Biomedical Science & Research Journals | Preceding Rainy-Season Crops and Residue Management Practices on Growth, Yield and Economics of Succeeding Wheat under Zero-till Semi-Arid Condition

Conservation agriculture involving zero-till residue management practices with crop diversity of short-duration rainy-season crops may be more viable approach to increase the productivity and resource-use efficiency in semi-arid dryland areas. To identify suitable wheat-based cropping system an experiment was conducted with three preceding rainy-season crops pearlmillet, clusterbean and greengram along with crop residue and Leucaena twigs mulching. Both rainy- and winter-season crops were grown under zero-till along with other recommended package of practices under rainfed conditions during 2010-11 and 2011-12. Grain yield of wheat was significantly higher in 2011-12 than in 2010-11, and with crop residue than no residue. Preceding greengram resulted in significantly higher grain yield of wheat (1.11 t ha-1 in 2010-11, and 2.49 t ha-1 in 2011- 12), followed by that after clusterbean. Greengram with crop residue recorded the highest grain yield of wheat (3.32 t ha-1), followed by clusterbean with Leucaena twigs (3.29 t ha-1) and clusterbean with crop residue (2.94 t ha-1) in 2011-12. The nutrient uptake followed the same trend as grain and straw yield. The magnitude of total nutrient uptake of wheat was about 25% more in 2011-12, than in 2010-11 due to its higher biomass production in latter year. The economic analysis exhibited the highest returns after greengram with crop residues and clusterbean with Leucaena twigs. It was concluded that wheat after greengram and clusterbean with crop residue and Leucaena twigs mulching provided higher productivity and profitability under semi-arid zero-till condition.

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