Cropping Systems

1.Name of the Technology: Cultivation of Hybrid Napier Grass for Feeding Livestock.

Technology Description: Shri Madan Murary Prajapati is an innovative famer and following practice of his innovation i.e., planting method: One root-slip or a stem cutting possessing at least two nodes are planted in a single hole or spot. A small portion of root slip or upper node of stem cutting should remain with the soil level. Stem cuttings should preferably be planted vertically, slantingly or horizontally. He used a spacing of 50 x 50 cm, preferably during rainy season but can be planted round the year if good practices are observed. At the time of land preparation farm yard manure (FYM) or compost is applied at the rate of 52.5 q/ ha each time after harvest of green fodder to stimulate regeneration of the grass. The first cut is ready in 60 days and subsequent cuttings are taken approximately at an interval of 30 – 45 days. A stubble height of 5 – 8 cm is left during harvesting of the green fodder. The hybrid Napier (Var. Co-3) yield was 72,625 kg/ha/year with six cuts and the expenses incurred was ` 16,550 ha/year. The net return was 46,340 ha/year under innovative cultivation. As a result of adopting innovative growing like varietal intervention, Shri Madan Murary Prajapati has achieved a 40% higher yield of hybrid Napier with improved innovative practices.

2.Name of the Technology: Cultivation of Elephant Foot Yam (EFY) for Enhanced Income.

Technology Description: The Elephant Foot Yam (EFY) is good for cultivation in plantation crops like mango, sapota, papaya etc.,and has less antagonistic effect with the plantation crops. It also conserves soil moisture and improves microclimate with spreading rooting pattern. Shri Mahaveer Singh is an innovative farmer cultivating yam. Shri Mahaveer Singh first took the initiative to yam cultivation in a scientific way with improved variety and planting technique. Shri Mahaveer Singh followed a seed rate of 150 q/ha with a spacing of 60 cm x 60 cm in the spaces available in between the plantation crops. He recorded an average yield of 60 q/ha as against 31 q/ha with local variety and got good market price. Shri Mahaveer Singh has recorded highest yield in the range of 6000-8000 kg/ha which fetched him ` 1,09,600/- with cultivation of yam using improved techniques as compared to 3000-4000 kg/ha with local practice.

3.Name of the Technology: Improved planting methods for enhancing water use efficiency and crop productivity.

Technology Description: There is a need for in-situ soil and water conservation and proper drainage technology in deep black soils. Broad bed and furrow (BBF) system involves preparation of a broad bed of 90 cm, furrow of 45 cm and sowing of crop at a row spacing of 30 cm. The cost of BBF implement is Rs. 45,000. The BBF technology has many advantages including in-situ conservation of rainwater in furrows, better drainage of excess water and proper aeration in the seedbed and root zone. More than 200 farmers in Sanora and Barodi village adopted the technology. Similarly, furrow irrigated raised bed (FIRB) planting was promoted for cultivation of different crops in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamilnadu. Ridge and furrow method of vegetable cultivation was promoted in Gunia village of Gumla district and in cotton at Amravati and Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Advantage of BBF planting method : · Increase in water use efficiency · Increase in crop productivity (5-10%) · Less moisture stress during non- rainy days · Time saving (25-30%) in irrigation · Requires 20-25% lower seed rate · Water saving up to 25-30% · Better weed management · Reduces crop lodging.

4.Name of the Technology: Zero till drill wheat to escape terminal heat stress.

Technology Description: Demonstrations of zero till drill sown wheat in farmers' fields were undertaken in several NICRAvillages. The zero till drill not only saves tillage costs and energy but also eliminates the need for seedbed preparation. Zero till drilled wheat yields were on par with conventionally sown wheat. The machine operated with a 35 hp tractor can cover sowing of wheat in 4-5 ha/day. Zero till sowing of wheat could save 68% in time and 85% on the cost of operation compared to the conventional practice. Zero till drill was more efficient as the crop could be sown in large areas within a limited time of moisture availability. The cost of zero till drill is Rs.45,000 to 60,000. The main advantages include: · Saves irrigation water up to 10-15% during first irrigation. · Two days early and uniform germination and better plant stand than traditional. · No crust formation after rains, hence no effect of rains on germination. · Improvement in crop yield. · Improvement in soil structure and fertility. · No lodging of crops at the time of maturity in case of heavy rains. Now the farmers are convinced about the performance and benefits of zero till drill in NICRA villages. Demonstrations covered 851 ha and 1227 farmers using the zero till drill from the custom hiring centers established under NICRA. On an average yield advantage was in the range of 16 to 64% and benefit cost ratio was in the range of 2 to 3.2. 66.Technology Description: There is a need for in-situ soil and water conservation and proper drainage technology in deep black soils. Broad bed and furrow (BBF) system involves preparation of a broad bed of 90 cm, furrow of 45 cm and sowing of crop at a row spacing of 30 cm. The cost of BBF implement is Rs. 45,000. The BBF technology has many advantages including in-situ conservation of rainwater in furrows, better drainage of excess water and proper aeration in the seedbed and root zone. More than 200 farmers in Sanora and Barodi village adopted the technology. Similarly, furrow irrigated raised bed (FIRB) planting was promoted for cultivation of different crops in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamilnadu. Ridge and furrow method of vegetable cultivation was promoted in Gunia village of Gumla district and in cotton at Amravati and Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Advantage of BBF planting method : · Increase in water use efficiency · Increase in crop productivity (5-10%) · Less moisture stress during non- rainy days · Time saving (25-30%) in irrigation · Requires 20-25% lower seed rate · Water saving up to 25-30% · Better weed management · Reduces crop lodging.

