and brinjal

Sorry I was referring to 50 MT (for half acre) for Brinjal and 50 MT for drumstick.
May be I should reduce it to 25 MT for brinjal and 25 MT for drumstick.

No problem…As pure crop brinjal can yield more than 50 MT in half an acre of land

And drumstick can yield 3-5 MT in half an acre land

All the result is based on the soil type , prevailing weather and climate , Availability of quality irrigation water , Nutrient management , pest and disease management , special practices like plant hormone , Micronutrient management , pruning etc…

Better you can learn so much about precision farming when actually you are doing in the field

Because I want to narrate you about an incidence happened recently …

After seeing my article , a gentleman wanted me to do precision farming in his field . After field visit I told him that his soil was very bad that would not support farming .But he insisted that farming must be done inspite of chances of loss …

So I guided him from remote place

I advised to take soil sample and explained soil sampling procedure - But he fixed the responsibility on his farm manager that comfortably scooped up some soil somewhere from the corner of the field and sent the same to lab that tested the sample and furnished very beautiful report

Since it was brinjal on cultivation schedule and soil was red lateritic with iron canker and nodules in big clots reading 5.4 PH and very poor soil available nutrients …
Having understood that the chemical fertilizer alone could not keep supplying the nutrients at sustained rate , I advised him to go for application of more organic matter in the form of FYM plus poultry manure …

But the gentleman gone straight to poultry shed and picked up all  fresh bird droppings and night soil from open toilet from a nearby village and applied in the soil and laid mulching sheet . The very next day after planting , all the dogs came into the planted field and started damaging the young
seedlings and torn away the mulching sheet

The gentleman called me over phone and complained about the menace of country dogs that were beautifully playing inside the planted field …

Few days after , most of the plant started wilting …and complained poultry manure was wrongly recommended

In a few days , the plant started developing spots and leaves were looking blighted . The reason was the soil was extremely acidic and organic animal manure applied were undecomposed and fresh .This has prevented root growth and development and collar rot disease developed very fast .

The  gentleman complained that the leaf blight was due to spray of pseudomonas florescens ( bio pesticide )that I recommened two days before the appearance of disease . Then I  controlled the disease with propylactic chemical application

Then I recommended water soluble fertilizers based on crop requirement and also plant growth regulators triacontanol . The plant produced huge and profuse flowerings and it produced 400 kgs first week , 900 kgs on 2nd week and then started yielding nearly 2 MT a week …

The greedy man , without my knowledge started spraying too much of triacontanol ( growth regulator ) and too much of water soluble fertilizers

The plant produced very huge yield more than 2 MT per week in about 0.3 Acre …But half of the fruits started showing yellow color

One day I asked him casually why he applied more growth regulator and water soluble fertilizers . He said the brinjal kept producing very huge number of fruits and if he  had kept delivering more water soluble fertilizers , it might produce 4 MT per week and he could earn huge profit withing short period

I again asked him how could he be so sure about the yield . He said it was after all a process and he could get more yield corresponding to enahanced nutrient application …

The temperature shot up  more than 42 degree Celsius …

He applied less water and more water soluble fertilizers at more than 42 degree Celsius high temperature that was more enervating and killing

All the fruits turned complete yellow and white .Can you judge why ? The concentrated nitrate nitrogen present in water soluble fertilizers arrested the regular physiological process once it got accumulated inside the plant parts .New flowers started drying , pollination arrested and fertilized flowers kept aborting and yield started declining to 300-400 kgs a week …

The gentleman fixed a target to harvest 3-4 MT in about 0.30 acre in a week cycle …

However the brinjal in 0.3 acre produced 22 MT in about 6 months time .Out of 22 MT around 15 MT reached market after grading and 7 MT gone waste due to mismanagement …

The reason for narrating this incidence is to show you how serious is the cultivation aspect that needs best of the best attention of the growers to carefully execute the operations in a right season and time bound manner with precise management

It pinpoints  soil condition  , prevailing weather and climatic factors , judicious application of nutrients and growth hormone , right choice of manure , irrigation water , right quality and items of plant protection chemicals and timely spray and devotion and commitment of the growers and farm manager

The technical matter in the text and actual result in the field might show huge disparity

Most of the inventions and discoveries of the technologies  in Agriculture sector are made in one  part of the giant world and being followed in most other parts of the world with varying degree of soil and climatic factors …so some scientist fail to get desired result eventhough they strictly follow the technology ditto

so my best advise for you is to get experience directly in the field .In next 6 months or 1 year period you will learn most of the cultivation problem .Experience makes men …

Even if you keep asking doubts for decade , you will not gain complete knowledge …

Out of every 10 polyhouse project that is costly affairs in agriculture production , just one or two click and most of the time totally fail .The reason is no proper education and understanding about the technology in a right way

Even in Brazil , the precision farming technology failed in over 1.5 lac acres of land that invested millions of dollars .The reason was lack of understanding and proper knowledge of the technology and its right way of execution …

Because no scientist is coming to your field to tell about the tech .It is a commercial businessmen  with half cooked knowledge that sell their product, pocket the money and fly away instantly with no look back …

so what ever I post here might be of temperary help .so you please learn by doing int he field and ask if you encounter any problem in the course of your cultivation


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That’s unfortunate. The moral of this is it’s always good to be realistic rather be too greedy.
As regards my soil - PH is 6.7 (which I think is ideal for growing vegetables), Potash of 78 and Phosphorous of 26.
Expecting more detailed soil report before starting cultivation.

