Impact of tillage and crop establishment methods on crop yields, profitability and soil physical properties in rice–wheat system of Indo‐Gangetic Plains of India uri icon

abstract

  • Conservation agriculture (CA) based on best-bet crop management practices may increase crop and water productivity, as well as conserve and sustain soil health and natural resources. In a 2-year study, we assessed the effects of tillage and crop establishment (TCE) methods on productivity, profitability and soil physical properties in a rice-wheat (RW) system. The six TCE treatments were used to study the impact, which are puddled transplanted rice followed by conventionally tilled wheat (CTPR-CTW), direct-seeded rice on the flat followed by zero-till wheat (CTDSR-ZTW), zero-till direct-seeded rice with residue followed by zero-till wheat with residue (ZTDSR+R-ZTW+R), transplanted rice after rotavator puddling followed by zero-till wheat (RTTPR-ZTW), transplanted rice after rotavator puddling followed by rotary till wheat (RTTPR-RTW) and farmer practice rice-wheat (FP-RW). Result of the study revealed that mean rice yield was not significantly affected by different TCE methods. Wheat planted with ZTDSR+R-ZTW+R gave 30% larger grain yield than FP-RW. Overall, among all the TCE treatments, the RW system yields and net returns were maximum under ZTDSR+R-ZTW+R. The fastest mean infiltration rate (0.10 cm hr(-1)) was registered in ZTDSR+R-ZTW+R plots, whereas the slowest was in FP-RW plots (0.05 cm hr(-1)). Bulk density at 15-20 cm soil depth was least in ZTDSR+R-ZTW+R (1.70 Mg m(-3)) and greatest in FP-RW (1.73 Mg m(-3)). Results from this study revealed that conventionally tilled (CT) and transplanting of rice could be successfully replaced by adoption of the profitable double ZT-RW system.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019