How to utilize 4 acres of agricultural land?

Hi All,

I am looking for options on how to utilize 4 acres of agricultural land which has one bore pump(very minimum water and we may have to depend on rains/rain-water). Right now it is barren and is not used for any purpose.Land is in Gambhiraopet which will be 140 KM from Hyderabad and 40 KM from Sircilla.

As per my analysis identified plantation of trees would be one option. Look forward to various options you suggest for long term & short-term based on the details i provided.

*I dont know the type of soil and rain-water harvesting is not in place.

Regards,
PAR

To start with, I would sow either Ragi or Maize.  This would use less inputs (water/labour/fertilizer) and provide a good idea of land fertility and water availability in borewell.  Do put dicot intercrops also like Tur/cowpea/horsegram etc.  This will provide with a good return for first year and more than that idea about the land,surroundings,labor etc.  Through this monsoon, you can start planning for plantation crops that are suitable in your area that consume less water - typically one or more of Mango,sapota,nelli,guava.  (Tamarind is also not bad, but have to wait at least 10 years).  Where to source the saplings, what should be the design of plantation, what intercrops and above all what kind of farming - chemical/organic/natural…

In the mean time, there will be lot of money that will flow for shed/house, farm equipment, fence/fencing trees, any farm animals that you want to keep, chosing resident labour etc. 

Bottom line: Do not start plantation unless you have a good plan in place!

I have assumed so many things to suggest what I have written above - like you are new to farming and starting from scratch among other things.  In farming there is no one plan that fits all.  It is best to get the experience sooner yourself so you can execute your plan by adapting yourself to local conditions (more than just weather)

Good Suggestion!!!

On tamarind, What I heard is PKM-1 verity start yielding form 4th year and from 6th year on wards the yield would be around 50kg ( raw)/ tree… if we can sell Rs 20/Kg, we can expect 1000/- per tree…

Thanaks for your interest shown in our organization .

ACI agro solution is an ISO 9001:2008 & FOOD SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WITH HACCP ISO 22000:2005 certified is the leading agriculture consultancy of India. As per your query is concerned, please find the initial details about the Guar Cultivation. Guar is most profitable crop for low cost of cultivation The guar  is best variyati RGC 1055 .

cultivation Details :-

Land Preparation

Guar crop requires a well prepared field, with adequate soil moisture for its seed germination. During early growth period, soil aeration encourages root development and bacterial growth. Therefore, field should be ploughed to fine tilth by giving two or three deep ploughing with soil-turning plough, followed by harrowing and planking. The field should be free from weeds and other crop residues. Arrangements for drainage channel-cum-water channel for heavy rain- fall areas or irrigated areas should be made while preparing the field. The farmyard manure should be mixed with soil at the time of last ploughing.

VI. Seed and Sowing

The important steps involved in the sowing of guar are described here.

  1. Time of sowing

Summer crop of guar in northern India is sown in March, while kharif crop in June. For grain crop, the best time of sowing is during July. Early sowings result in more vegetative growth, lodging and loss of yield. The best sowing time for fodder crop is April. In Peninsular India, guar is sown in September. In South India, it is sown at any time between February to October. Guar sowing time is adjusted to May-June to increase supply of vegetable pods. Crop sown in June in Haryana and in July in Punjab gives better production of vegetable pods.

  1. Seed rate

Seed rate of guar crop varies from 15 kg to 45 kg per hectare depending upon soil moisture and spacing. About 20 kg seed per hectare is sufficient for grain crop. Seed rate for crops grown for fodder or green manuring is about 40 kg per hectare. Seed rate is normally increased under late sown condition, dry condition, and soil salinity or alkalinity conditions.

  1. Spacing

A spacing of 45 cm between rows and 15 cm, between plants is given for crops grown for grain production. However, spacing is generally reduced under late sowing and poor soil fertility conditions. Closer spacing of 30 X 12 cm is provided for fodder crop. A wider spacing of 60 X 30 cm is desirable for crops grown for green vegetable pod production.

  1. Seed treatment

In humid areas, where there are more chances of disease out-break, seeds are treated in the following ways.

i. Dry seed is coated with Ceresan or Thiram at the rate of 3 gm fungicide per kilogram of seed to kill the spores of fungus resting on the seed coat.

ii. Seed is immersed in hot water at 560 C for 10 minutes and then dried at room temperature before sowing. This kills all the fungus myceliumand inactivates their spores to spread disease in the crop.

