Handling Weeds in dry land farming

Hi Friends,

As I introduced myself earlier in another thread : I’ve joined the farming community as a part time farmer few months ago after buying a 20 acre red soil land at Podili, near Ongole in Andhra Pradesh. As I’m an absentee farmer resides in Bangalore, my brother is managing the farm.

Due to delayed monsoon in that area, most of the farmers are either able to recover the cost or to write if off.

We started the cultivation of 3 crops and are going to harvest all of them in 2 weeks, details are below

  1. Started Redgram in 8 acres in the month of Aug, used few pestisides and fertilizers as needed. It looks average to recover the cost.

  2. Started Guar seed in the month of Oct in 10 acres, no fertilizers or pestisides used. Due to a rain spell of 2 days in Dec there is heavy weed, we couldn’t removed it as manual removal is too costly due to more number of rows and also can’t use the tractor for the same reason. Now we are not sure whether to leave the crop and do ploghing the whole 10 acre as harvesting it also requires more no. of labourers.

  3. Started Sesame seeds in the month of Oct in 2 acres, no fertilizers or pestisides used. The crop looks average and seems to get the cost though there is weed issue.

In the month of March we are planing to start sesame seed and Guar seed again 10 acre each as these are not sensitive and requires less water, we use the water from 2 bore wells to the crops in summer.

I request the experts opinion on the cover crops like Horse gram if I can use to minimize the weeds. I don’t know how the inter crop Horse gram impacts the growth of main crops, are there any negative points to consider about using it, please let me know.

I didn’t think much about the weed issue earlier, our lesson from the first year of farming is to spend enough time and resources on controlling weeds, hope not to have the same issue with the same intensity in the next season.

Plan go for Organic/natural farming from next year once we buy a pair of desi cows.


You can minimise tilling. i.e. till only a v groove to sow the seed. not entire farm. The disadvantage of tilling is you are enabling weed seeds to germinate. For E.G. Parthenium seeds once they fully grown, get scattered. They remain just like that untill you till. once you till they get burried and gets a favourable condition to germinate, your farm is full of parthenium. You can eradicate parthenium within 3 years if you stop tilling.
Other weeds those gets transplanted by roots have to be suppressed by cover crops.

Any diecots dont compete with monocots they support each others like nutrient barter system. For eg: Nitrogen is supplied by diecot and VAM is supplied by monocots. So horsegram helps the other crop. Just go ahead.
See tech paper on this in below link
living-farms.org/site/images/sto … r_2011.pdf

Thanks Sri for the information.