Plant Production

Author : Muhammad Afzal
Working to advance the whole of Pakistani agriculture that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by the use of Technology.
Studied at : KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.
Co-founder : Nordic Experts AB Sweden
Lives in : Stavanger, Norway
From : Shorkot, Dist Jhang Pakistan
Timestamp: 31 December 2017 08:59 am

Overcoming three main defects in our crop production i.e.. late sowing, use of low seed rate and heavy weed infestation, can double the crop yields.

Example-1: In Pakistan, about 60 per cent wheat is sown late i.e. by the end of December or 1st Week of January, reducing the per acre yield by 20-25 maunds. If this is corrected through broadcasting the overnight-soaked wheat seed by 3rd week of November in weed free standing cotton crop, the yield is more than doubled (i.e. above 40 maunds per acre).

It can increase the total production of wheat by 10 million tonnes, making the country not only self sufficient but also surplus in wheat. Similarly, sowing wheat immediately after the rice harvest in residual moisture can avoid delay in sowing giving high yield.

Use of low seed rate gives only 100-120 wheat ears in one sq. meter while 600 wheat ears can give up to 100 maunds per acre. This can be achieved by increasing the seed rate to 60 to 80 kg/acre. Weed infestation can decrease the yield by about 40 per cent. The weeds can be controlled by running bar harrow twice cross wise after first and second irrigations in wheat. The same principles apply to other crops.

Example-2: Early sowing of maize using high seed rate and early control of weeds gives two and a half time more yield than late sown maize with low seed rate no weed control.

Example-3: Drilling rice seed © 10¬12 kg./ acre in vattar soil gives as much yield as by nursery transplanting. This reduces cost of production and saves water.

Example-4: Sowing of Rhizobium -coated soybean seeds in February after cotton gives 3 times more yield than summer planting and also enriches the soil for the succeeding cotton crop.

Example-5: Spring planting of maize and of sunflower gives double the yield than that of summ er plantings. Growing of healthy maize nursery in 4 marlas for each acre and then transplanting after one month can give yield up to 130 maunds/acre.

Since our fields have salty patches the seed germination is low. This, handicap can be overcome by flooding the field with water to allow seepage of salts and then broadcasting the wheat seed in 1/3" standing water. It improves seed germination plant population and yield.

If each fanner sows 4 kannis under season (Canola variety), the entire edible oil requirements of the country can be met from the local production, saving more than 1.0 billion U.S. dollars per year now being spent on imports. This can be done by enacting a law, distributing seeds and purchasing the produce at remunerative price for extraction of oil.

The export of vegetables and fruits can be much increased and regularized by establishing Export Production Zones in suitable localities involving local farmers and the traders.

Ridge sowing and furrow application of water can save about 50 per cent of water and gives higher yields. For example, ridge sowing in cotton can help maintain optimum plant population, saves irrigation water, facilitates weed and pest control besides increasing the yield up to 3 times.

Adoption of this method i.which was demonstrated in 1979-80) has given outstanding results, increasing lint yield per hectare to 769 Kg. and total production to 12.8 million bales (in 1991-92) from 350 Kg. and 4.2 million bales in 1979-80 respectively.

Siphon-application of water instead of through cuts in the water channel can save the water as well as help in its even spread and equal distribution with increase in yield.

Farmers can _produce their own seeds if they are trained in seed production methods. The farmers need not purchase the seeds every year and can save money.

Cultivation of wheat and medic in rotation can help developing integrated production of wheat and sheep without applying nitrogenous fertilizers to wheat.

This is possible in highlands of Balochistan on an area of 20 million hectares, revolutionizing agriculture Sowing wheat on carpet of clover can give as much yield as with application of nitrogenous fertilizers.

Rain water can be preserved by deep ploughing the fields before monsoon to receive water through penetration, which can then be conserved by running disc harrow. This u.n help to conserve the water up to 35¬/10 per cent of the total rainfall and facilitates sowing crops on time without waiting for the rains in barani areas.

Introduction of hoeing can conserve soil moisture, control weeds, provide aeration to root zone, control soil erosion and increase the yield (e.g. upto 5 maunds in case of wheat). Contouring and mulching (including vertical mulching) in uneven soils can increase soil moisture, control soil erosion and increase the yield.

