Gangtok, Dec. 14, 2010
The College of Agricultural Engineering and Post Harvest Technology centre of the Utilization of Animal Energy (UAE) conducted front line demonstration of two designs of animal drawn improved plough. The demonstration was carried on terrace after rice harvest on fields of Roopnarayan Bhattarai, a farmer of village Samlik Marchak, east Sikkim. The CAEPHT plough (size = 200 mm) showed higher work rate of 0.03 hectare (300 sq.m) per hour at 45 kg draft than the conventional plough (work rate, sq.m/h=180 at 40 kg draft).
The CAEPHT plough weigh 5.5 kg with handle and without beam. It consists of double wings made of mild steel for surface tilting of ploughed soil and replaceable share of high carbon steel to penetrate and break open the soil. The plough body has in-built suction for easy penetration into the soil. The plough has been found to be best suitable for operation under moisture content of the soil (21.12% dry basis) in the field. At higher level of moisture content of soil with stubbles and weeds especially after harvest of rice formed clods/long slices of soil mass which has to be broken down prior to seeding. The conventional wooden clod crusher cum planker (size, m=01 and weight, kg=15) having dual wooden beam was operated twice for breaking clods and surface levelling of soil in the terrace. The work rate was found to be 0.04 ha (400 sq.m) per hour. The clods were broken to minimum average size of 25.4 mm. The moisture content of the soil prior to seeding was 20.5% (dry basis) at the layer in which the seed was placed by the furrow openers of the seed drill. The surface soil was dry at soil moisture content of 18.1% (dry basis) which acted as mulch to protect the soil moisture underneath. The seed drill was single row with fluted roller mechanism for metering of seed powered by ground drive wheel through sprocket and chain. The weight of the drill is 22 kg and its unit price is Rs. 2500/-. The seeding of wheat (variety- PB 343) was done at average row spacing of 228 mm and seeds were placed at average depth of 55 mm to ensure proper germination of seeds and sowing of crops. Prior to seeding the drill was calibrated for wheat at seed rate of 100 kg/ha. The work rate of drill was 0.03 ha (300 sq.m) per hour. The seed drill was demonstrated in 227 sq.m (two terraces).
The drill was developed for seeding different types of seeds with required adjustments for mustard, buck wheat and wheat. The furrow opener was attached to the tool frame by use of U clamps. The transport cum support wheels help for adjusting the depth of operation. The advantage of row seeding of wheat compared to the traditional method of hand broadcasting was explained to the farmer in terms of precise placement of seeds in proper depth, saving in seeds and uniform distribution in the entire field for proper germination, emergence, establishment and growth of crops. The improved package of practices including the life saving irrigations at critical stages of growth of crops was explained to the farmers.
The response of the farmer who willingly participated in the demonstration was satisfying as he expressed that row seeding of wheat with improve package of practices may yield 30-40 % higher compared to the traditional method of broadcasting (grain yield, t/ha=01). The response of other farmers for mechanical row seeding was found to be encouraging and many showed their willingness to opt for the technology with improved package of practices.
The programme was jointly organized by Dr. R.K Tiwari, Dr. N.S Chauhan and Dr. T.K Khura Principal Investigators of the AICRPS, UAE, FIM and ESA respectively.
(Courtesy: Sikkim Mail)