Legume Research

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Legume Research, volume 46 issue 1 (january 2023) : 80-84

​Performance of Different Farming Practices in Legume based Cropping System under Mid-hills of H.P. Himalayas

Navjot Rana1,*, Rameshwar Kumar2, Punam3, G.D. Sharma2, R.P. Sharma4, Bheem Pareek2, R.G. Upadhyay5
1Department of Agronomy, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara-144 411, Punjab, India.
2Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, CSK HPKV, Palampur-176 062, Himachal Pradesh, India.
3Department of Horticulture and Agroforestry, College of Agriculture, CSK HPKV, Palampur-176 062, Himachal Pradesh, India.
4Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, CSK HPKV, Palampur-176 062, Himachal Pradesh, India.
5Department of Biology and Environment Science, College of Agriculture, CSK HPKV, Palampur-176 062, Himachal Pradesh, India.
  • Submitted06-07-2021|

  • Accepted26-10-2021|

  • First Online 01-12-2021|

  • doi 10.18805/LR-4722

Cite article:- Rana Navjot, Kumar Rameshwar, Punam, Sharma G.D., Sharma R.P., Pareek Bheem, Upadhyay R.G. (2023). ​Performance of Different Farming Practices in Legume based Cropping System under Mid-hills of H.P. Himalayas . Legume Research. 46(1): 80-84. doi: 10.18805/LR-4722.
Background: Increasing demands of food, depleting land, degrading land resources and changing climate are some of the important factors driving the cropping systems of any agro-ecological zone in the world. Cropping systems have been traditionally structured to maximize crop yields. Now, there is a strong need to design cropping systems which take into consideration the emerging social, economical and ecological or environmental concerns. Legumes can provide opportunities for increased productivity to be sustained because of their adaptability to various cropping patterns and ability to fix nitrogen. Legume-based crop rotation helps to conserve organic matter, maximise soil nitrogen, balance soil nutrients, maintain soil physical properties and break soil-borne disease cycles. Moreover, with increasing fertilizer prices and emphasis of the government for doubling the farmer’s income by reducing cost of cultivation, the current trend is to explore the possibility of supplementing chemical fertilizer with the organic ones, more particularly organic manures and bio-fertilizer of microbial origin. The current study is aimed to increase small and marginal farmer’s income and to reduce cost of cultivation through legume based vegetable cropping systems and to find out best farming practices.

Methods: Field experiments were conducted at Organic Farm Holta, Department of Organic Agriculture and Natural farming, CSK HPKV, Palampur (H.P.) during kharif and rabi seasons of 2018-19 and 2019-20 on silty clay loam soil to study the performance of different farming practices in legume based cropping system under mid- hills of H.P. Himalayas. The experiment was laid out under Split plot design with three replications comprising of three sequences in legume vegetable-based cropping systems i.e., “Soybean-Onion”, “Okra-Pea” and “Mash-Garlic” under different farming practices i.e., Organic farming, Natural farming, Inorganic and Integrated farming practices. For comparison of different crops soybean equivalent yield and pea equivalent yields were calculated in kharif and rabi seasons, respectively.

Result: In kharif seasons okra crop attained highest soybean equivalent yield followed by soybean and mash crop. In rabi seasons garlic crop attained highest pea grain equivalent yield followed by onion and pea crop. During both kharif seasons organic farming practices attained highest yield and was at par with integrated farming practices. Significantly highest yield was attained from integrated farming practices and was at par with organic farming practices in both rabi seasons. Highest net returns, net returns per rupee attained was in inorganic farming system. Highest cost of cultivation was found in organic farming practices.
Increasing demands of food, depleting land, degrading land resources and changing climate are some of the important factors driving the cropping systems of any agro-ecological zone in the world. Cropping systems have been traditionally structured to maximize crop yields. Now, there is a strong need to design cropping systems which take into consideration the emerging social, economical and ecological or environmental concerns. Legumes can provide opportunities for increased productivity to be sustained because of their adaptability to various cropping patterns and ability to fix nitrogen (Jeyabal and Kuppuswamy, 2001). Legume-based crop rotation helps to conserve organic matter, maximise soil nitrogen (N), balance soil nutrients, maintain soil physical properties and break soil-borne disease cycles in the soil. Moreover, with increasing fertilizer prices and emphasis of the government for doubling the farmers’ income by reducing cost of cultivation, the current trend is to explore the possibility of supplementing chemical fertilizer with the organic ones, more particularly organic manures and bio-fertilizer of microbial origin. Legume and vegetable based multiple cropping systems have unique benefits and reduce the risk of low income for small and marginal farmers (Rana et al., 2011; Sharma et al., 2009).

