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Yadvinder-Singh,Punjab Agricultural University | Singh M.,Punjab Agricultural University | Sidhu H.S.,Borlaug Institute for South Asia BISA | Humphreys E.,International Rice Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Field Crops Research | Year: 2015

In intensive rice-wheat systems of north-west (NW) India, surface retention of rice residues in wheat has been recommended instead of burning. Optimum nitrogen (N) management for zero till (ZT) wheat sown into rice residues may to differ from that of conventional practice (in-situ burning of residues followed by intensive tillage prior to sowing). Therefore, we conducted several on-farm and on-station field experiments in 2007-2008 to 2012-2013 to evaluate N management practices for ZT wheat sown into rice residues using the Happy Seeder. The optimum N rate for wheat planted into rice residues in fields with no or only a short history of rice residue retention was 120kgNha-1, the current recommendation for conventional practice. Short-term (up to 20 d) soil N mineralization was lower in undisturbed soil than disturbed soil, while the total amount of N mineralization was similar after 40d, suggesting that over the crop season, total soil N mineralization may be similar in tilled and non-tilled soil. Ammonia volatilization loss from urea broadcast over the residue covered surface, followed by irrigation, was low (<2kgha-1) regardless of time of urea application. Band placement of 20% of the fertilizer N as diammonium phosphate at seeding, and topdressing of the remaining 80% as urea in two equal doses before first and second irrigations produced higher grain yield and N use efficiency than other treatments. However, surface residue retention reduces the rate of soil drying and in some situations this delays the time of the second irrigation and thus N fertilizer application beyond the optimum time. Therefore, the effect of banding various proportions of the urea N between the rows at sowing was investigated. The results showed that, on a loam soil, up to 75% of the recommended N fertilizer can be applied at sowing, 24kgNha-1 as DAP with the seed and 66kgNha-1 as urea drilled between every second wheat row, without loss of yield. In conclusion, a better applied N management strategy for ZT wheat than currently practiced is drilling of 24kgNha-1 as diammonimum phosphate into the soil at seeding followed by two top-dressings of 48kgNha-1 each just prior to first and second irrigations. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


Parihar C.M.,Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje | Yadav M.R.,Indian Agricultural Research Institute | Jat S.L.,Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje | Singh A.K.,Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje | And 7 more authors.
Soil and Tillage Research | Year: 2016

Maize-based crop rotations are advocated as alternate to rice-based systems in South Asia due to better suitability for diverse ecologies, higher yields with less water use and more palatable maize fodder compared to rice, and increased demand of maize from piggery and poultry industries. Alternate tillage and crop establishment practices are important management strategies for tackling the issues of soil health deterioration and over exploitation of underground water resources, particularly in rice based intensive crop rotations. The conservation agriculture (CA) based tillage and crop establishment practices such as zero tillage (ZT) and permanent raised beds (PB) hold potential to enhance soil organic carbon (SOC), physical and biological properties for sustainability of soil health. Therefore, a long term study was conducted to evaluate the twelve combinations of tillage practices (03) and irrigated intensive maize based crop rotations (04) on organic carbon, physical properties and microbial biomass and enzymatic activities of a sandy loam (Typic Haplustept) soil in north-western India. The tillage practices consisted of ZT, PB and conventional tillage (CT) in main plots and four diversified intensive maize based crop rotations (MWMb: Maize-Wheat-Mungbean, MCS: Maize-Chickpea-Sesbaina, MMuMb: Maize-Mustard-Mungbean, MMS: Maize-Maize-Sesbania) in sub plots. In this study we analysed the SOC, physical and biological properties of soil at various depths after 7 years of continuous ZT, PB and CT in diversified maize rotations. Compared to CT plots, the soil physical properties like water stable aggregates (WSA) > 250 μm were 16.1-32.5% higher, and bulk density (BD) and penetration resistance (PR) showed significant (P < 0.05) decline (11.0-14.3 and 11.2-12.0%) in ZT and PB plots at 0-15 and 15-30 cm soil layers. The soil organic carbon (SOC) increased by 34.6-35.3% at 0-15 cm, and 23.6-26.5% at 15-30 cm soil depths with conservation agriculture (ZT and PB) based crop establishment techniques over CT. Similarly, the soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) under CA based systems increased by 45-48.9% in 0-30 cm profile depth of a sandy loam (Typic Haplustept) soil. Significant (P < 0.05) improvement in soil enzymatic activities i.e., Fluorescein diacetate, dehydrogenase, β Glucosidase and Alkaline phosphatase was also recorded in the CA based treatments. Significant (P < 0.05) synergistic effects of summer legumes (mungbean and Sesbania) with winter legume/cereal in crop rotations were observed on SOC,WSA, BD, PR and Ksat at 0-15 and 15-30 cm depths. Interaction between tillage and crop rotations were significant (P < 0.05) for soil organic carbon, physical properties and enzymatic activities. Thus our long-term study suggests that CA based crop management with selected diversified maize based rotations (MCS and MWMb) can be advocated as sustainable intensification strategy in light textured soils of north-western India and other similar agro-ecologies of South Asia. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source


Kumar S.,TERI University | Roder M.S.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research | Singh R.P.,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center | Kumar S.,National Bureau of Plant Genetics Resources NBPGR | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Breeding | Year: 2016

