To observe the growth and yield attributes of mustard under different sowing dates and fertilizer levels, a field experiment was carried out at the research field of the Department of Crop Science and Technology, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi during the period from October, 2018 to February, 2019 with mustard (Brassica sp.) var. “BARI Sarishal-14”. The study consisted three different sowing dates i.e. 31st October, 10th November and 20th November as well as three levels of fertilizers viz. 80-20-30 kg/ha NPK (Farmers practice), 90-30-40-25-1.0 kg/ha NPKSB (MYG) and 100-40-50-35-1.5 kg/ha NPKSB (HYG). Different treatments showed significant effects on growth and yield attributes of mustard. The results revealed that the combination of sowing on10th November and highest level of fertilizer (HYG) produced the highest plant height, no. leaves/ plant, no. of branches/plant, siliqua length, no. of siliqua/plant, no. of seeds/siliqua, 1000 seed weight, seed yield and minimum days to maturity. On the other hand the studied growth and yield attributes of mustard except days to maturity found to be the lowest due to sowing date of 20th November along with fertilizer as farmers practice. The study concluded that mustard seeds need to be sowed on 10th November and 100-40-50-35-1.5 kg/ha NPKSB is to be applied for getting the targeted yield as well as desired return from mustard cultivation in “High Ganges River Floodplain zones” of Bangladesh.
Key words: Sowing date, fertilizer, growth, yield, mustard.
Mustard (Brassica sp.) belongs to the family Brassicaceae (formally Cruciferae) is one of the most important oil crops originated in southern Europe from where it was introduced to Asia and Africa (Downey and Robblene, 1989). Among the mustard producing countries, Canada occupies the first position followed by Nepal, Ukraine and Burma (FAO, 2010). It is a cool, thermo sensitive as well as photosensitive crop (Ghosh and Chatterjee, 1988). Bangladesh is principally an agricultural country and produces a good number of oilseed crops like mustard, sesame, groundnut, linseed, safflower, sunflower, soybean, castor etc. The first three of these are considered as the major oil seed crops. Mustard and rapeseed are quietly significant in Bangladesh economy. It is an important and the top ranking oil seed crop in Bangladesh. The seed contains 40-45% oil and 20-25% protein. It also serves as an important raw material for industrial use such as in soap, paints, varnishes, hair oils, lubricants, textile auxiliaries, pharmaceuticals, etc. Its oil not only plays a great role as fat substitute in our daily diet but also nourish the economy of the nation. It is widely used as a cooking ingredient, condiment and for its medicinal value. Moreover, mustard oil cake is utilized as cattle feed and small quantities are also used as manure. It covers about 80% of the total oilseed acreage and about 71% of the total production (BBS, 2009). Last ten years have witnessed gradual decline in an area of 104 thousand hectare and production 68 thousand tons of mustard and rapeseed (Anonymous, 2006). Though the production of edible oil is being decreased, whereas, the demand is increasing day by day with the increasing population. Cultivation of low yielder local varieties, late sowing and proper fertilizer management are the major causes for poor yield of mustard in the country (Alam and Rahman, 2006). There is a great scope of increasing yield of mustard by selecting high yielding varieties and improving management practices. Time of sowing is very important for mustard production (Rahman et al., 1988 and Mondal et al., 1999). Sowing at proper time allows sufficient growth and development of a crop to obtain a satisfactory yield. The seed yield and maturity of mustard plants are greatly influenced by environmental conditions regardless of proper sowing of times. Different sowing dates provide variable