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Farmers can save ₹180 crore through zero tillage

This can be applied to ID crops in paddy harvested fields

Believe it or not, farmers across the State can save about ₹180 crore by following zero tillage technology in the coming summer season if they go for irrigated and dry (ID) crops where only paddy was harvested. This experiment conducted at village in Kangti mandal of Sangareddy district and the yield by the farmer who experimented in his filed was same like other farmers. The saving per acre will be around ₹3,000 per acre.

Amid crisis on growing paddy in the coming summer season, the farmers are looking at alternative crops that would offer them good remuneration. Majority farmer are looking at irrigated and dry (ID) crops maize, jowar and sun flower.

However, agriculture experts suggests that without tilling operations of farm lands, where paddy was cultivated as previous crop, farmer can grow one of these three crops. Tilling operation involves ploughing, using cultivator and levelling. This will save about ₹3,000 per acre to the farmer.

An experiment was conducted in one of the farms in Kangti mandal where maize seeds were directly sown in the paddy wet lands. Once paddy was harvested, one irrigation was supplied and then after 24 hours the maize seed was directly dibbling in soil. This experiment conducted in a field at Tadkal village of Kangti mandal in Sangareddy district in 2019 has not only saved money for farmer but also time.

“This experiment was performed in the field of Mochi Balaiah, who came forward to implement our suggestion. He got 26 quintals of yield like other farmers. Saving the money is nothing but earning and for farmers it matters a lot,” G. Santosh, Agriculture Extension Officer (AEO), Kangti, told The Hindu, who got the experiment performed. He says that it was estimated that farmers can go for ID crops in about 6 lakh acres in the state in summer season.

The advantages of zero tillage include reduction in the crop duration and thereby early cropping can be obtained to get higher yields, reduction in the cost of inputs for land preparation, residual moisture can be effectively utilized and number of irrigations can be reduced and dry matter and organic matter get added to the soil.

No tillage reduces the compaction of the soil and reduces the water loss by runoff and prevents soil erosion. As the soil is intact, no disturbance is done, ‘No Till’ lands have more useful flora and fauna. The natural resources are precious and therefore demand an effective and sustainable use. Zero tillage is a potential technology in this scenario. In zero tillage, more returns can be achieved and timely crop can be grown with higher yields.

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