With the objective of efficient and productive cultivation of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), the effects of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) treatment on delinting efficiency,germination, and seedling vigor were studied at the Gondar Seed Laboratory, Ethiopia. A completely randomized design consisting of 21 treatments with 4 replications were used. Fuzzy cotton seeds,1 kg of variety Deltapine-90 for each treatment, were delinted by 5 different volumes of 98% concentrated sulfuric acid (i.e., 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180mL/kg of seeds) by mixing thoroughly with a wooden stick and incubated for 4 different delinting durations i.e., 4, 8, 12 and 16 min, respectively with fuzzy cotton seedsn serving as control (untreated). The results revealed that both the amount of sulfuric acid and delinting duration had significant effect on lint-removing efficiency, germination percentage, mean germination time, germination speed and seedling vigor which increased with the increase in acid volume and incubation period up to a certain level and then declined thereafter. The use of 180mL H2SO4 for 16min incubation period resulted in 100% delinting efficiency,though it was at par with those obtained at 8 min (99.39%) and 12 min (99.98%). However, fuzzy seeds treated by 150 mL of sulfuric acid for 12min resulted in the maximum germination (94%), normal seedling emergence (88.7%),maximum seedling dry weight (0.502 g), and maximum lengths of root (9.2 cm) and shoot (9.6 cm). It was concluded that the removal of lint from fuzzy seeds by 150 mL of sulfuric acid incubated for12 min was best which would enable free-flow of seeds during sowing, enhance germination taking only 5 days to germinate with 19.3% germination rate being at par with other only slightly higher values as compared to 9 days with 8.7% germination rate by fuzzy seeds (control). This treatment also enhanced seedling vigor index-1 (SVI-1) to a value of 1673 and that of SVI-2 to 44 as compared to the values of only 668 and 21 for SVI- 1 and SVI-2, respectively of planting cotton seeds which would enhance the productivity of cotton crop in Ethiopia.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the most widely cultivated cereal crop in the world after wheat, and produced in a wide range of locations and climatic conditions. In the context of Ethiopia, despite a vast arable land and favorable agroclimatic conditions, the productivity of rice is very low (27 Q/ha) due to several factors. Studies were therefore,conducted in two phases: household survey and field experiment, to particularly determine the postharvest losses due to harvesting, threshing, cleaning and drying, milling and storage. Primary data were collected from 70-farm householdrespondents using a semi-structured questionnaire and 5-field samples practically. Farmers, based on the results, were found to be aware of postharvest losses but believed this as a natural phenomenon and that they can do nothing to reduce it. Most of respondents (98.6%) indicated that the local storage material (Gotta/Gottera) and polypropylene (PP) bags caused the highest and the PICS (Purdue improved crop storage) the lowest loss of paddy grains. Milling was the major source of postharvest losses with 94.3% of the respondents expressing this view followed by postharvest losses due to other postharvest operations. The results of field-experiment revealed the mean loss of 3.04% during harvesting, 3.84% during threshing, 1.11% during cleaning and drying, 2.4% during storage and 5.87% during milling. On the other hand, the milling recovery of 67.86%, 76.8% and 80.13% were obtained for white, brown and parboiled rice, respectively. A mean postharvest losses of 14.87% ranging between 10.29 to 27.06%was recorded which was in agreement with farmers awareness. Improvement in postharvest extension services, introduction of small scale postharvest technologies, promotion of PICS are recommended for enhancing rice yield in this country.
Indiscriminate use of land without consideration of its capability have caused soil health deterioration. The extent of healthy soils and their productivity is decreasing due to soil degradation and conversion of healthy productive soils under non-agricultural uses. For maintaining better soil health on sustainable basis, production system should be based on soil qualities. Better ecosystem management with enhanced soil health can be achieved by adopting integrated approaches, like watershed development and agro-forestry in farming system. Management approach, for improvement of soil health and enhanced productivity of major soil groups of arid region of Rajasthan have been presented.
Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew (family: Capparidaceae) is a xerophytic shrub, commonly known as Karrel or Ker. It is extremely useful shrub for food (vegetable), fuel, wood and medicinal properties. Kair has the ability to survive in various habitats under extreme condition of temperature of arid region. Its fruits form an integral part of the diet of people in desert. Immature fruit of C. decidua collected form natural stand are used to prepare pickles. It fetches high return which plays an important role in rural economy. Since no systematic information is available to enhance the productivity of kair fruit a research project was taken by Arid Forest Research Institute, Jodhpur in collaboration with SFD Rajasthan. Experiment trial were laid in the naturally occurring Kair shrubs in Gogelao beed forest area Nagaur, Rajasthan with two organic fertilizers (Leaf compost manure, LCM and Goat manure, GM) and one biofertilizer (VAN) in combination to inorganic fertilizer (SSP, K2SO4, ZnSO4 and NPK) in randomized block design in 2013. Three times fruiting in April, July and October is produced One Year data (2015) showed that LCM in Combination with inorganic fertilizer produced maximum shrub growth increment and fruit yield enhancement as compared to GM and VAN combinations. Total fruit yield in 2015 (sum of all the three seasons) in maximum for LCM trial (81 48.6g) which in 23% more than GM trial (6628.0 g). T4 (LCM, P, K, Zn) was the best treatment, closely followed by T5 (LCM+NPK) for Goat manure (GM, P, K) was the best treatment. Moisture conservation enhanced the yield the total fruit yield was maximum in October 2015 as compared to April 2015 in LCM and VAN trials only slightly less in GM trial. The Nutritional contents (Protein, Sugar, Vitamin C) are in similar range for the fruits obtained in April & October
About 62% of Indian arid zone lies in western Rajasthan where low annual rainfall and its erratic distribution result in widespread and recurring droughts of varying intensity and magnitude. Crops in the arid and semi - arid area suffer form both moisture and nutrient stresses. As nutrient and water requirements are intimately linked therefore, the interaction between soil moisture deficits and nutrient uptake that is of paramount importance has been extensively studied. Our investigations have established significant positive response of plants of these zones to improved soil fertility. However, the degree of yield response varied with rainfall pattern, drought intensity and crop species. Advantages of fertilizer application under arid conditions might be realized in situations where both dry and wet phase exist during the growing period. However, the benefits of nutrients under such conditions are generally less than in well irrigated crops. Fertility-induced metabolic efficiency coupled with higher photo synthetic and nitrate reductase activity are considered to be the control mechanisms for enhanced growth and yield of rainfed crops. Studies suggested that tissue hydrature was not an infallible index of metabolic efficiency as nutritional status of plants was more critical under water deficits for leaf metabolism, photosynthesis,growth and yield in different crops where nitrogen moisture interactions were explored. Alleviation of drought effects in arid legumes has been achieved though phosphorous (P) application which favourably modulated various physiological and biochemical processes. Similarly, applied potassium (K) mitigates the adverse effect of water stress by favourable influencing internal tissue moisture, photosynthetic rate and nitrogen metabolism in legumes. Thus significant yield improvement can be obtained even under low soil moisture conditions through adequate nutrient management.
The quality of irrigation water has been evaluated conventionally on the basis of salinity, sodicity, alkalinity and toxicity. Sodicity has been assessed through Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) and alkalinity on the basis of Residual sodium Carbonate (RSC). Boron was considered as a toxic element. Due to some limitations, the parameters viz. SAR and RSC have become obsolete. The integrated effect of sodicity and alkalinity has been assessed on the basis of adjusted SAR, which accounts for precipitation and dissolution of calcium in soil water. As magnesium does not precipitate in the sol and because Mg/Ca ratio >1 tends to increase sodium hazard, a new parameter viz. adjusted Sodium to Calcium Activity Ratio (adj. SCAR) has been suggested. Whereas permissible limits for sensitive, semitolerant and tolerant crops have been suggested as 1.5, 3.0 and 5.0 dSm-1, respectively for LF 0.15 the corresponding relaxable limits stand at 3.0, 5.0 and 10.0 dSm-1, for leaching fraction of 0.3. Likewise, permissible limits (5, 10 and 20) and relaxable limits (10, 20 and 30) have been suggested for adj. SCAR, corresponding to sensitive, semi-tolerant and tolerant crops. As there has not been observed any toxicity due to boron in natural field conditions in India and because it is simultaneously amenable alongwith salinity and sodic conditions, there is no justification for giving it special importance in the evaluation of quality of irrigation waters. it should be treated simply as other trace elements.
Palaeo-history of arid Rajasthan has been revisited to find out how primitive man appeared and settled in this region and gradually evolved art of agriculture and other uses of land. From long struggle over 190,000 years with climate and physical environment and spending hunting and gathering; the early man took the sedentary life. During Pleistocene period, man appeared in north-west India. Origin of primitive agriculture took place during last glaciation in wooded land by sedentary folk. In the second interglacial period when climatic conditions were favourable man inhabited in large numbers. With long experience and favourable climatic conditions, he learnt the art of agriculture. Arid Rajasthan has been part of Indus valley civilization where settled agriculture exists with nomadic herdsmanship in Kalibangan. The whole life of man was revolutionized during Mesolithic and Neolithic period. After long association with cultivated fields a sense of ownership developed. From Aryan and Vedic age to Gupta dynasty expansion of cultivation, irrigation, land tenure and land management system were developed. After fall of Gupta Empire in sixth century, the north India came under political unrest. The establishment and development of Rajput power given way to feudal system with anti-peasant land tenure system with lot of taxes, cess and ‘begars’. The condition remained almost unchanged during Mughal and British period. Arid western Rajasthan constitute erstwhile Marwar, Bikaner and Jaisalmer princely states and Shekhawati federation of Jaipur State. Statistics of land use and agriculture of these princely states are analyzed to assess agriculture and peasants condition. Net sown area in khalsa villages in Marwar was just 29% and in Bikaner state 14% only. Irrigated area was 4% in Marwar and 0.4% in Bikaner. In 1950-51 the net sown area in entire western Rajasthan was 37.7% of total khalsa area. After independence the jagirdari and other land tenure systems were abolished and land reforms were undertaken. This given way to significant development of land use and agriculture. Land use changes from 1957-58 to 2015-16 are analysed and major changes and their impacts are highlighted.
