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25
Jan

Rice-based cropping systems followed in NE india

The agricultural practice in the region are broadly of two distinct type viz., settled farming practiced in the plains, valley/foot hills, terraced slopes and shifting cultivation in the hill slopes. Depending upon the system of farming, food habits and climatic conditions, several crops are grown in the region. Some of the frequently practiced cropping systems of shifting cultivation areas are collated in Table 7.

Table 7. Dominant rice based cropping system of NEH Region




 

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
25
Jan

Farming systems of West Garo Hills of Meghalaya

Goswami (1996) did an economic appraisal of indigenous hill farming systems (FS) in West Garo hills district of Meghalaya to identify the existing fanning systems and their transition flow to modern system of agriculture. Four types of indigenous farming systems were reported to have existed in West Garo Hill district of Meghalaya such as traditional FS, marginally modern FS, semi-modern FS and modern FS. 

In the valley lands between the hills, rice is predominantly grown. Here the agriculture system followed is like that of plains. Jhum mixture is the predominant crop component occupying 29.50% of the gross cropped area. It is grown in the hill slopes by almost all the farm households. Next to jhum mixture, autumn rice occupies a larger scale of 19.94% of gross cropped area followed by winter rice,jhum rice and spring rice: In the valley and terraced lands, rice is the principal crop as it accounts for 52.88% (all rices) of the total cropped area. Major portion of the gross cropped area (55.62%) is in jhum land, followed by valley land (26.16%) and terraced land (26.16%). Of the total production, major share is from jhum (38.64%), followed by terrace (32.42%) and valley land (28.94%) indicating the dominance of jhum in the agriculture of the district.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
24
Jan

Dhankheti FS(Farming System) of Sikkim

With the improvement of living standard of the people of Sikkim, food habits were changed and they could no longer relish the upland rice- 'Ghaiya' and started WRC. The bench terraces are made on hill slopes up to 80% or even more. The bench terraces are watered through perennial seasonal springs tapped from higher elevation. The water from spring is collected into very small rivulet commonly known as 'kholsa' and when this kholsa is sufficiently big is known as 'khola '. The water from kholsa and khola are taken in channels to irrigate rice-transplanted terraces under the gravity from higher elevation. In short distance water flows in one direction and in long distance from both the directions. There is complete harmony and cooperation among users of water to maintain the drainage channels.

On the irrigated terraces rice seedlings, raised in nurseries, are transplanted and fields remain almost submerged throughout the growing season and drain out through a single outlet of the field. Natural courses of water are frequently not disturbed to drain out the excess water. Surface flow of water from one terrace to another is managed in such a way that suspended soil particles remain in the adjoining areas only. Water from terraces and diversion ditches is safely drained to the vegetative slopes and save damages to roads, fields and plantation crops.

The channels remain covered with the stone plates passing through paths. Terrace wall is the main factor determining terrace stability or degradation. Terrace wall failures and considerable erosion from the terrace slopes occur during high magnitude of rainstorms in monsoon (June - September). Swelling and bulge development are the characteristics of retaining walls prior to failure. Different cropping systems like  Rice – wheat,  Rice – mustard, Rice – potato, Rice – fallow, Maize - rice – mustard, Maize - rice - fallow. In Sikkim, farmers intercrop rice with traditional varieties of soybean, rice bean and black gram on bunds. Most of the area is under cultivation of local rice varieties, which yield 1-2 tlha. The popular local rice varieties are: Attey, Masseey, Sikre, Krishnabhog, Kalshanti, Bhuidhan, Darmali, Tasrey and Dutkatti.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
Photo Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
23
Jan

SSNM approach for hilly and mountainous regions in Northeastern hill region

Shifting cultivation is a land-use practice that reflects a rotation of cropping and fallow periods which is commonly practiced in many upland farming systems in Northeastern hill region. Fallow periods have a number of benefits.
The most important ones include soil fertility restoration, suppression of weeds, and protection of the soil against erosion. Fallows may also supply a source of cash income for the farmers through the existence or planting of specific economic valuable species.
In addition, fallows may provide products that serve as agricultural inputs such as fodder and fencing materials for farms with a livestock component.
Historically, in most traditional shifting cultivation systems, fallow vegetation was simply left to establish naturally after abandonment of a cropped field. In the recent decades, many households have shifted toward more active management of fallows to better serve the changing needs and priorities of the farming households.

