Advice for Organic Land Preparation


#1

I need some basic advice. I am an IT engineer , - new to farming and planning to develop my 5 acres of land for organic farming. Currently the land is not fertile , and I am confident it can be brought back to life.

My plan is to prep my land by plouging it with cow manure. Then planting random pulses for about 60 days and then re-ploughing the land along with the crop which is a proven way to increase the soil nutrition. My question is how do I go about watering the pulses. Since I am just prepping the land I have not setup drip. I am able to travel to my land only in the weekends atleast for now. Any ideas ?


#2

You can use the current monsoon season to grow the pulses.

I don’t suggest you to plough the land with cow manure(fresh). Instead, spread the dried manure evenly on the land along with dried leaves and sprinkle the cow urine along with fresh cow dung.

You can also use the standard improvement plan suggested by many including mine (http://agricultureforeverybody.blogspot.in/2012/10/how-to-improve-soil.html).


#3

Thank you very much for the insight sir.


#4

Hi,

You must not use fresh cow manure on your soil. It brings lots of diseases and takes a lot of time to provide nutrients to plants.
You must use well dried and composted material. You can go with vermi composting or bacteria composting that can provide good nutrients to your crops in less time.
Also, there are biofertilizers available that can help you improve soil health.

You should start with soil testing and follow integrated nutrient management. A soil test will tell you what kind of nutrients are needed and how to add them.

Regarding irrigation - pulses do not need drip irrigation. It will be expensive and not efficient. You can go ahead with sprinkler (if crop height is low - soyabean, channa, ground nut, etc.) or go for furrow irrigation (if crop growth is high - tur, cotton, maize, etc.).
Moreover, you can try bamboo cultivation, it can grow on variety of soils and doesn’t need much care. So, over the weekends you can take care of it.

You can contact us in case of any issues. We provide scientific techniques to farmers in order to increase their farm yields.

Regards
Siddharth
+91-7038147835
Providing Technology Solutions To Farmers
www.leanagri.com


#5

Hi Vasanth,

Before even proceeding with land preparation, plan about your future crops and the timeline to achieve that.
Yes, you can improve soil condition by seasoned cow manure (3 to 6 months old). There are mixed outcomes with fresh manure. We have seen people using fresh cow manure for coconut trees and one month old chicken manure for Onion crops (during soil preparation). But there are also information that fresh manure can cause root diseases.

On the Mixed Crop cultivation, they are plenty of information about selection of varieties and time by which the ploughing to be done for nitrogen fixation.

In long run, you need a caretaker, who needs to stay in farm to take care completely. 5 Acre is good to keep a person and with average salary of 7500 Rs. If your farm has irrigation facility, fencing, permanent farm worker and who can stay in farm, then you can proceed with integrated farming by blocking 0.5 acre with local fencing (which can make the cattle to roam freely and not disturb other crops) adding goats or sheep, cow or buffalo, chicken or duck. This way you need to start keeping green for these and you will start using the manure out of it to the farm.

Unattended farming is tough, unless you have fencing and plan of tree plantation.

Soundar.


#7

Hi Siddharth, Thanks for the insight. Saw your LeanAgri initiative. Very impressive.

I will try your tips. I am currently abroad and planning to do farming as an experiment once I am back to India in a year.

I am doing initial research on how farming (irrigation) can be automated with minimal maintenance. Doing some initial research on OpenHAB and Arduino platforms. Several companies offer solutions but cost is prohibitive for small scale farmers. My goal is to develop something using opensource technologies which can be adopted by small scale farmers at a low cost.


#8

Hi Soundar. Agree to your tips. However much we automate irrigation using gate valves and operate them using mobile apps, it still needs some permanent onsite care. I will look into options provided by you.


#9

Great!
Let us know in case you need any support from us.

Regards
Siddharth
+91-7038147835
Providing Technology Solutions To Farmers