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Mulching

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  • Mulching of Jhum land is done by spreading of the cut grasses, stubble, trash or any other vegetation.  
  • Mulching often minimizes erosion and conserves in situ moisture, besides reducing weeds menace. 
  • Spreading of organic residues is also common.  
  • Trash mulching is practiced in Serchip district (East Lungdar) in sugarcane crops.  
  • Sugarcane stems are crushed for jaggery making and left out trashes, stem remains after crushing  are spread in the field during the winter, which is the period of acute moisture stress owing to the no or negligible rainfall.   
  • In New Serchip block of Serchip district during winter season farmers harvest the maize cobs and stems are cut into 2-3 pieces of. 
  • These pieces are spread in the field as mulch.  The crop residue left on the surface, cushions rain drop impact and reduces water movement, hence soil erosion is checked.  As water runoff and evaporation are reduced, water penetration is improved.   
  • The crop residues and roots build up in the long term, improving soil structure and fertility.   
  • However, farmers have shown concern as these trashes often reduce their cattle feed and they do not practice when they have shortage of fodder.   
  • Banana mulching on the plantation floor is used to conserve soil and water, to maintain soil fertility and to reduce weed growth. 
  • Harvested rainwater is also led into banana plantations via interception ditches. 
  • Banana mulching is a century old tradition. 
  • The indigenous banana mulching practice uses a mix of four different mulch components, namely, bean and sorghum stover, banana pseudo stem, and grass.
File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Food Security
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