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By suman - Posted on 14 September 2016

 Division Staff

Diversification/intensification of rice-wheat system

In South Asia, rice - wheat sequence is the largest agriculture production system and occupies about 13.5 million hectares area including 10.3 million hectares in India, extending from Indo-Gangetic plain to Himalayan foothills. In India, approximately 23% and 40 % of total rice and wheat area, respectively, is represented by rice-wheat system alone, which requires contrasting edaphic conditions. Rice is generally transplanted in puddled soil and is given continued submergence whereas wheat is grown in upland well-drained soils having good tilth.

Continuously following rice-wheat system has been reported to decline the factor productivity leading to higher use of inputs especially nitrogen and herbicides to get the same output which in turn squeezed the profit margin of the farmers over time. In order to restore the soil productivity and to improve the profit margin of the farmers, an attempt was made to diversify/intensify the rice-wheat system with the help of Furrow Irrigated Raised Bed Planting (FIRB) technology, which has potential to reduce the cost of cultivation and also minimize dependence on herbicide for weed control.




Research work carried out at DWR suggests that diversification/intensification of rice -wheat system, once in three years, always enhanced the net return, when all crops (except rice) were grown on raised bed in a system approach. Inclusion of oilseed or pulses on beds once in three years or intensification by growing vegetable pea in between rice and wheat or green gram after wheat showed higher return as compared to conventional rice-wheat system.

Growing of berseem crop in the rotation reduced weed population in subsequent wheat cycle. It can be surmised that intensification of rice-wheat by growing short duration green gram var SML 668 after wheat harvest could reduce 25 % N requirement for rice as well as green gram production to the tune of half tonne/ha.  Crop rotations that can be used for diversification of rice –wheat are pigeon pea-wheat and rice-mustard-green gram.