Evaluation of tillage and crop establishment methods integrated with relay seeding of wheat and mungbean for sustainable intensification of cotton-wheat system in South Asia - Amsterdam, Netherlands : Elsevier, 2016.
Intensive tillage-based conventional cotton-wheat system (CWS) entails high production costs and haslow crop and water productivity thereby threatening its sustainability in the north-western India. Conser-vation agriculture (CA) based management practices such as conservation tillage, permanent raised bedsand relay planting have the potential to improve sustainability, profitability, and water use efficiencyin CWS. A two-year (2013-2015) field experiment was conducted to evaluate CA based managementpractices such as zero tillage (ZT), permanent beds, relay seeding (RS) of wheat, seeding configuration,and integration of mungbean (MB) in terms of crop productivity, input use efficiency (water and energy)and profitability in the CWS system. Treatments included; permanent narrow (67.5 cm, PNB) and broad(102 cm, PBB) raised beds with cotton planted in the centre of beds, ZT narrow flats (67.5 cm, ZTNF)and broad flats (102 cm, ZTBF), and PBB with cotton planted on one side of bed and intercropped withMB (PBBc + MB) or no MB (PBBc). In the above treatments, wheat was relay seeded in standing cottonafter second picking. In addition, conventional till (CT) CWS on flats was included as control treatment.PBBc + MB produced 37% and 10% higher system productivity (2 yrs' mean) over CT and PBB, respectively.Relay seeded wheat on PBB produced 50% higher yield and required 40% less irrigation water comparedto CT wheat in both the years. Mean system irrigation water productivity (WPI) was 131% higher withPBBc + MB compared with CT. The energy input was 61% higher in CT compared to PBB but energy outputwas 21% higher with PBB than with CT. PBB and PBBc + MB recorded 52-54% higher energy productivityand 64-69% higher net returns compared to CT. In conclusion, PBB and PBBc + MB were the best optionsfor sustainable CWS under similar soil and climatic conditions in India.
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