5.Name of the Technology: Flood tolerant varieties impart resilience to farmers in flood-prone areas.

Technology Description: Rice varieties Swarna-sub1, MTU-1010, MTU-1001 and MTU-1140 are high yielding with good grain quality apart from possessing submergence tolerance and perform better under flood situation. Demonstration of these varieties in flood-prone areas showed that Swarna-sub1, a variety developed by IRRI and CRRI, Cuttack and released in 2009, could tolerate submergence up to two weeks and could perform significantly better compared to other improved and local cultivars. MTU-1010 is a short duration, dwarf variety resistant to lodging and can withstand moderate wind velocity. This attribute of lodging resistance saves from not only loss in grain but also straw yield which is the main source of dry fodder. MTU- 1140 is also a promising, non- lodging variety comparable in grain quality to BPT-5204.. n Sirsuwada, a village of Kothuru mandal in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, farmers prefer to grow improved varieties of paddy such as BPT-5204, Swarna and MTU-1001 due to high yield potential and market demand in the district but are susceptible to flooding. However, in recent years due to heavy and intense rainfall and cyclonic storms, paddy crop is experiencing damage due to flooding. KVK, Srikakulam encouraged farmers to adopt flood tolerant varieties to minimize crop damage due to submergence. Farmers found that Indra-MTU-1061 with a seed dormancy of 2-3 weeks was non-lodging and tolerated inundation up to 10 days at later stages of crop growth. Swarna-sub1 was demonstrated in flood-prone NICRAvillages in Nimpith and Coochbehar in West Bengal; Supaul and Jehanabad in Bihar; Gondia in Maharashtra, Kushinagar, Maharajganj and Bharaich in UPand gave an average yield of 44 q/ha with an yield advantage of 40% and a benefit cost ratio of 2.4 compared to other varieties.

6.Name of the Technology: Crop diversification for livelihood security and resilience to climate variability.

Technology Description: Pigeonpea, cotton, sunflower and sorghum are the main crops cultivated in NICRAvillage in Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh which are affected due to late onset of monsoon followed by dry spell at critical crop growth stages. Intercropping of Setaria (foxtail millet, SIA-3085 variety) with pigeonpea (5:1 ratio) sown in July showed that the intercropping system was more profitable with highest benefit cost ratio in all the 3 years despite prolonged dry spell of up to 25 days in 2012. Intercropping of soybean + pigeonpea (4:2), pearlmillet + pigeonpea (3:3), pigeonpea + green gram (1:2) and cotton + green gram (1:1) performed significantly better than their sole crops at Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Similarly, demonstrations on crop diversification by inclusion of HYVs of black gram, sesamum, gobhi sarson, gram, lentil, toria and okra were conducted in Said-Sohal village in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

7.Name of the Technology: Short duration crop varieties suitable for late sowing.

Technology Description: Short duration variety of green gram (TARM-1) of 60-65 days duration tolerant to yellow vein mosaic disease was introduced in Ganjam, Odisha. Similarly, K-851 a short duration variety of green gram (65-70 days), was demonstrated in Jharsuguda, Odisha. In black gram, Azad Urd-1, a high yielding and YMV resistant short duration variety (65 days) was demonstrated on 50 ha in Kanti village, Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh. Rajkot district in Gujarat receives low and erratic rainfall resulting in delayed onset of monsoon and mid season droughts in July and August. Due to this, sometimes traditional groundnut varieties (spreading type) cannot be taken up for sowing in July. Instead farmers in Magharwada village adopted bunch type variety of groundnut (GG-5) which is a short duration, high yielding that performs better under late planted conditions. In Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Kota district of Rajasthan, soybean is an important crop with a large acerage under JS- 335 variety. In recent years, due to delay in onset of monsoon, planting of soybean is extending to July first fortnight and the crop at maturity stage is vulnerable to late season dry spells. Farmers in NICRA villages adopted short duration variety JS-93-05 in Maharashtra, and JS-95-60 (85-95 days) in Madhya Pradesh and Kota, Rajasthan as against the traditional variety (105-110 days).

