Adoption of resource conservation technologies (RCT) may improve the productivity, reduce cost and sustainability of wheat production in the irrigated areas of eastern Indo-Gangetic plains (IGP) of South Asia. Critical on –farm study on factors favouring adoption and non-adoption is required. Findings from an on-farm trial conducted during 2005-2009 are used to evaluate the on-farm impacts of zero tillage (ZT) in wheat from three sites at Tarai-Teesta flood plain of eastern IGP. On an average, there was 11.54% increase in productivity in ZT wheat over conventional tilled (CT) wheat. Water productivity increased from 1.99 kg m-3 in CT to 2.73 kg m-3 in ZT due to lower estimated water use (1147 m3 ha-1 in ZT than 1435 m3 ha-1 in CT) and higher productivity (3.38 t ha-1 in ZT than 3.03 t ha-1 in CT). Saving in tractor operation and diesel use in farmers’ ZT wheat fields were 3.23 and 19.09 hours ha-1. Sowing can be done earlier by one week through adoption of ZT machine for better utilization of limited winter. Savings in ZT on farmers’ fields were in the components of land preparation (1938 Rs ha-1), seed (462 Rs ha-1), nitrogen (269 Rs ha-1), phosphate fertilizer (104 Rs ha-1) and irrigation (380 Rs ha-1) over conventional wheat cultivation. Availability of zero-till seeder and its servicing, skilled operator and sometimes reluctance of local tiller operator for apprehension of lower earnings from single tillage pass are also revealed as the factors of non-adoption. More such in-depth studies should be conducted on site-specific basis so that it can be replicated more widely in areas for the benefit of the farming community.
Indo Gangetic Plain, Tarai-Teesta Flood plain, Wheat, Zero tillage
Ahmad, M., Masih, L and Giordano. (2014). Constraints and opportinies for water savings and increasing productiv-ity through Resource Conservation Technologies in Pakistan. Agriculture, Ecosystem & Environment. 187: 106-132.
Biswas, B., Ghosh, D.C., Dasgupta, M.K., Trivedi, N., Tim-sina, J. and Dobermann, A. (2006). Integrated assess-ment of cropping systems in the Eastern Indo-Gangetic plain. Field Crops Research. 99: 35-47.
Bhan, S. and Behera. (2014). Conservation agriculture in India – Problems, prospects and policy issues. International Soil and Water Conservation Research. 2(4): 1-12.
Bhushan, L., Ladha, J.K., Gupta, R.K., Singh, S, Tirol-Padre, A., Saharawat, Y.S., Gathala, M. and Pathak, H. (2007). Saving of water and Labour in a Rice-Wheat System with No-Tillage and Direct Seeding Technologies. Agronomy Journal. 99:1288-1296.
Brodt, S., Six, J., Feenstra, G., Ingels, C. and Campbell, D. (2011). Sustainable Agriculture. Nature Education Knowledge. 3(10):1-8.
Chauhan, B.S., Mahajan, G., Sardana, V, Timsina, J. and Jat, M.L. (2012). Productivity and sustainability of the Rice-Wheat Cropping System in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of the Indian subcontinent: Problems, Opportu-nities, and Strategies. Advances in Agronomy. 117:315-369.
Erenstein, O. (2009). Specification effects in zero tillage survey data in South Asia’s rice – wheat system. Field Crops Research. 111: 166-172.
Farooq, U., Sharif, M. and Erenstein, O. (2007). Adoption and impacts of zero tillage in the rice–wheat zone of irrigated Punjab, Pakistan. Research Report. CIMMYT India &RWC, NewDelhi, India.
Gupta, R. and Sayre, K. (2007). Conservation agriculture in South Asia. J. Agric. Sci. 145: 207-214.
Hobbs, P.R., Gupta and R.K. (2003). Rice–wheat cropping systems in the Indo- Gangetic Plains: issues of water productivity in relation to new resource- conserving technologies. In: Kijne, J.W., Barker, R. and Molden, D. (Eds.), Water Productivity in Agriculture: Limits and Opportunities for Improvement. CABI Publication, Wallingford, UK, pp.239–253.
Jat, R.K., Sapkota, T.B., Singh, R.G., Jat, M.L., Kumar. M.and Gupta, R.K. (2014). Seven years of conservation agriculture in a rice-wheat rotation of Eastern Gangetic Plains of south Asia: Yield trends and economic profit-ability. Field Crop Research. 164:199-210
Keil, A.K., D’souza, A. and McDonald, A. (2015). Zero-tillage as a pathway for sustainable wheat intensifica-tion in the Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains: does it work in farmers’ fields? Food Security. 7(5): 983-1001.
Mandal, S.K., Kumar, R., Kumar, S., Singh, Y.K. and Kumar, R. (2015). Impact of resource conservation technologies on soil health and productivity of wheat in rice-wheat cropping system. Journal of Applied and Natural Sciences. 7(1): 58-66.
Molden, D.J., Sakthivadivel, R.,Perry, C.J.,de Fracture, C. and Kloezen, W.H. (1998). Indicators for comparing performance of irrigated agricultural systems. Research Report 20. International Water Management Institute (IMWI),Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Saharawat, Y.S., Singh, B., Malik, R.K., Ladha, J.K., Gathala, M., Jat, M.L., Kumar, V. (2010). Evaluation of alternative tillage and crop establishment methods in a rice-wheat rotation in North Western IGP. Field Crops Research. 116: 260-267.
Sharma, A.R., Jat, M.L., Saharawat, Y.S., Singh, V.P., & Singh, R. (2012). Conservation agriculture for improv-ing productivity and resource-use efficiency: prospects and research needs in Indian context. Indian Journal of Agronomy, 57 (IAC Special Issue): 131-140.
Singh, R.G., Mishra, S.K., Singh, P.K., Jat, R.K., Dey, S., Shahi, V.B., Lahiri, A., Biswas, B., Sarkar, S., Bhatta-charya, P., Kumar, S. and Gupta, R.K. (2012). Opportu-nities for managing rice-fallow systems with conserva-tion agricultural technologies. Indian Farming 62(6): 31-34, 40 September, 2012..
This work is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) © Author (s)