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Effect of Mulching and Crop Establishment Method on Yield, Water Balance and Soil Water Dynamics of Permanent Beds on Wheat Crop in Western Uttar Pradesh

R. K. Naresh1, Vineet Kumar2, Pradeep Kumar1, and Vichitra Kumar Arya 3
1. Department of Agronomy, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agricultuere & Technology, Meerut, UP, India.
2. Department of Soil Science, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agricultuere & Technology, Meerut, UP, India.
3. Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agricultuere & Technology, Meerut, UP, India.
Abstract—Permanent beds with crop residue retention have been proposed as a means of reducing irrigation water use, improving soil properties and reducing the cost of crop establishment. A field experiment was conducted over 3 years in Western Uttar Pradesh, to compare conventional and permanent bed wheat crop, with and without retention of crop residues, in terms of crop performance and components of the water balance and soil water dynamics. Results of this study showed that total irrigation amounts for wheat (239-446 mm) were about one-eighth of those for rice. The amount of water applied at each irrigation was usually less on the beds than on the flats. In 2001-02 a long-term trial was initiated to compare the farmer practice of tilling to destroy the beds after the harvest of each crop with a new approach. In this alternative method new raised beds were made following a final cycle of tillage, after which these beds were maintained permanently with only occasional reshaping as needed after harvest and before planting the next crop. By the 2008-09 winter crop season, 3 wheat crops have been successfully produced in this long-term trial, including treatments where no tillage or no crop residue removal has been practised. Significant yield differences between the tillage/ residue management treatments have been observed for wheat, with major differences starting with the second wheat crop. More stable, higher wheat yields have been obtained with permanent beds combined with residue retention.

Index Terms—Crop residue, zero-tillage, water productivity, Permanent raised beds, Soil quality

Cite: R. K. Naresh, Vineet Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, and Vichitra Kumar Arya, "Effect of Mulching and Crop Establishment Method on Yield, Water Balance and Soil Water Dynamics of Permanent Beds on Wheat Crop in Western Uttar Pradesh," International Journal of Life Sciences Biotechnology and Pharma Research, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 65-75, January 2013.
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