  • Farmers are aware that top soil is their supporting layer and it is upon the productiveness of this layer that their survival and prosperity depends.
  • The traditional wisdom of various soil conservation measures like bunds made of stones or boulder or earthen dams are mostly local soil and water conservation practices and are location specific and accordingly vary in purpose.
  • They conserve soil in situ by constructing stone and earthen bunds. Certain structures like ridging or pitting; water harvesting structures such as tied ridges dispose off excess water from crop lands.
  • These are mainly traditional soil conservation tillage systems evolved by farmers over the course of time to suit certain environmental conditions.
  • These are relatively cheap to implement and easily be replicated.   Mostly, they utilise their own knowledge as a starting point and are compatible with local approaches to land use.
  • Maintenance has not presented serious problems for the people. Sustaining agriculture means sustaining the soil.
  • Maintaining ground cover in the form of cover crops, mulch, or crop residue for as much of the annual season as possible achieves the goal of sustaining the soil resource.
  • Cover crops can maintain or increase soil organic matter if they are allowed to grow long enough to produce high herbage.
  • In addition to organic matter benefits, legume cover crops provide considerable nitrogen for crops that follow them.
  • Consequently, the nitrogen rate can be reduced following a productive legume cover crop taken out at the correct time.
  • Cover crops also suppress weeds, help break pest cycles, and through their pollen and nectar provide food sources for beneficial insects and honeybees.
  • They can also cycle other soil nutrients, making them available to subsequent crops as the green manure decomposes.
File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security
23
Jan

Three basic steps of SSNM approach

 The SSNM approach can be described in three basic steps.

Step 1: Establish an attainable yield target

Rice yields are location and season specific — depending upon climate, rice cultivar, and crop management. The yield target for a given location and season is the estimated grain yield attainable with farmers’ crop management when N, P, and K constraints are overcome.The amount of nutrients taken up by a rice crop is directly related to yield. The yield target therefore indicates the total amount of nutrients that must be taken up by the crop.
Step 2: Effectively use existing nutrients

The SSNM approach promotes the optimal use of existing (indigenous) nutrients coming from the soil, organic amendments, crop residue, manure, and irrigation water. The uptake of a nutrient from indigenous sources can be estimated from the nutrient-limited yield, which is the grain yield for a crop not fertilized with the nutrient of interest but fertilized with other nutrients to ensure they do not limit yield.

Step 3: Apply fertilizer to fill the deficit between crop needs and indigenous supply

Fertilizer N, P, and K are applied to supplement the nutrients from indigenous sources and achieve the yield target. The quantity of required fertilizer is determined by the deficit between the crop’s total needs for nutrients — as determined by the yield target — and the supply of these nutrients from indigenous sources — as determined by the nutrient-limited yield.

The required fertilizer N is distributed in several applications during the crop growing season to best feed the crop’s need for supplemental N. Fertilizer P and K are applied in sufficient amounts to overcome deficiencies and maintain soil fertility.

In the SSNM approach, fertilizers are applied using the following principles to achieve high yield and high efficiency of plant use:

1.      Apply only a moderate amount of fertilizer N to young rice within the 14 days after transplanting (DAT) or 21 days after sowing (DAS), when the need of the crop for supplemental N is small.

2.      Apply fertilizer N after 14 DAT or 21 DAS based on the crop’s need for supplemental N, as determined by leaf N status. The leaf color chart (LCC) is a tool that could be used for assessing leaf N status and the crop’s need for N.

3.      Apply all fertilizer P near transplanting or sowing.

Apply fertilizer K twice — 50% near transplanting or sowing and 50% at early panicle initiation. When fertilizer K rates are relatively low (for example, ≤30 kg K2O ha−1), all fertilizer K can be applied near transplanting or sowing.

23
Jan

Panikheti FS of Nagaland

Angami and Chakhesang tribes of Nagaland have developed  a system of irrigating terraced fields for growing rice known as panikheti (Gokhle et al, 1984). Bench terrace cultivation or panikheti in Nagaland presents an excellent example of developing bench terracing for rice cultivation by using steep slopes (up to 100% or more) and rocky lands with availability of very small quantity of soil. The topsoil is maintained in the terraced bed while constructing terraces annually.