Chemical fertilizers have the ability to fulfil the nutrient demand of these crops but the poor socio-economic conditions of small and marginal farmers restrict the use of chemical fertilizers. Moreover, continuous and indiscriminate use of high analysis chemical fertilizers has resulted in the degradation of environment ultimately leading to depleted soil productivity, crop productivity and sustainability (Chakraborti and Singh, 2004). In this changing scenario, strategic change in nutrient management through integrated input supply system has shown promise with combined application of different sources of plant nutrients (organic and inorganic) for sustainable crop production without degrading the natural resource base of the soil and that too on long term basis.

Organic farming is reported to have enhanced both microbial biomass and microbial activity by 20-30% and 30-100%, respectively (Stolze et al., 2000). The farmyard manure (FYM) is an important source of organic matter in India, however its availability in huge quantity is questionable and is not enough to realize its optimum production potential. Thus, there is a strong need to adopt integrated nutrient supply system by judicious combination of organic and inorganic fertilizers to improve soil health and crop productivity (Verma and Bhattacharya 1990). Application of bio-fertilizers which is environment friendly and low-cost input, with organic and inorganic fertilizers as part of an integrated nutrient management strategy play a significant role in plant nutrition. Zero budget natural farming is another farming practice suggested by Padam Shri Dr. Subhash Palekar (ZBNF). This is a new concept that aims to promote long-term sustainability. It substitutes organic farming’s use of farmyard manure and compost with cover crops, green manure crops and desi cow preparations. With the help of these components, humus formation occurs within the fields which releases nutrients slowly, allowing plants to absorb them more effectively. So, this experiment was planned to study the relative performance of conventional and traditional farming practices in different cropping systems.
The experiment was conducted during kharif and rabi seasons of 2018-19 and 2019-20 at Organic Farm Holta of Department of Organic Agriculture and Natural Farming, CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur. The experimental site is geographically located at 32°6' N latitude and 76°3' E longitudes at an elevation of about 1224 meters above mean sea level. The soil of the experimental field was silty clay loam in texture, acidic in reaction, low in available nitrogen, high in available phosphorus and medium in available potassium.

The experiment was laid out under split plot design with three replications comprising of three crop sequences in legume vegetable-based cropping system i.e., “Soybean - Onion”, “Okra - Peas” and “Mash -Garlic”. The varieties of crop i.e., Soybean ‘Harit Soya’, Okra ‘Punjab -8’, Mash ‘UG 218’, Onion ‘Patna red’, Peas ‘Punjab 89’ and Garlic ‘GHC-1’ were raised in different farming practices i.e., Organic farming, Natural farming, Inorganic and Integrated farming.

In organic practices, seed treatment with Jeevamrit @10%, vermicompost @ 5 t ha-1 (Soybean, Mash), 10 t ha-1 (Okra, Onion, Peas, Garlic) + 3 sprays of vermiwash were followed and in natural farming practices, soil treatment with jeevamrit @10%, ghanjeevamrit 250 kg ha-1 and sieved FYM 250 kg ha-1 + spray of jeevamrit after 21 days interval were followed. Under inorganic farming practices, recommended dose of NPK was followed whereas in integrated farming practices, half dose of inorganic and half the dose of organic practices was followed. There was no severe attack of any insect-pest and disease. For comparative performance of different cropping sequences under different farming practices, yield of all crops was converted into soybean grain-equivalent yield (SGEY) in kharif and pea grain equivalent yield (PGEY) in rabi on price basis. Since data followed the homogeneity test, pooling was done over the seasons and mean data was used to calculate productivity and profitability of the system. Profitability of the system under the different farming practices was worked out in terms of net returns per rupee invested and was calculated by dividing net returns (Rs ha-1) with cost of cultivation (Rs ha-1). The data was statistically analyzed as per the procedure outlined by Gomez and Gomez (1984).
Soybean grain equivalent yield (SGEY)

In kharif season crops i.e., soybean, okra, mash yields were converted into soybean grain equivalent yield on price basis. Significantly higher soybean grain equivalent yield (SGEY) was recorded under organic farming practices (17.23 q ha-1) during both the years of kharif season and was statistically at par with integrated farming (50% inorganic + 50% organic) farming practices (17.03 q ha-1). Lowest SGEY (12.70 q ha-1) was observed in zero budget natural farming practices. The beneficial effect of organic manures on yield might be due to additional supply of plant nutrients as well as improvement in physical and biological properties of the soil (Datt et al., 2003). Amongst cropping system, SGEY was significantly higher (23.46 q ha-1) in “Okra-Pea” followed by “Soybean-Onion” (14.23 q ha-1) cropping system. Lowest SGEY was recorded under “Mash- Garlic” (9.78 q ha-1) cropping system (Table 1).