8.Name of the Technology: Fodder cultivars to tackle fodder scarcity.

Technology Description: Short and medium duration fodder cultivars of several crops that can withstand up to 2-3 weeks of exposure to drought in rainfed areas were demonstrated in NICRAvillages. These include: sorghum (Pusa Chari Hybrid-106 (HC-106), CSH 14, CSH 23 (SPH-1290), CSV 17); Bajra (CO 8, TNSC 1, APFB 2, Avika Bajra Chari (AVKB 19); Maize (African tall, APFM 8). These cultivars can be sown immediately after the rains under rainfed conditions in arable lands during kharif season and are ready for cutting by 50-60 days. Cultivars of rabi crops like Berseem (Wardan, UPB 110) and Lucerne (CO 1, LLC 3, RL 88) were demonstrated in NICRA villages as second crop with the available moisture during winter. Perennial fodders like APBN-1, CO-3 and CO-4 were also demonstrated under limited irrigated conditions.

9.Name of the Technology: Fodder cultivars to tackle fodder scarcity.

Technology Description: When the delay in monsoon is about 4 weeks, medium duration varieties like GPU-28 (110 days duration) performed better while in case of further delay, short duration varieties like ML-365 (105 days) and GPU-48 (100 days) performed better. These short duration varieties of finger millet are also tolerant/ resistant to blast disease and can be sown till August under rainfed conditions in medium to deep red soils. Farmers in D. Nagenhalli, Tumkur, Karnataka adopted short duration finger millet variety ML-365 in 2011 and 2012 when faced with delayed onset of monsoon. ML-365 performed significantly better with an average yield advantage of 33% and a benefit cost ratio of 2.7 compared to other varieties cultivated in the village. Shri Muddha Hanumaiah, a finger millet farmer in the village, obtained an additional income of Rs.5250 from his 0.5 ha. Similarly, 70 other farmers benefitted from the introduction of this short duration variety in the village in the first season. Apart from good grain quality and fitting into contingency situations, this variety has good fodder quality and improves milk productivity in milch animals.

10.Name of the Technology: Drought tolerant paddy cultivars to tackle deficit rainfall situations.

Technology Description: Short duration and drought tolerant varieties that can withstand up to 2 weeks of exposure to dry spells in rainfed areas were demonstrated in NICRAvillages. Drought tolerant cultivars demonstrated in farmers fields include: 'Sahbhagi dhan' (105-110 days duration in plain areas and 110-115 days in uplands, highly resistant to leaf blast and moderately resistant to brown spot and sheath blight. 'Naveen' (115-120 days duration, released in 2005 for cultivation in Odisha), and 'Anjali' (90 days duration released in 2003 for Jharkhand). Other early maturing varieties that have potential in the eastern states include: 'Birsa Vikas Dhan 109' (85 days duration), and 'Abhishek' (120 days duration). Average yield in farmers fields with Sahbhagi dhan was 34.6 q/ha with an yield advantage of 26% over traditional long duration variety in seasons that experienced deficit rainfall situation as in 2013 at Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Buxar, Saran and Supaul in Bihar; Koderma, Palamu and Gumla in Jharkhand; Jharsuguda in Odisha. Average yield of Anjali variety was 41.2 q/ha with an yield advantage of 41% in Gumla and Chatra in Jharkhand. Average yield with Naveen variety was 39 q/ha with an yield advantage of 20% over traditional varieties in East Singhbhum in Jharkhand and Buxar in Bihar. Average yield with Abhishek variety was 35 q/ha with an yield advantage of 31% over traditional variety at Koderma, Jharkhand.

11.Name of the Technology: Drum seeding of rice for water saving and timeliness in planting.