  1. Inoculation of seed ,vith bacterial culture

Guar plant develops, nodules on its roots, in which a special kind of bacteria live and convert the free nitrogen of the atmosphere into a form of fertilizer which is absorbed by the roots of the plant. This symbiotic relation of the bacteria and root nodules is useful in saving cost of nitrogenous fertilizers. Therefore, before sowing the seeds are inoculated with these bacteria so that their population increases in the soil, with the growth of the plant. This is done by preparing a 10% sugar or gur solution in boiling water. This sugar solution is allowed to cool. On cooling 3 -4 packets of guar bacterial culture are mixed with solution to make a thin paste. This paste is coated over to the seed. Seed is dried under shade for 30 -40 minutes before sowing.

  1. Method of sowing

Seed of guar can be sown by broadcast method, when. There is sufficient soil moisture during the beginning of the rainy season. The field is roughly divided into long stripes of convenient size. The seed is evenly spread by hands over the surface of the field, while walking through the long stripes of the field. The field is ploughed after spreading the seed. This method does not ensure proper spacing and creates problems while hoeing, weeding and removing excessive rain water.

Line sowing with the help of pora behind the plough or by seed-drill is useful in sowing the seed at proper spacing and depth. This results in better seed germination. Line sowing is also useful for carrying out hoeing-weeding and removing excessive rain water.

VII. Manures and Fertilizers

Guar crop needs 10-12 tonnes of well decomposed farmyard manure, especially when it is being cultivated on poor sandy soils, or after taking an exhausting crop. This manure is applied a month before sowing.
    Nitrogenous fertilizers are applied only in small quantity (about 20 kg of nitrogen) because most of nitrogen to the crop comes from the atmosphere through bacterial action. Phosphatic fertilizers about 60 kg, potassic 20 kg per hectare along with 20 kg of nitrogen are applied as basal dose as the time of sowing, with the help of pora just 4 -5 cm below the seed. Spray the crop with 0.15% solution of sodium molybdate after 30 days of sowing after the seedling emergence increases the yield of both fodder and grain.

VIII. Irrigation

The kharif season crop grown during rainy season as a rule, does not need any irrigation if rains are adequate and well distributed. If rains are too heavy, the excess water should be drained off promptly. For dry season crops, irrigation. at fortnightly intervals in the early summer and at ten days intervals later are given. Normally the crop requires 4-5 irrigations.
IX. Crop Rotations

Crop rotation is a system of growing crops in such a way that the same field does not get the same crop year after year. This helps in controlling diseases and pests of the crop and also in maintaining soil fertility. A number of crops of the same season like bajra, guar, cotton, rice, sorghum, sugarcane etc, are put in crop rotation sequence. Some common crop rotations with guar are given below.

Rice -cotton -guar -bajra

Guar -rice -sorghum

Sorghum -guar -cotton

Cotton -guar -rice -sorghum

XX.  Intercropping

The guar for forage is generally grown mixed with jowar or bajra. This makes a well balanced, nutritious and palatable feed for cattle.Intercropping guar with other kharif season crops like cotton, sorghum, maize, etc serve dual purpose. It provides additional and timely returns and improves the soil fertility for the partner crop. Guar crop can also be taken as intercrop in sugarcane crop.
XI. Weed Control

Guar field in kharif season is always full with a number of weed plants, Hoeing and weeding in the initial stages of plant growth with the help of khurpi, tined harrow reduces the weed-crop competition and increases soil aeration for bacterial growth. The application of Basalin at the rate of 1.0 kg a.i. per hectare as pre- planting dose suppresses the growth of grasses and other weeds.
XII. Disease Contol

The most common diseases of guar are wilt, bacterial blight, powdery mildew, and anthracnose. These diseases along with their control measures are described here.

  1. Wilt

This disease is caused by Fusarium monolifonne. The pathogen is soil- borne and, therefore, its damage is of localized nature. It causes infection to the base of plants including roots and seedlings. The roots show dis-colouration and plant wilts. Poor emergence of seedlings is the first symptom of the disease. The seedlings rot before or soon after emergence.