Di
sposal of excess water and application of irrigation water is managed by allowing water to flow from one terrace to another by providing opening in the ridge bund. In the terraced fields, agricultural operations start in December and January with digging of field with the help of spade. While digging, soils turn on residue of rice plant. Puddling starts in the month of April. After that water is allowed to enter into the terrace. By the first week of June, the terraces will be full of water. In the same month, seedlings are transplanted from nurseries in puddle lands. By the end of September, the paddy plants are bunched together. This prevents the plants from being damaged by the winds or by the weight of grains. This also reduces the loss of grains during harvest and makes the harvest easier. The components of the system are Terraces, Fish culture, Water management, Land management etc.Three types of terraced fields are found in Kohima district of Nagaland viz., i). Dzutse - water supply to these fields is regular throughout the year. Water not needed in one terrace is conveyed to another terrace through channels; ii). Khuso - water supply is through channels from streams and iii). Vakhra - fields are similar to khuso but involvement of labour is more.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
Photo Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
23
Jan

Evolution of SSNM (2001 to present)

From 2001 to 2004, the Reaching Toward Optimal Productivity (RTOP) workgroup of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) collaborated with national agriculture research and extension systems in eight Asian countries to systematically transform the initial SSNM concept into an inclusive, simplified framework for the dynamic plant-need-based management of N, P, and K. The SSNM approach now enables:

  • Dynamic adjustments in fertilizer N, P, and K management to accommodate field- and season-specific conditions.
  • Effective use of indigenous nutrients.
  • Efficient fertilizer N management through the use of the leaf color chart 
  • (LCC), which helps ensure that N is applied at the time and in the amount needed by the rice crop.
  • Use of the nutrient omission plot technique to determine the requirements for P and K fertilizers. 
  • Use of micronutrients based on local recommendations.

The total amount of fertilizer required can be approximated from the anticipated crop response to fertilizer application which is a difference between attainable target yield and N limited yield. The estimated total fertilizer requirement by the crop is then apportioned among multiple times of application during the growing season to ensure that the supply of nutrient management is a method for the rapid assessment of leaf nutrient content which is closely related photosynthetic rate and biomass production and is a sensitive indicator of leaf nutrient changes in crop nutrient demand (Peng et al.,1996).

File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Food Security
23
Jan

MODIFICATION OF THE QUEFTS MODEL

A modification of the QUEFTS model (Janssen et al. 1990) was used to predict the amount of fertilizer N, P, and K required for a specific yield target has been given by Witt et al.,2002; IRRI,2006) as follows:

  • Establishing a yield target for average climatic conditions: This yield target could be based either on a percentage (for example 70–80%) of the potential yield estimated with a crop growth model or on yields currently achievable by farmers practicing good crop management.
  • Estimating crop demand for N, P, and K for a target yield: Based on a large database of modern rice varieties with harvest indices of 0.45 to 0.55, the balanced plant nutrient requirement to produce a metric ton (1,000 kg) of unmilled rice was estimated as 15 kg N, 2.6 kg P (6 kg P2O5), and 15 kg K (18 kg K2O) for the linear portion of the relationship between grain yield and nutrient accumulation in the mature crop.
  • Estimating field-specific indigenous supply of N, P, and K: The indigenous supply is the cumulative crop uptake of a nutrient from all sources other than fertilizer (that includes soil, crop residues, manures, irrigation water, rainfall, and atmospheric deposition). It is determined by the nutrient omission plot technique, whereby the indigenous supply of a nutrient is estimated by its accumulation in a crop not fertilized with the nutrient of interest but fertilized with sufficient amounts of other nutrients to ensure they do not limit yield. Indigenous K supply, for example, is determined in a K omission plot receiving no K fertilizer but sufficient N and P to ensure they do not limit yield.
  • Establishing recovery efficiencies for fertilizer N, P, and K: Crop recovery efficiencies of 0.4 to 0.6 kg kg−1 for fertilizer N, 0.2 to 0.3 kg kg−1 for fertilizer P, and 0.4 to 0.5 kg kg−1 for fertilizer K were used as targets.
  • Estimating optimal N, P, and K fertilizer rates: The estimated crop demand for N, P, and K to optimally achieve the yield target; the estimated indigenous supply of N, P, and K; and targeted recovery efficiencies for fertilizer N, P, and K were used to determine optimized fertilizer N, P, and K rates for filling the gap between crop demand for a yield target and indigenous supply. 

