Dryland farming practices of inter cultivation is not different from traditional farming practices. The main difference in dryland field crop cultivation are
Cultivation tools or equipments
- We avoid deep and frequent cultivation of land using tractors.
- First choice and highly recommended approach is to use bullocks to plough the land using wooden plough.
- However, in recent days due to labour issues, farmers do chose to use tractor or hand operated rotavator. If you do so, then avoid frequent and deep tillage using heavy tractors.
Use of fertilizers or manures
- In the SPNF method, we do not use or recommend even organic inputs such as farmyard manure or vermicompost or cocopeat, etc.
- Rather, if the farmer has one desi cow, than he/she can manage up to 30 acres of land. Because manure is used as an innoculent and not fertilizers which is put in high dose.
- In the SPNF, what we do recommend is making a solid or semi-solid form of jeevamritha namely, ghanajeevamritha using desi cow and urine. During last cultivation of land preparation, the recommended dosage of ghanajeevamritha is 200 to 400kgs, which is approximately 4 to 8 bags (50kgs).
SPNF Package of practices in dryland or rainfed farming
The practices below applies to most of kharif and rabi field crops such as ragi, jowar, groundnut, sunflower, bengal gram, millets, etc
- To manage weeds and loosen the soil, till the land 2 or 3 times.
- Till the land preferably using bullocks or mini tractors or rotavators.
- Avoid heavy tractors and deep tillage. If using heavy tractors, then use rotavator only and avoid cultivator completely. Source: Symbiosis of Natural Farming by Subhash Palekar
- Scatter 200 to 400kgs of Ghanajeevamritha before performing the last cultivation or tillage activity
Sowing or transplantation
- There is no special sowing or transplantation methodology in SPNF. What methods are followed locally, you can use the same practice.
- SPNF highly recommends intercrop or multi-crop sowing, rather than crop rotation. This will bring in a diversity of plants and thus diversity of soil microorganisms at all times.
- The first cycle of weed management is done after 10 to 12 days of sowing. Emerged weeds are managed using either cow driven inter cultivation tools like blade, kuntee, or manual tools like cycle weeder.
- Repeat inter cultivation after 20 to 25 days, based on weed growth, you can repeat the activity again to manage weeds and aerate the root zone.
- NOTE: During inter cultivation activity, one can scatter ghanajeevamritha on the soil. This will enhance the soil microbes count in the soil, which in turn will make the soil nutrients available to the plant roots, by converting the nutrients that are in an unavailable form to available form.
- Farmers are advised to follow a foliar spray schedule of Jivamritha on the standing crop, to protect their crops from bacterial, fungal, and pests.
Source: Symbiosis of Natural Farming by Subhash Palekar
JIvamritha is not only the best culture of beneficial microorganisms, but is also a fungicide, hormonal and anti-viral also. Jivamritha is also the best tonic for our crops. Given below is the foliar spray schedule for 105- 135 duration crops. For other duration crops, check the Related Topics section.
Foliar Spray Schedule for (105days to 135 days crops): Improved varieties of Jowar, Bajara or Sajje, Finger Millet or Ragi, Proso Millet or Baragu, Wheat, Maize, Barley, Oat, Rai, Bengal Gram or Kadale, Alsande or Cowpea, Horse Gram, Groundnut, Sunhemp, NigerSeed or ಹುಚ್ಚೆಲು, Sunflower, Mustard, Castor, Vegetables
- First spray: One month after seed sowing or transplanting. For 1 acre 100 liters of water + 5 liters Jivamritha
- Second spray: 21 days after first spray. For 1 acre spray, 150 liters of water + 10-liters Jivamritha
- Third spray: 21 days after second spray. For 1 acre, spray, 200 liters of water + 5 liters sour buttermilk
- Fourth spray: 21 days after third spray. For 1 acre, spray 200 liters of water + 20 liters filtered Jivamritha.
- Fifth spray:21 days after fourth spray. For 1 acre, spray 200 liters of water + 20 liters Jivamritha
- Sixth spray:At the milking stage of the seeds or initial growth stage of pods and fruits. For 1 acre, spray 200 liters of water + 5 liters sour buttermilk or 200 liters of Sapta Dhanyankur Kashaya.
Note: As per your land requirements, adjust the amount of foliar sprays requirement appropriately.
The third spray of buttermilk, will act as growth promoter and also fights any fungal attacks on stranding crop. The last spray acts as a tonic and growth promoter. The quality of produce is enhanced by these sprays.
- Click here, for instructions on how to prepare Jeevamritha, Ghanajeevamritha, Sapta Dhanyankur Kashaya and other frequently asked questions.
- Click here, for foliar spray schedule for 150 to 180 days duration crops
- Clcik here, for foliar spray schedule for all Annual crops
- Click here, for instructions on how to build a low-cost cycle weeder.
Video below illustrates successful dryland cultivation of Sajje or Pearl Millet by one of our farmers in Raichur District.