Success Stories

Zero tillage in wheat saved resources and enhanced income

Sardar Sahab Singh, a farmer of Ramba village, Karnal district of Haryana has a holding of nearly 42 ha in 600 mm rainfall area. He grows cereal crops like wheat and paddy, fodder crops berseem, sorghum, maize, coriander (For selling as green crop), turnip etc. in the sandy loam soil. He was impressed with the gains of zero-tillage technology being adopted by fellow farmers in Pehowa area in Haryana. He adopted this technology on his farm in 1999, but the gained benefits were not as good as expected. Later on, he got guidance from the scientists of ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal. On the advice of scientists, he purchased two zero tillage machines, each costing Rs 16000 in year 2000 and 2001. The machines are fitted with two boxes, one each for fertilizer and seed. Fertilizer is placed below the seed. The tines are fixed at 21 cm with knife points. Before adopting zero tillage, he had to plough the field 8-10 times which consumed 75-88 liter diesel per ha area. There was lot of pollution due to more fuel burning. He observed that sowing wheat in full paddy residue is somewhat problematic; therefore, he purchased Turbo Happy Seeder. At times, he had to use reaper to remove residues in fields but he found that crops under residue are better than removal with high moisture content. Zero tillage has saved a lot of labour. He found very less number of weeds in his field and hence he could save on herbicide purchase. During 2007-08, the average wheat yield at his farm was 6.0 ton per ha using zero tillage which is at par with conventional practices. During 2015-16 crop season, he harvested 7.0t/ha. The operational expenditure was Rs 25000 per ha. Therefore his net profit was Rs 88750 per ha. He has saved at least Rs 4000-5000 on account of ploughing and labour cost as well as 2-3q/ha more yield as compared to conventional tillage. He has become a role model for other farmers in nearby villages. He has also observed that due to continuous adoption of zero tillage technology, soil health is also enriched in terms of increased organic carbon, increased water holding capacity, avoidance of terminal heat, less water requirement and less lodging. He found it a very useful technology as far as the environment is concerned. He believes that only this technology has the potential to overcome the problem of residue burning.

Increased Income through Diversification

Sh. Anil Kumar, resident of a small village Kalri Nanhera in district Karnal, India was associated with one of the ACIAR project CIM/2006/094 entitled “enhancing farm profitability in North West India and south Australia by improving grain quality of wheat”. The project was in operation at ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal.

Under quality wheat production he started organic farming of wheat and rice at his 5 acre farm. In wheat he was growing C306 and WH 283 and in rice he was growing Dehradun basmati and he was selling almost three times more than the market rate. This way he was earning more by producing less quantity at his organic farm. He established a good brand name “Batan Farm” in the niche market. He is a man of innovation and has got hunger to do innovation at his farm. He visited Southern Australia during October 11-16, 2010 under this project. During his visit to Australia he was trained on value chain development under the guidance of Dr. Randhir Singh, Dr. Anuj Kumar and Dr. RK Gupta. He came across a poly house structure growing cherry tomatoes while visiting Four Leaf Clover Farms and Organic Flour Mill near Adelaide. He saw the structure from outside only but it fascinated him and the idea of having his own poly house got seeded in his mind.

Under the Horticulture Mission, India he established a poly house in 2011 covering one acre land. The total cost of the project was INR 37 lakh on which he got subsidy (65%) from the government to encourage farmers. He planted 22000 Gerbera plants in one acre area. The plant costs Rs. 30/-. He planted Gerbera in December 2012 and got produce in March 2013. On an average, he produces 40 flowers from one plant in one year and sells @ Rs. 2.5 per flower.

The annual cost of production of the whole area (one acre) is approximately Rs. 10,00,000. He could earn 6-7 lakh per annum from one acre poly house for four successive years. He markets flowers in Delhi, Chandigarh and very rarely in Karnal. He has also purchased a vehicle to transport his produce in time. He has to start at 1.00 AM in the morning to sell his produce in Delhi market at 4.00 AM. He has motivated fellow farmers in the area. Now Indri and Ladwa blocks have become a hub for protected cultivation. They are growing cucumber, tomato, capsicum (green and coloured). They have registered a firm “Green Biotech” in their name and now from the last two years they are selling nursery to farmers. Sh. Sandeep Kumar, his friend is helping him in this endeavour and they have a WhatsApp group of all farmers who are working on the same line. Success story of Sh. Anil Kumar is a talk of the town. One wonders how a simple visit can transform the life of a farmer and the farming community.




Success story of Rotary Disc Drill (RDD)

The rotary disc drill machine was developed at DWR, Karnal under NATP project on mechanization of rice-wheat system, for sowing of wheat into loose straw. It has been found effective for seeding into loose crop residues. This machine is also based on the rotary till mechanism. The rotating discs cut the residue and simultaneously make a narrow slit into the soil to facilitate placement of seed and fertilizer using an offset double disc assembly. Rotary disc drill is more versatile and works under almost all the situations like paddy, cotton, bajra, arhar, sugarcane ratoon with full trash for seeding crops without tillage. This machine can also be used where residue are incorporated in soil and there is no dragging of residue as drilling of seed and fertilizer is guided by double discs. During 2015-16 rabi crop season, wheat was sown by using this machine in the sugarcane field of Sh. Mahender Singh, Village, Bara Gaon, District Karnal with complete thrash cover on the surface. Sowing was done on 12.01.2016.

Using seed rate of 150 kg/ha. The wheat variety PBW 550 was used and it gave 34.3 q/ha yield under too late condition. He used one bag DAP as basal and 2 bags of urea one each just before first and second irrigation, respectively. Five irrigations were applied during the crop growth period. This technology is a boon for sugarcane-wheat crop rotation. Under late harvest of sugarcane, it is not possible to take any inter crop under ratoon. But with the help of this machine additional crop of wheat or other pulse crop like moong bean can be taken and more profit can be earned from the same piece of land. This way Sh. Mahender Singh could earn additional Rs. 50,000/ha by growing wheat in his sugarcane field. This technology also provided a window to increase area under wheat particularly in sugarcane belt, ultimately increasing the production.