Table 1: Effect of farming system and cropping system on yield (q ha-1).



Pea grain equivalent yield (PGEY)

In rabi season crops i.e., onion, peas, garlic yields were converted into pea grain equivalent yield on price basis. Significant effect on pea grain equivalent yield (PGEY) was observed with interaction effect of inorganic, organic, integrated and zero budget natural farming practices. Significantly highest yield (107.32 q ha-1) was recorded under integrated farming (50% inorganic + 50% organic) and followed by organic farming practice (103.97 q ha-1). Lowest PGEY (81.49 q ha-1) was observed in Zero budget natural farming practices during rabi season of both the years (Table 2). In cropping System, PGEY under “Mash-Garlic” system (167.79 q ha-1) was significantly higher followed by “Soybean-Onion” (72.90 q ha-1). “Okra-Pea” cropping system produced lowest PGEY (51.31 q ha-1). Kumar et al., (2020) also reported that “mash-garlic” cropping system produced significantly highest yield. This may be due to higher garlic yield and remunerative price it fetched (Table 1).

Economics

Cost of cultivation (Rs ha-1)

During both the years, highest cost of cultivation (Rs 1,39248) was recorded in “Mash- Garlic” cropping system under organic farming practices followed by “Mash- Garlic” cropping system (Rs 1,21834) in integrated farming practices. Similar findings were reported by Rana et al., (2014) with the application of vermicompost which increases the cost of cultivation. Cost of cultivation was least (Rs 71348) in “Soybean-Onion” cropping system under inorganic farming practices (Table 2).

Table 2: Effect of farming practices and cropping system on cost of cultivation (Rs ha-1).



Gross returns (Rs ha-1)

Highest gross returns (Rs 483868) were obtained with integrated nutrient management in “Mash- Garlic” cropping system during both the years (Table 3). This may be due to the fact that combination of organic manures and chemical fertilizers resulted in significantly higher yield that in return resulted into higher gross returns. Similar findings through conjunctive use of organic manures and chemical fertilizers have also been made by Ferdous et al., (2017), Jat et al., (2017) and Bharthy et al., (2017). Lowest value was recorded in “Okra-Peas” cropping system under zero budget natural farming practices. This may be due to less availability of nutrients in the soil.

Table 3: Effect of farming practices and cropping system on gross returns (Rs ha-1).



Net returns (Rs ha-1)

The data on net returns (Table 4) revealed that in both the years, highest net returns (Rs 3,62035) were obtained in “Mash-Garlic” cropping system under integrated farming practices and least (Rs 97521) under zero budget natural farming practices. This may be due to low-cost inputs and high yield of crop. Kumar et al., (2020) also reported that “Mash-Garlic” produced significantly highest net returns as compared to other cropping systems.

Table 4: Effect of farming practices and cropping system on net returns (Rs ha-1).



Net returns per rupees invested

In 2018-2019, net returns per rupee invested was highest (2.77) in “Mash-Garlic” cropping system under inorganic farming practices (Table 5). In 2019-20, highest net returns per Rupee invested was recorded in “Mash-Garlic” cropping system (3.01) under inorganic farming practices. Joshi and Billore (2004) also reported that irrespective of the cropping system, 100% RDF recorded significantly highest net returns per rupees invested amongst different farming practices. Lowest (0.99 Rs) net returns per Rs invested was obtained in “Okra-Pea” cropping system under organic farming practices (Table 5). This may be due to high cost of vermicompost, resulting in increased cost of cultivation without much increase in net returns.

Table 5: Effect of farming practices and cropping system on net returns per rs invested.

Integrated nutrient management practices i.e., use of 50% chemicals + use of 50% organic is more helpful in giving more returns and was at par with organic farming practices as compared to other farming practices. Based on the the findings of present investigation it was concluded that for higher monetary returns farmers of mid hills, Himachal Pradesh with sufficient resources can successfully adopt integrated nutrient management practices with “Mash-garlic” cropping system followed by “Okra-peas” cropping system.

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  3. Datt, N. Sharma, R.P. and Sharma, G.D. (2003). Effect of supplementary use of farmyard manure along with chemical fertilizers on productivity and nutrient uptake by vegetable pea and build-up of soil fertility in Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 73: 266-268.

  4. Ferdous, Z., Anwar, M., Uddin, N., Ullah, H. and Hossain, A. (2017). Yield performance of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) through integrated nutrient management. International Journal of Biosciences. 10(1): 294-301.

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