Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 23, Feb 2017 Suppl. Issue; Page No.(207-215)

EFFECT OF CROP ESTABLISHMENT METHODS ON CROP YIELD, WEED DYNAMICS, PROFITABILITY AND NUTRIENT UPTAKE UNDER RICE-WHEAT CROPPING SYSTEM OF INDO-GANGETIC PLAINS OF EASTERN INDIA

Mandhata Singh, Deokaran J.S. Mishra and B.P. Bhatt

Abstract

The rice–wheat cropping system covering 13.5 million ha in the Indo-Gangetic Plains in South-Asia is vital for food security. Water, energy and labour scarcity, increasing cost of production, diminishing farm profit and the changing climate are major challenges faced by the farmers under intensive tillage based conventional practices. In a field study, we evaluated productivity, weed dynamics, nutrient uptake and economical profitability of four wheat establishment methods during two years. The wheat establishment methods included zero-till wheat (ZTW), happy seeder planted wheat (HSW), bed planted wheat (BPW) and conventional till wheat (CTW). The treatments were completely randomized and replicated five times. Wheat grain yield under HSW was 3.4% and 4.1% higher than BPW, 8.3% and 11.0% higher than ZTW and 20.8% and 24.5% higher than CTW in 2012-13 and 2013-14, respectively. Nutrient (N, P and K) uptake in wheat grain was also higher in HSW than in the other treatments. Weed density and biomass was the lowest under HSW followed by BPT, and the highest in CTW. The weed pressure was reduced in the second growing season compared to the first. Net profit and benefit cost ratio was highest under HSW and the lowest under CTW.

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