Introduction of rye, rhode grass, mat and sada bahar can revolutionize fodder and forage production for enhancing livestock production.

Sowing of soybean in February after cotton gives more than 3 times yield than the summer planted crop. The succeeding cotton crop after soybean does not need nitrogen application, reducing the cost of production. Similarly, spring plantation of sunflower s more beneficial than sowing in summer.

Inclusion of legume crops (forage legumes or grain legumes) in the rotation adds about 40-80 kg. nitrogen per acre, enhancing the fertility of soil and lowering the production costs besides increasing total production of forage crops and pulses. Similarly, use of green manuring is beneficial. It increases soil fertility, humus and microbial activity. This is why advanced countries are now using organic farming which is natural and also controls environmental pollution. Use of bio fertilizers (such as biopost and bioab) is highly beneficial in maintaining soil fertility and enriching the soil by early decomposition of organic matter.

Sowing of soybean (Rawal I or Hajvari variety) both in rainfed and irrigated areas in July produces green pods in October (to replace peas) and increase income per acre besides giving substantive quantity of green fodder and enriching the soil for the succeeding crops.

Plantation of turmeric and ginger crops with maize or under the shade of trees can increase farmer's income and can make the country self-sufficient in these commodities.

Increase your wheat production and decrease cost of production by not sowing it in degraded land or saline fields, using optimum irrigation and doses of fertilizers. Instead sow other suitable crops in saline soils (e.g. barley, lentil etc.)

Cultivation of peanuts in rainfed areas after deep plouging increases the farmer's income by enhancing its yield and that of the succeeding wheat crop.

Introduction of sprinkler irrigation or drip irrigation (for which the government provides subsidies) can double the crop yields in rainfed areas. This needs construction of tube-wells and or private and public dams in barani areas and uplands.

Sowing wheat after autumn potato crop in early December or maize in February triples the wheat production and doubles the maize yield, without application of inorganic fertilizers.

Field leveling improves seed germination, saves water, improves plant population and ensures even spread of irrigation water apart from increasing the yield. Integrated agriculture including crop production, livestock, forestry fishery and agro-industries (poultry, sheep, honey bee) brings more income to the farmers.

Production of gram can be supplemented and stabilized by growing it in some areas after rice crop in irrigated localities. Always use seeds of blight resistant varieties, particularly in barani gram growing areas (Paidar 93, Punjab 93 and Noori 93).

Shortage of pulses can be overcome by introducing the cultivation of both annual and perennial pigeon peas (arhar crop) which is meeting 40 per cent of the pulses demand in India.

Similarly, sowing of field peas in between two cotton crops can considerably increase farmers income per acre as well as soil fertility.

Practicing mulching of soils under precious crops or vegetables in early stages through spreading of plant debris and leaving the crop stubble's in tact has numerous advantages including water conservation, weed control and control of soil erosion. Mulching is also useful, if done around the fruit trees.

Practicing CHOWIS

(i.e. C=Clean Cultivation; H=Healthy Seed; 0=Optim urn Plant Population; W=Weed Control-early; I=Irrigation-controlled; and S=Soil Fertility) not only doubles the production but also produces healthy crops.

Using better er crop rotations has many advantages. it enriches the soil, control weeds, soil erosion and increases crop production. In Egypt 90 per cent cotton follows berseem. Introducing new field crops, vegetables, medicinal plants, fruit trees and condiments can help the farmers to increase the income.

Crops can be saved from the bad effects of high temperature by carrying out the following cultural operations: Sowing tomatoes in one foot deep ditches filled with dried leaves and plant debris. Not pruning the lower parts of lemon plants. Tying of stems of 5-6 plants of onion and garlic in groups to increase maturity time. Cutting the plants of lucern or berseem below soil level. Sowing maize and ginger in alternative patches. Sowing of lentil variety No.93 can increase the income of farmers considerably. It can be sown either in ratoon sugarcane or in September-sown sugarcane or in separate fields, using 10 kg seed per acre and getting yield up to 800 kg. Similarly, there is a scope of mixed sowing in case of gram, lining, mash and cowpeas.

Using approved, healthy and certified seed can ensure bumper and healthy crops because as you sow so shall you reap. Dipping the seed in water and removing the floating damaged seeds can improve the seed germination, plantstand and crop yields.

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