On farm experiments on direct seeded rice were conducted in Devakottai, Sakkottai, Thirupathur, Kalayarkoil and Thirupuvanam block of Sivaganga district during Kharif 2013 and Summer 2014 seasons to enhance productivity and net income of rice farmers and these direct seeded rice (DSR) using seed drill demonstration were compared with traditional practices puddle transplanted rice (PTR), machine transplanted rice (MTR), manual broadcasting followed by tractor harrowing, manual broadcasting followed by country plough harrowing and system of rice intensification (SRI). The results of the experiments revealed that the highest yield of 7.42 kg/ha was recorded under DSR method of crop establishment as compared to conventional (manual broad casting (5.94 kg/ha) and PTR (5.7 kg/ha) and other improved practices like machine transplanted rice (6.4kg/ha) and SRI (7.6 kg/ha). The highest net return of Rs. 77,110/ha and benefit cost ratio of 4.98 were observed under DSR method of crop establishment besides minimizing cost of cultivation (Rs.8200/ha, labour saving and crop matured 7 days earlier than PTR.
Fertilizer use on cocoa increases productivity, however soil testing is necessary to avoid negative consequences of blanket fertilizer application. Many of the smallholders cocoa farmers cannot afford conventional soil testing because of cost and logistics involved, hence the need for more affordable and quick soil test kit. The study was carried out in four cocoa producing communities in Ondo and Osun states where cocoa farmers were trained on the use of LaMotte soil test kit to analyse for soil pH, N, P and K. The farmers were also taught on collection and processing of representative soil samples which were analysed using the soil test kit by placing the farmers in groups. The results indicated that farmers in each of the groups got similar values for the soil parameters (pH, N, P and K) measured. The study revealed that the soils of the four cocoa plantations required N, P and K fertilizer application at different levels. The soil test revealed that while the soil of Olorunranmilowo location required as much as 148.58kgK/ha, Ago-Owu location soil only required 31.28kgK/ha . This reflected the importance of soil testing before fertilizer recommendation compared with blanket fertilizer application which does not consider native fertility.
A field experiment was carried out to study the response of tomato to foliar application of micronutrients from 2011 to 2014 at the Department of Vegetable Crops, Horticultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. The hybrid COTH 2 was chosen for this study. The results based on three years mean revealed that out of fourteen different treatments, Different combinations of all the micronutrients were applied in three replications. The pooled analysis revealed that among the different combinations. In tomato hybrid COTH 2, spraying of mixture of all micronutrients (Boric acid @100 ppm, ZnSo4 @ 100 ppm, Ammonium molybdate @ 50 ppm. Copper sulphate @ 100 ppm, Ferrus sulphate @ 100 ppm, Manganese sulphate @ 100 ppm) (3 sprays at an interval of 40 days from DAP) recorded the highest plant height (95.7cm), number of fruits per plant (46.4) fruit weight (61.9g), fruit yield per plot (63.5kg) and highest yield of 564.1 q/ ha followed by spraying of commercial formulation (Multiplex) (558.8 q / ha). The highest BC ratio of 3.04 was recorded in Mixture of all treatment which was followed by spraying of Zinc Sulphate @ 100 ppm (3.00).
Farmers have been chosen randomly for each of the crop in the blocks concerned in two Development Blocks identified (1. Periyanaicken Palayam in Coimbatore district representing irrigated/semi irrigated Jatropha cultivation and Aruppukkottai in Virudhunagar district representing rainfed system), the following major rainfed /Semi irrigated crops were identified as potentially competing crops. A. Periyanaicken Palayam Block: Crops are 1. Sorghum, 2. Maize, 3. Chickpea, 4. Cowpea; B. Aruppukkottai: crops are 1. Sorghum, 2. Maize, 3. Black gram, 4. Green gram, 5. Groundnut, 6. Sunflower, 7. Sesame, 8. Cotton. The major area for each of the above crops is selected to study the feasibility of jatropha along with other suitable crops through discounted net return analysis. The economic analysis revealed that jatropha was proved to be a loss making crop in the rain fed condition and in the irrigated condition, even while found to be relatively more profitable when compared to many of the competing crops. In the absence a competitive market and lack of flexibility in altering crop composition as in the case of annual crops led to farmer’s preference towards other crops. Jatropha replacing food crops in irrigated conditions will be against the policy of ensuring food security in India. Hence, introduction of new crop must address the mitigation of global warming, creating regional employment, economically viable.
Chilli is an important vegetable crop of India and is grown for its pungent fruits, which are used both green and ripe to impart pungency and colour to the food. India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of chilli. The yield of chilli under conventional method of cultivation is very low and it can be increased by improved agronomic practices. Among the agronomic practices, nutrient management plays a vital role in determining the yield and quality of chilli. Fertigation is a recent innovative method, by which fertilizers are applied along with irrigation water through drip system to get higher fertilizer use efficiency besides increased yields. Chilli crop requires a balanced fertilizer management for normal growth and development of the crop. It is a heavy feeder of nutrients and higher yield can be sustained only through the application of nutrients at optimum doses in balanced proportion. Moreover, the nutrient requirement of hybrid chilli is high as compared to varieties, which also varies with the growth stages of the crop. Among the various factors responsible for high yield, the use of appropriate quantity of nutrients at proper time plays a vital role in enhancing the productivity. Hence, planning the nutrient supply according to the phenological stages of development may result in high yield with quality produce. In this context, fertigation technology plays a key role to achieve higher productivity and nutrient efficiency.