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  • Author or Editor: R. Bansal x
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Studies on the sulphur requirements of crops have largely been restricted to single crops without considering its residual availability to the following crop. With this objective, a field experiment was carried out to study the direct, residual and cumulative effect of S in a moong-raya rotation on sandy loam soil having 8.2 mg kg −1 soil of 0.15% calcium chloride-extractable S. The treatment consisted of four levels of S (0, 10, 20 and 40 kg ha −1 ) applied as gypsum. A significant increase in the grain yield of moong was observed at and above 20 kg S ha −1 , but the difference between the grain yields at application rates of 20 and 40 kg S ha −1 was found to be non-significant. The direct application of 20 kg S ha −1 resulted in a significant increase in the grain yield of raya. The residual effect emanating from the application of 40 kg S ha −1 to the first crop of moong significantly increased the grain yield of raya. The cumulative application of S at different rates, to both the crops, was not found to be beneficial. It is therefore suggested from this study that the application of 20 kg S ha −1 to each crop or 40 kg S ha −1 to the first crop of moong was sufficient to obtain optimum yields of both the crops in a moong-raya cropping sequence. The critical levels of S in the whole shoot in moong and raya plants were found to be 0.23 and 0.37%, respectively.

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The sensitive and simple fission track detection technique using a dry method with Melinex-0 plastic track detector has been applied for the determination of uranium concentration in samples of domestic water supply plants collected from different states of India, namely West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Delhi. Our analyses show that uranium concentration of water samples collected from different types of domestic water supply plants vary from 0.6±0.02 to 19.2±0.6 g/l. The present investigations may be useful from the point of view of radiation hygiene.

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The present study was carried out to examine the antioxidant activity in oyster mushroom cultivated on selenium (Se) rich substrate. Pleurotus fossulatus was cultivated on Se-rich wheat straw collected from the seleniferous belt of Punjab (India) and its potential to accumulate Se from substrate was examined. Using different assay systems the modulations in the anti-oxidant profile of Se enriched mushroom was studied in comparison to the mushrooms cultivated on normal straw. The oyster mushrooms were observed to potentially mobilize Se from Se-rich substrates to fruiting bodies, resulting in significantly high uptake (37.2±0.6 μg g−1) as compared to control (3.57±0.53 mg g−1). The antioxidant activity, as determined by various assays, such as reducing power, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging, and metal chelating activity, was higher in the experimental mushrooms when compared to control. The results obtained demonstrate that Se-fortified mushrooms through cultivation on straw containing organic forms of Se can be considered as natural and effective dietary supplements of organic Se for humans. The present study proposes the use of Se-rich agricultural residues as substrates for mushroom cultivation for human and livestock supplementation.

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Use of high analysis fertilizers such as diammonium phosphate in place of ordinary superphosphate and urea in place of ammonium sulphate over years, sulphur application to crop fields has considerably decreased, which has led to widespread sulphur deficiency in Indian soils. Hence, considering this into account a field study for two years was conducted at the research farm of ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi to evaluate sulphur-coated urea (SCU) as a source of sulphur (S) and an enhanced efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer. Prilled urea (PU) coated with 4 to 5% S significantly increased wheat grain yield to the tune of 9.58 to 11.21% and nitrogen 19.06 to 23.94% and sulphur uptake 21.76 to 29.29% over prilled urea alone by wheat. However, net return and benefit: cost ratio was the highest and significant at 5% S coating onto PU. Five % SCU supplied 50% of the sulphur needs of the wheat crop and enhanced nitrogen recovery efficiency by 60% and is therefore recommended as sulphur as well as enhanced efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer for wheat in Indo-Gangetic plains of India. This is an important finding considering the environmental safety by increased nitrogen recovery and also productivity in present scenario.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: M. Sivasamy, M. Aparna, J. Kumar, P. Jayaprakash, V.K. Vikas, P. John, R. Nisha, K. Srinivasan, J. Radhamani, S.R. Jacob, S. Kumar, Satyaprakash, K. Sivan, E. Punniakotti, R.K. Tyagi, and K.C. Bansal
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