Evaluation of wheat for spot blotch disease resistance relies on various visual observation methods. The person evaluating the lines needs to be experienced in scoring disease severity. To facilitate high-throughput phenotyping, a hand-held green seeker NDVI sensor was used to map spot blotch disease resistance QTLs. A total of 108 germplasm lines along with 335 SSD-derived lines (F4 and F5 generations) originating from the cross ‘YS116 × Sonalika’ were used. The population was evaluated at BISA, Pusa Bihar, a hot spot for spot blotch, for 2 consecutive years. Data were recorded using the NDVI as well as by visual observation as % disease severity. The correlation coefficient was calculated between two scoring methods (NDVI and % DS) recorded at different growth stages. High negative correlation was observed between the NDVI and % DS at GS69 and GS77 on Zadoks' scale. With both methods, the QTL was mapped in the same chromosomal region on 5BL. Using the NDVI value, the detected QTL explained up to 54.9 % of phenotypic variation while up to 56.1 % using the % DS. The Sb2 gene was mapped between the markers Xgwm639 and Xgwm1043 with an interval of 0.62 cM. The markers linked to the Tsn1 gene (Xfcp1 and Xfcp623) were mapped 1.1 cM apart from the sb2 gene. It is concluded that the NDVI the can be used as an alternative to visual scoring of spot blotch disease in wheat and create a new avenue for high-throughput phenotyping. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source


Yadvinder-Singh,Punjab Agricultural University | Singh M.,Punjab Agricultural University | Sidhu H.S.,Borlaug Institute for South Asia BISA | Humphreys E.,International Rice Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Field Crops Research | Year: 2015

In intensive rice-wheat systems of north-west (NW) India, surface retention of rice residues in wheat has been recommended instead of burning. Optimum nitrogen (N) management for zero till (ZT) wheat sown into rice residues may to differ from that of conventional practice (in-situ burning of residues followed by intensive tillage prior to sowing). Therefore, we conducted several on-farm and on-station field experiments in 2007-2008 to 2012-2013 to evaluate N management practices for ZT wheat sown into rice residues using the Happy Seeder. The optimum N rate for wheat planted into rice residues in fields with no or only a short history of rice residue retention was 120kgNha-1, the current recommendation for conventional practice. Short-term (up to 20 d) soil N mineralization was lower in undisturbed soil than disturbed soil, while the total amount of N mineralization was similar after 40d, suggesting that over the crop season, total soil N mineralization may be similar in tilled and non-tilled soil. Ammonia volatilization loss from urea broadcast over the residue covered surface, followed by irrigation, was low (<2kgha-1) regardless of time of urea application. Band placement of 20% of the fertilizer N as diammonium phosphate at seeding, and topdressing of the remaining 80% as urea in two equal doses before first and second irrigations produced higher grain yield and N use efficiency than other treatments. However, surface residue retention reduces the rate of soil drying and in some situations this delays the time of the second irrigation and thus N fertilizer application beyond the optimum time. Therefore, the effect of banding various proportions of the urea N between the rows at sowing was investigated. The results showed that, on a loam soil, up to 75% of the recommended N fertilizer can be applied at sowing, 24kgNha-1 as DAP with the seed and 66kgNha-1 as urea drilled between every second wheat row, without loss of yield. In conclusion, a better applied N management strategy for ZT wheat than currently practiced is drilling of 24kgNha-1 as diammonimum phosphate into the soil at seeding followed by two top-dressings of 48kgNha-1 each just prior to first and second irrigations. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


Parihar C.M.,Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje | Jat S.L.,Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje | Singh A.K.,Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje | Kumar B.,Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje | And 8 more authors.
Field Crops Research | Year: 2016

In north-western India, maize-based systems are being advocated as an alternative to rice-based systems to address the issues of resource degradation, particularly declining water tables and climate-change-induced variability in rainfall and temperature. Conservation agriculture (CA) based best-bet crop management practices may increase crop and water productivity, while conserving and sustaining natural resources. In a 6-year study of conservation agriculture experiment established in 2008, we have evaluated the performance of CA-based management practices [permanent bed (PB) and zero tillage (ZT)] and conventional till (CT) for four intensified irrigated maize systems [maize-wheat-mungbean (MWMb), maize-chickpea-Sesbania green manure (MCS), maize-mustard-mungbean (MMuMb) and maize-maize-Sesbania (MMS)]. Significant (P<0.05) tillage and cropping system interactions were observed for system productivity. Agronomic performance (yield attributes) of all the crops (except wheat) grown in sequence with maize was maximum with ZT, however wheat outperformed on PB over ZT and CT. In the initial two years, higher system productivity (maize equivalent yield) was recorded in PB (8.2-8.5Mgha-1), while from third year onwards ZT registered maximum productivity (11.3-12.9Mgha-1).The system glucose equivalent yield increased by 0.6Mgha-1 under ZT and PB compared to CT. Economic profits from maize-based rotations were invariably higher either in MMuMb or MWMb systems, while in terms of glucose equivalent yield, MMS and MWMb rotation were highest. Synergistic effects of summer legumes (mungbean and Sesbania) after winter legume/oilseed/cereal were observed on yield of individual crop vis-a-vis system productivity and irrigation water use. ZT and PB practices reduced the irrigation water requirement by 40-65ha-mm and 60-98ha-mm, respectively compared to CT system, resulted enhanced system water productivity by 19.4% equally under both ZT and PB. Net profit from the maize-based systems under ZT was up to 31% higher with 72$ha-1 lower production cost compared to CT. Results from our study showed that adoption of CA based tillage practices in MMuMb and MWMb system for sustainable increase of crop and water productivity in north-western region of India. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

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