INSITU MOISTURE CONSERVATION TECHNIQUES IN DRYFARMING - A REVIEW

Article Id: ARCC4169 | Page : 67 - 72
Citation :- INSITU MOISTURE CONSERVATION TECHNIQUES IN DRYFARMING - A REVIEW.Agricultural Reviews.2006.(27):67 - 72
M. Muthamilselvan, R. Manian and K. Kathirvel
Address : Department of Farm Machinery, Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore - 641 003, India

Abstract

To increase the moisture availability to the agricultural crops, it is necessary to adopt in-situ moisture conservation techniques in addition to the large scale soil and moisture conservation and water harvesting structures in the watershed. The principle behind the recommendation of different practices is to increase the infiltration by reducing the rate of runoff, temporarily impounding the water on the surface of the soil to increase the opportunity time for infiltration and modifying the land configuration for inter plot water harvesting. Earlier efforts for moisture conservation were concentrated upon construction of various types of bunds across the land slope to control erosion and conserve soil. All the erosion control measures however, led to accumulation of water against the structures rather than its proper and uniform distribution in the interterraced area and at times led to reduction in crop yields. To overcome these problems the insitu moisture conservation techniques are recommended. Generally, the subsoiling and deep digging decreases the soil penetration resistance and increases profile water use when compared with conventional tillage. In a study, subsoiling, mould board ploughing and deep digging resulted in 80–100 per cent more stover yield and 70–350 per cent more grain yield of maize than the control. Application of maize stalk as mulch increases the yield of rainfed wheat variety C-306 by 19.97 per cent. A study reveals that jalshakti (hydrophilic polymer) in furrows at sowing + mulch combination is the best one in terms of maximum yield, soil moisture content and water use efficiency in the rainfed mustard crop. Basin listing increases surface depression storage of precipitation, thereby potentially reducing storm runoff and increasing soil water storage availability to crops. In a study, the basin lister resulted in an increased crop yield of 11.0 per cent as compared to conventional method of summer ploughing. The broad bed andfurrows result in larger moisture storage than the other tillage methods. In a study, there was 13.45 per cent increase in yield in broad bed and furrow system over the flat bed method ofsowing. It is reported in another study that there was 11.67 per cent increase in yield of ragi in the ridge and furrow system over the flat method of sowing. In a field investigation on the effect of different methods of sowing on yields of ground nut, it is reported that there is 40.80 per cent higher yield of pod in the ridge-furrow method than the flat bed sowing systems. In general, it could be possible to reduce soil and water losses by adopting in-situ conservation practices like dead furrows at 3.6 m interval across the slope (25 to 30 days after sowing) with the arrival of rains, coupled with compartmental bunding with 20 m length and 10 m width before germination of crop. In an investigation, it is reported that compartmental bunding increases the grain and fodder production of rabi sorghum by 38 and 50 per cent respectively.

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