Blending and cyclic use strategies have been widely adopted for conjunctive use of saline and fresh waters. Pros and cons of these two and other strategies have been discussed in a number of publications. It is commonly observed that cyclic use has an edge over the blending strategy. Contrary to this, earlier view had been that both the strategies are at par as long as the threshold salinity of the blended water is below the threshold salinity of the crop. To resolve these and some other issues, a critical review of the data generated in scientific investigations is essentially needed. The views emerging from such a critical review has revealed that a comparison between modes is not possible from the existing set-ups of these experiments, the conditions being highly loaded in favour of cyclic mode. A re-evaluation of data reveals that both the modes will give equal response if similar conditions are created in conducting the experiments. Similarly, the view that modes can be compared on the basis of the total salt load applied seems misplaced. In fact the salinity at the most critical stagemay completely alter the results. This paper highlights these issues through re-evaluation of two data sets reported in the literature. A simulation study using model SWAP also confirms these observations. Simulation study further revealed that for the same amount of salts applied, a new mixing mode strategy in which fraction of the saline water increases with growth stage will be the most appropriate. Mixing mode with variable mixing ratios of 1:0, 0.75:0.25, 0.5:0.5, 0.25:0.75 and 0:1 fresh: saline proportions for presowing, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th irrigation respectively for wheat was more productive than a mode with constant mixing ratio (1:1). This variable mixing mode is comparable to the switching mode with first three irrigations with fresh water followed by all irrigations with saline water. It is highlighted that conjunctive use of saline and fresh water is an attractive proposition. Any appropriate strategy can be used provided salinity status of the root zone at critical growth stage is kept in view during planning
The impact of imperfect drainage in soils on agricultural production system under surface irrigation was studied in Ukai-Kakrapar Right Bank (UKRB) and Mahi Right Bank (MRB) canal command area of Gujarat State.The study was based on the data collected from 400 and 500 farmers spread over different land irrigability classes in UKRB and MRB, respectively. It was observed that suggested cropping pattern under different land irrigability classes was violated by the farmers by adopting high water requirement crops like sugarcane, rice, banana etc. especially in land irrigability classes III, IV and V which are prone to salinity and waterlogging due to imperfect to very poor internal drainage. Any diversification from the recommended cropping pattern based on soil-water-plant relationship leads to development of salinity and waterlogging which ultimately reduced the farm production, profitability and income and increased the unit cost of production of the crop. The adaptation of high water requirement crops leads to low efficiency of irrigation potential created. The Study further indicated inverse relationship between crop productivity and land irrigability and soil degradation levels. For higher returns and minimum degradation, irrigation projects should be developed only for land irrigability class I and II where the internal drainage system is perfect.
Survival, growth and biomass production of Colophosperpum mopane was studied with gypsum and nitrogen on loamy sand saline alkali soil in hot arid region of Rajasthan state in India. A field trial was laid out with two levels of gypsum (0 and 100% soil G.R.) and three doses of nitrogen (0, 9 and 18 g of N in the form of urea) on two soil structures (control and circular dish mound - CDM) in a randomized block design in August 2003. After five years C. mopane maintained 89% overall mean survival (86.5% in control and 92.1% on CDM). Plants on CDM structure attained mean height of 113 cm and 158 cm crown diameter compared to 101 and 151 cm for control. Treatments T3 (N1) and T4 (N2) attained significantly more height and crown diameter than T1 and T2 though the difference was not significant. Overall, plants on CDM recorded, on an average, 1450 g green biomass per plant which was 5.9% more compared to plants grown under control condition (1370g). The difference was 9.1% for leaf and 5.2% branch component, respectively. Mean fresh root-mass was 32% higher in control (729.1 g tree-1) compared to CDM (552.5 g tree-1); the effect was visible in all the treatments. Number of roots, with < 50 cm length (6 to 15), in control was more than for the corresponding treatment on CDM. The trend was opposite for roots with < 50 cm length. Smaller roots were thicker resulting in higher root mass for control treatments. Roots get thinner as they penetrated CaCO3 layer. However, overall mean root length (821cm) and root numbers (14.5) were almost same for both the structures. Nitrogen in combination to gypsum significantly influenced the growth and biomass (above and below ground) irrespective of soil structures. N1 dose was more effective followed by N1. It did not suppress the growth of indigenous salt tolerant grasses mainly Sporobolous diander and Chloris virgata. It adapted well, flowered, produced viable seed and natural germination is also observed through seed.
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