The achievements in the initial conceptualization and development of SSNM before 2001 are documented in a book by Dobermann et al. (2004).

File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Food Security
21
Jan

Initial Concept of SSNM

  • The concept of SSNM for rice was developed in the mid-1990s and then evaluated from 1997 to 2000 in about 200 irrigated rice farms at eight sites in six Asian countries.
  • SSNM aimed at dynamic field-specific management of N, P, and K fertilizers to optimize the supply and crop demand for nutrients.
  • The crop’s need for fertilizer N, P, or K was determined from the gap between the crop demand for sufficient nutrient to achieve a yield target and the nutrient supply from indigenous sources.
File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Secuirty
21
Jan

What is the site-specific nutrient management approach?

  • SSNM emphasizes ‘feeding’ rice with nutrients as and when needed.
  • SSNM strives to enable farmers to dynamically adjust fertilizer use to optimally fill the deficit between the nutrient needs of a high-yielding crop and the nutrient supply from naturally occurring indigenous sources such as soil, organic amendments, crop residues, manures, and irrigation water.
  • The SSNM approach does not specifically aim to either reduce or increase fertilizer use.
  • Instead, it aims to apply nutrients at optimal rates and times to achieve high yield and high efficiency of nutrient use by the rice crop, leading to high cash value of the harvest per unit of fertilizer invested.SSNM is a low tech, plant need based approach for optimizing nutrient requirement of the rice crop(IRRI,2006).
File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security
21
Jan

Zabo FS(Farming System) of Nagaland

Zabo is an indigenous FS practiced in Nagaland, which  has a combination of forest, agriculture and animal husbandry with well- founded conservation base, soil erosion control, water resources development' and management and preservation of. The system is also called as 'ruza'. The place of origin of Zabo FS seems to be Kikruma village located at an altitude of 1,270 m in Phek districtof Nagaland inhabited by Chakesang tribe. Rice is the staple food of the Chakesang tribe.  ‘Zabo' meaning impounding water. The Zabo FS comprises of protected forest land on hilltop, well planned water harvesting tank at the middle and cattle yard and rice fields towards foothills. In case, a suitable location for water storage is not available, the run off water from the upper catchment is taken directly to rice fields which act as water source for rice crop. Special technique for seepage controlling the plots is followed, which include thorough puddling and use of paddy husks on shoulder bunds. In Zabo FS, all the agricultural operations like hoeing, puddling, ramming in rice fields are done manually with small hand tools, wooden sticks etc., which are time consuming and labour intensive. The seed rate is 60 kg/ha and transplanting time is June. The variety is grown at a spacing of 12 x 12 cm and two irrigations from the storage point (as supplement) maintaining 10 cm water depth in terraces are applied. The yield of the rice variety is about 3-4 tlha. Most of the farmers practice paddy-cum-fish culture technique as in Apatani FS and derive about 50-60 kg of fish per ha as an additional output. This system of farming is common on individually owned land of about 2.5 ha area. The various components of Zabo FS are Forest land, Water harvesting system, Cattle shed and Agriculture land.

By and large the Zabo FS is a organic farming without using any chemical fertilizers and plant protection chemicals. On the whole, the Zabo FS comprises of inherent and traditional agricultural and forestry land use, in built water harvesting system with well-founded conservation bases.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region published in Rice knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
Photo Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region published in Rice knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
21
Jan

Developments of SSNM concept

  • Existing fertilizer recommendations for rice often consist of one predetermined rate of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) for vast areas of rice production.
  • Such recommendations assume that the need of a rice crop for nutrients is constant over time and over large areas.
  • But the growth and needs of a rice crop for supplemental nutrients can vary greatly among fields, seasons, and years as a result of differences in crop-growing conditions, crop and soil management, and climate.
  • Hence, the management of nutrients for rice required a new approach, which enables adjustments in applying N, P, and K to accommodate the field-specific needs of the rice crop for supplemental nutrients.
  • The site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) approach was developed in Asian rice-producing countries through partnerships of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRI,2006).
  • It doesn’t aim to specifically reduce or increase fertilizer use( Buresh et al.,2005).
File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security
21
Jan

Transplanted in narrow valley lands

The most prevalent method of rice cultivation is the transplanted rice in valley lands in which generally the moisture regime is much higher and it is possible to grow transplanted rice in these situations.