Technology Description: Drum seeding technique involves direct seeding of pre-germinated paddy seeds in drums made up of fibre material to dispense seeds evenly in lines spaced at 20 cm apart in puddled and levelled fields. About 35 to 40 kg paddy seed/ha is soaked overnight in water and allowed to sprout. Care should be taken not to delay sowing as seeds with long shoot growth are not suitable for drum seeding. The sprouted seed is air-dried in shade briefly (<30 minutes) prior to sowing for easy dispensing through the holes in the drum seeder. Excess water in puddled field is drained out ensuring the soil surface is moist. Drums are filled with sprouted seeds (3/4th full) and pulled across the field maintaining a steady speed for evenly sowing. Number of drums could vary between 4 and 8 with number of lines sown ranging from 8 to 16 in one pass. Irrigation water should not be applied for 2-3 days after sowing to allow rooting and anchoring to soil. However, heavy rainfall immediately after sowing is likely to wash away the newly sown seeds. As the seedlings grow, water level in the field can rise for better weed control. Intermittent irrigation is given till the panicle initiation stage. Where weed problem is severe, herbicide is applied within 1-2 days after seeding and if necessary, a second application is given 30-35 days later. Line sowing permits operation of modified conoweeder (width between wheels reduced to 15 cm instead of 25 cm) between the rows in the same direction adopted for drum seeding. Drum seeding in one ha area can be completed in 5 to 6 hours time by three persons compared to transplanting operation which requires about 30 to 40 man days. This technique can help in saving seed, water, labour requirement apart from improving productivity because of line sowing (spacing of 20 cm between rows) and early maturity of crop (by 7-10 days). Drum seeding reduces the cost of cultivation as it does away with the requirement for raising paddy nursery and transplanting thereafter. The technique fits into contingency planning as it provides flexibility in timing of sowing in lands prepared using irrigation water or immediately after receipt of monsoon rains with a crop variety of suitable duration to fit into the left over season.

12.Name of the Technology: Direct seeded rice for promoting water use efficiency.

Technology Description: Researchers have developed suitable direct seeding alternatives to transplanted paddy. In direct seeded rice (DSR) cultivation, raising of nursery for transplantation is done away with. Farmer can avoid the major problem faced in Punjab i.e., labour shortage for transplanting due to peak demand. In case of delay in monsoon or shortage of water, DSR gives the farmer flexibility to take up direct sowing of paddy with a suitable duration variety to fit into the left over season. This allows timely sowing of the succeeding rabi wheat. Direct sown rice consumes relatively less water compared to transplanted flooded rice. Energy demand for pumping of irrigation water is also less and saving can be much higher during deficit rainfall situations compared to transplanted rice. Direct sowing can be practiced for cultivating both coarse rice and basmati rice wherever feasible in the North-West IGPregion. Direct seeded rice in un-puddled field to cope with water shortages: Direct seeding of drought tolerant varieties of rice in dry soil is done in June with pre-emergence herbicide application (pendimethalin 1 kg/ha) under sufficient soil moisture conditions followed by a post-emergence herbicide application (bispyribac sodium 25g/ha) at 25-35 days after sowing or hand weeding at 35-45 days after sowing to effectively manage weed problem. Direct seeding in moist field with receipt of rains in June or by using ground water along with the application of pre-emergence herbicide is another option attempted. Control of weeds by use of glyphosate followed by zero till direct seeding of rice after one day of herbicide use is also practiced. In Bihar, direct seeding of medium duration varieties (125 days) can be done during second fortnight of July in midlands followed by a post-emergence herbicide application. In uplands, direct seeding of rice can be taken up with the onset of monsoon rains. Direct seeding of rice is done with a zero till drill. The quantity of seed required is 20- 25 kg/ha compared to transplanted paddy which required 60-80 kg/ha.

13.Name of the Technology: Community paddy nursery as a contingency measure for delayed planting

Technology Description: Establishment of community paddy nursery: Establishing a staggered community nursery was explored as a local adaptation strategy at the village level to combat the problem experienced by farmers during deficit rainfall seasons in lowlands. The technique involves raising a staggered community nursery under assured irrigation in the village at an interval of 2 weeks. In the anticipation of a two weeks delay in monsoon the first nursery is taken up as a contingency measure by 15 June with the long duration variety (>140 days) in order to transplant 3-4 weeks old seedlings by first fortnight of July. If the monsoon delay extends by 4 weeks, the second nursery is raised with medium duration varieties (125-135 days) by 1st July to supply 3-4 weeks old seedlings for transplanting in the 3rd or 4thweek of July. In case of anticipation of further delay or deficit rainfall conditions, the 3rd nursery is raised by mid July with short duration varieties (<110 days) to take up transplanting of 3-4 week seedlings in the first fortnight of August. During 2012 kharif season, KVK, Saran implemented this strategy and demonstrated the concept of community nursery in Affaur village. Farmers adopted this technique and jointly produced seedlings to ensure timely transplanting of correct age seedlings for higher productivity and reduce the risk associated with deficit/delayed onset of monsoon. During kharif 2013 traditional paddy nurseries were taken up by the community with staggered sowings on 15th June, 1st & 15th July. However, due to scanty rainfall (-70% of normal) transplanting could not be taken up in July and the first two nurseries were abandoned and the seedlings were used for fodder purpose. Only the seedlings from the 3rd nursery (short duration varieties Prabhat and Turanta dhan) could be used for transplanting in August after receipt of rain.