Control

a. Mixed croping of guar with sorghum reduces the damage up to 55 per cent.

b. Addition of organic manures also reduces the disease incidence.

c. Seed treatment with Agrosan GN or Thiram or Captan at the rate 3 g/kg seed prevents the disease spread during germination and seedling emergence.

  1. Antharacnose

This disease is caused by Colletotncum capsici. The disease is more severe in high rainfall subtropical to temperate areas than in tropical areas. The fungus is seed -borne and symptoms may start as early as in seedling stage. The most characteristic symptoms of the disease are black, sunken, crater like cankers on the pods, stem or cotyledons. The lesions remain isolated by yellow -orange margins. They give out a dull salmon conloured ooze from the centre when humidity is very high.

Control

a. Use healthy seed., b. Avoid excess watering; c. Give wider spacing; d. Use hot water treated seed ; e. Spray fungicides like Dithane M -45 orDithane Z- 78 at the rate of 2 kg in l000 litres of water per hectare.

  1. Powdery mildew

This disease is caused by Oidium ~pp. White powdery growth occurs on leaves, spreading to cover the stem and other plant parts. In severe cases, the entire plant dries up.

I. Control

a. Dustig with sulphur powder

b. Spraing with systemic fungicides Benlate or Bavistin and Calixin gives effective control of powdery mildew.

c. Sowing healthy seed after treating with Thiram.

d. Follow a crop rotation to reduce the soil- borne innoculum of the fungus.

  1. Bacterial blight

This disease is caused by Xanthomonas cyamophagus. The disease is characterized by irregular, sunken, red to brown leaf spots surrounded by a narrow yellowish halo. Several spots coalesce to from irregular patches. The spots may also develop on pods.

Control

a. Grow resistant varieties .

b. Treat the seed with thiram at the rate of 3 gm/kg seed. Also adopt hot water treatment at 560 C for 10 minutes.

c. Eradicate affected plants and burn them.

  1. Leaf spot

This disease is caused by Myrothecium roridum. Dark brown round spots appear on leaf. In case of severe infection. Several spots merge together and leaflets become chlorotic and usually drop off. If plants are infected in the early stages of growth, there may not be any flowering.

Control

Spray with Dithane Z- 78,0.2% at the interval of 15 days, twice or thrice.

XIII. Pest Control

Guar is a rainy season crop. Therefore, a number of insect pests feed and grow on its leaves and pods. Some important ones are described here.

  1. Hairy caterpillars

Ascotis imparata and Spilosoma obliqua, Amsacta lactinae and Euproctis scintilans are the insects that cause heavy damage. The adult lays eggs in clusters over the surface of the leaves. The larvae cause characteristic skeletonisation of leaves during the early gregarious stage and later they completely defoliate the plant. The pest can easily be controlled by systematic collection of larvae during the early gregarious stage or spraying with Endosulfan @ 0.07 percent.

  1. Jassid

Empoasca fabae, Empoasca Kraemeri and Amrascakerri are serious pest of the crop. The nymph are wingless and found in abundance on the lower surface of the leaves. The nymph and adult pierce the plant tissues and suck the cell sap. Leaves become yellow at the margin. They can be controlled by: (i) soil application of systemic granular insecticides such as Aldicarb 10 G at the rate of 10 -15 kg per hectare. (ii) spray ofEndosulphan 35 EC at the rate of 2litres in 1000 litres of water, or (iii) dusting of BHC 10% dust at the rate of 20 -25 kg per hectare.

XIV. Harvesting and Yield

The pods of the guar become ready for plucking, depending upon the variety, from 40 days onwards after sowing. Picking is done at an interval of 10 –12 days. When crop is grown for fodder, the plants are cut when they are in flowering stage or when the pods are beginning to emerge. This stage comes 50 to 80 days after sowing. For green manuring the crop can be ploughed down as soon as the pods begin to develop. The yield of the green material crop is about 120 quintals per hectare. When crop is grown for seeds, it is left until the pods are mature, then harvested with the help of sickles and dried and threshed.

    A good crop under favourable climatic conditions yields about 300 quintals of green fodder or 15 quintals of dry seeds or 60 quintals of green pods per hectare.