Thanks for your reply Mr Ramu.I am attaching the Soil and Water analysis report of my farm.Request you to kindly review it and tell whether the land can be  utilised for organic farming in a cost effective manner.
Soil and water Test Report.docx (38.5 KB)

Your soil is  alkaline with PH 8.1 
Less calicum and more magnesium
Less phosphorus and average potash say your soil is clayey in nature
Water PH is 7.5 is saline in nature
You can cultivate your soil after reclammation with Gypsum and green manure
Also soil and water test parameters seem erratic . Better consult any nearest Research station or Expert in your location
He might recommend suitable fertilizers that have acidic soil reaction and also soil reclammation procedure .

Dear Mr Ramu,
Please find attached the detailed soil report prepared by National Agro Foundation.
Can you please analyze if the soil would be suitable for brinjal and drumstick intercrop precision
What rectification measures we need to take to make the sol suitable?

The weather is mild throughout the year (15 to 30) and water availability is through a bore well.
Since we are closer to Bangalore (2 hours drive) what other crops would you suggest for easier marketing?

Soil-550.pdf (641 KB)

Dear Mr.Gopinath
Your soil is moderately acidic in nature
The Ec shows your soil is salt free …That is good
The very low CEC shows that your soil is also poor in its textural aspect that reflect on poor minerals and organic matter . The excess magnesium content tells that your soil is red gravel or red lateritic .

You need to add more organic matter in the form of partly green manure ( sow 12-15 kgs of sunhemp seeds per acre and plough it inside the soil when it is about to produce flowers ) and partly animal manure like Farmyard manure @ 7 MT or poultry manure @ 5 MT per acre

When you plough sunhemp into soil , broadcast 10 kgs of Urea over the sunhemp just before ploughing …

Before applying FYM or poultry manure , broad caste lime ( calcium carbonate ) over the soil surface and then plough the land

You need 5.2 to 7.0 MT of lime to be added to your soil to raise up the soil PH atleast to 6.5 . Because any crop grows best in the soil PH between 6.5 to 7.5

Secondary nutrients like Magnesium (that is found excessive ) and Sulphur is well over the requirement but calcium is below average .However the addition of lime will add more calcium to the soil …

SO you need to first amend your soil with lime and add organic matter by way of green manure and animal manure , and then your soil will become productive due to enhanced cation and organic matter addition vis-à-vis more water and nutrient holding capacity …

Your land will become ready for cultivation now

You choose crop of your choice , lay drip irrigation ( because your soil is poor in water and nutrient holding capacity ) with lateral spacing of 1.5 Meter and paired lateral on each bed with emitter discharge capacity of 2 lit per hour espaced @ 40 CMS along the lateral line

For profitable cultivation , you need to work out the nutrient requirement for your choice crop in advance and try to dispense with the nutrients on alternate days …
If you follow above without fail , the chance of plant disease from soil borne pathogen or soil pest will be almost nil and your crop will produce huge yield more than your expectation …

That’s all I want to tell you …No need for further clarification …you can straight away plunge into farming without further questioning …

Good luck

Thanks, Mr Ramu. As usual a pretty detailed response.
I have a few questions

a. How much would it cost to complete all the remedial measures you suggested? The area is
about 1.24 acres.
b. How long would it take for the soil to be ready before we can start planting?
c. Based on your suggestion, we will go with Brinjal and Drumstick intercrop. Which
hybrid of Brinjal would you suggest assuming we target wholesale markets in Bangalore?

Thanks a lot.

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Dear Mr.Gopinath

Since your soil is not at all a problematic soil , just it takes about 45 to 60 days to get amended and ready for cultivation …Regarding price of the inputs , you please check with local market and you try to cultivate only those variety that is in huge  demand in the market …

Whatever the cost of inputs be , you first do all the necessary things that are needed . Later you can recover all the cost through bumper harvest …


Thank you Mr Ramu.
Which variety would you recommend for Brinjal?
For drumstick we will go with PKM1 which has been proven to be
the best hybrid among drumsticks.

For brinjal hybrid , pl choose MEBH 11 or MEBH 9…The MEBH brinjal variety is the one that produced 138 MT in an acre of land …