The NE region is substantially rich in indigenous techniques and systems developed by the tribal farmers using their ingenuity and skill. Research and development efforts are, therefore, needed to work out and implement viable alternatives to the existing traditional FS, which may be environmentally safe, sustainable productive and acceptable to the farmers (Borthakur et al., 1983). Shifting cultivation is the main traditional FS of the region. In addition to shifting cuItivation, some other traditional FS exist in the region. Important among them are rice-based farming system of Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh, Adi rice cultivation Zabo FS of Nagaland,  Panikheti in Nagaland, Dhan kheti in Sikkim and high altitude Monpa FS in Kameng Himalaya.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region published in Rice knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
21
Jan

Transplanted on wet terraces

In the states of Nagaland, Sikkim and Manipur the rice is cultivated on carefully designed wet terraces. The water coming from the upstream and highlands is tamed and made to stand behind the bunds. The flow of water is regulated and it is carefully carried  from one terrace to the other and finally drained off in the downstream channels leading to streams or nallas. In this system of rice cultivation, there is no control on the movement of nutrients with water (Kannan et al., 1999). Zabo farming system of Nagaland and Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh are example of a better-managed resource systems but not the well-managed system. Because these systems, due to extremely high rainfall result into excessively high runoff with disturbances in the soil.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region published in Rice knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
21
Jan

Direct seeded rainfed on level bench terraces

In this case, the rice is cultivated on dry terraces of different shapes and sizes as rain fed crop. There is no careful planning and scientific design of water conveyance and drainage systems; rather the irrigation is applied from one terrace to the other except a few well developed system of rice farming in the region.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region published in Rice knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
21
Jan

Direct seeded, rainfed in upland (on steep slopes)

The patches of land are cleared in the hills and vegetation is burnt to make plots for rice cultivation on steep hill slopes. The paddy seeds are directly broad casted on steep hill slopes, which germinate with moisture availability. The crop is mainly grown as rain fed without any control on water application. Provisions, however, are made for safe removal of excess water from the fields by providing drainage channels along the slopes.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region published in Rice knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security.
21
Jan

SITE SPECIFIC NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT IN RICE - INTRODUCTION

Introduction

Rice farming is practiced in several ecological zones however most of the rice farming occurs in warm/cool humid subtropics, warm humid tropics and in warm sub-humid tropics. IRRI, 1993 has categorized rice ecosystems into four types of land ecosystems such as

  1. Irrigated rice
  2. Rainfed lowland rice
  3. Upland rice ecosystem
  4. Flood prone rice ecosystem

In irrigated rice ecosystems the rice fields have assured water supply for one or more crops a year. This is the major rice ecosystem.
The rainfed lowland ecosystem is characterized by its low soil moisture and the soils are often hungry and thirsty for major period of the year.
The upland rice ecosystem is characterized in several forms such as shifting of Jhum rice and permanent settled rice cultivation. This is cultivated on level to sloppy fields/plots.
These fields are rarely flooded and mostly they are aerobic soil. Rice is directly seeded on plowed dry soil or dibbled in wet and non puddle.
In flood prone rice ecosystem the fields are level to slightly sloping or depressed fields. Mostly during crop growth fields are flooded to 50 cm or more for more than ten consecutive days.
Rice is transplanted in puddle soil.

File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana , DRR - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Security
21
Jan

Rice and rice based farming systems of North Eastern region

The rice farming situations in the North Eastern Hills are as follows:

1. Direct seeded, rain fed in upland (on steep slopes),

2. Direct seeded rain fed on level bench terraces,

3. Transplanted on wet terraces; and

4. Transplanted in valley lands.

File Courtesy: 
A.K. Mohanty, Chandan Kapoor, R. Gopi, S. N. Meera and R. K. Avasthe, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region
24
Oct

Conservation agriculture

File Courtesy: 
Dr.Suneetha Kota Scientist, Plant Breeding, DRR
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23
Oct

DRRH-3

 

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