New age farm

Hello Everybody,

  I wish to use this thread as my Farm Page. One senior asked me to do Blog, i instead choose Forum Thread for present.
am here to explore opportunities in Agriculture and from my short journey of two years in this field on a small 1.5 acre of my field, i’ve grown from Passive Farmer to Active Farmer. Now, i want to go Pro!

  There is a small discussion going on @ getthecommunityopinion thread which i want to direct here on this thread and take the discussion forward as that’s getting very specific to my needs and it’s also just a start, which i believe and hope will only lengthen with time.

  I’ll repost from start and then let go. Cheers & Regards, naf :slight_smile:

[quote=“NewAgeFarmer”][size=100]
Hello FM’s,
  have started browsing the forum so some stuff might be repeat, please pardon and guide to the right post.

  Since I’ve started actively pursuing agriculture now, there are a lot of opportunities i see in this field. There is a broad plan i have drawn and i want some feedback from the experts, seniors, start ups and contributing member’s.

  i only have a 1.5 acre land about 25 kms from my home in Lko, UP. When i first started about 2 years back, we bought it dry & barren and it was economical for us financially coz of that. The surroundings is all active agri land. I’ve only yet managed 50 % productivity of land compared to surrounding yields of the same crop. Currently there is no electricity and the nearest pole is about a km & half and also there is a non-operational & defunct 100 ft bore. But that’s just the start, i know.

  At the beginning, it was all like small pieces of the jigsaw scrambled randomly. Now after two years, i can visualize the pieces falling in their right places to complete the whole picture. And i already like the beauty in the picture. So my questions and their optional answers are as follows:

A)  How can i best utilise my 1.5 acre land?
    1.Keep doing conventional farming.
    2.Do Poly House or Hydroponics.
    3.Part land can be used for Animal Husbandry.
    4.Do contract farming of 10 acres on a five year contract lease and convert self land to an organic Seeding House.

B)  Water! What should i do?
    1.Keep borrowing as i currently do.
    2.Get a new borewell done along with the works.
    3.Get a local man to check and suggest repairs.
    4.Get professional consultancy about boring and wells to get optimal results by understanding the natural cycles of Rain & Aquifers and the surrounding canal system. (Yes, i forgot to mention, there is a canal system quite near to my farm and i’ve used it whenever possiable)

C)  Electricity! How to go about it? (i’ve never needed it in the past but i certainly will in the future)
    1.Get a new connection and get the works done.
    2.Calculate future requirements and get an off-grid system. (DIY style or purchase & install a PnP system)

D)  There are a lot of resources around the village which are lying as waste. How to tap them? (mainly refer to residual waste of banana plantations)
    1.Let it be, don’t bother!
    2.Look for industries where this is being used or can be used and do some trade off.
    3.Use as input for organic biomass creation.
    4.Look to develop skills and create a small unit which can develop utility end products from the plantation’s residual waste.

E)  There are designated ponds (averaging 5 mts deep x 10 mts long x 5mts wide) lying idle or vacant. I believe they are available for contract. How can i use this opportunity?
    1.Like i said, Don’t Bother, … period!
    2.Get the village Pradhan and the surrounding community involved in making use of the resource.
    3.Do a contract fishing farm.
    4.Find out the contract obligations first and then get back here later.

  For A, option 3 & 4 seems viable, that is if i decide to take things in a pro manner. Or is option 2 & 3 better. Please suggest. Please advise for B as i’m not too sure. For C, option 2 sounds like the way it’s done by a modern farmer. For D, 3 or 4 or both seem appropriate and for E, i’ll pick 4 and repeat it later when have more info.

  These are the major important things on my mind right now. Of course these are just the first few questions that i need guidance for. There are many other things to consider, like financing, sale and marketing of the produce and i’m working on them as well. Like i mentioned in one of my earlier posts, i want to go PRO and for that i need all the support and guidance for this forum and it’s valuaed members.
 
  Cheers & Regards, naf :slight_smile:
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[quote="NewAgeFarmer"]
[size=100]A)  How can i best utilise my 1.5 acre land?
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - What is your aim in doing agriculture?  Just making money or something else.
Something else & Money

    1.Keep doing conventional farming.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Is best for organic model
After started reading on ZBNF, now i’m confused, Organic or ZBNF? Please guide.

    2.Do Poly House or Hydroponics.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - High cost (initial setup) and high produce as well
Not bad; any govt concessions, subsidy or any support from any quarters.

    3.Part land can be used for Animal Husbandry.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Definitely Yes.  Options are Goat, Cow (Milk) & Chicken which has ready market.
I’m contemplating a pair of Boer + 48 local goats, Stall fed method, on an estimated area of 5 to 6 K sqft. Doable?
Plus add a pair of cattle as well.

    4.Do contract farming of 10 acres on a five year contract lease and convert self land to an organic Seeding House.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Need Mother Plants or Seeds for starting nursery.
So a 5 yr contract for 10 acres with own nursery sounds good to you? I’m sure mother plants and seed can be availed on a one time basis as i believe ( and i’m yet to explore this) more seeds can be cultivated from these initial seeds? So i’ll never have to buy seeds again except for the first time? Am i right on this accord?

B)  Water! What should i do?
    1.Keep borrowing as i currently do.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Temp option
Will hold till can’t do without own.

    3.Get a local man to check and suggest repairs.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Should try this and if it wont work out, go for Option 4 below which is similar to Option 2 above
More info - Figured it’s a Jaali/ Netted boring and not a Captive Boring and that’s why it is defunct coz inspite of it being a 4 inch output hole, it dosen’t give more than 2.5 inch water flow and hardly any throw. That was using a 5 hp diesel machine. That’s the hear say from local folks aound. The difference of option 2 and 4 is that 2 is the local bore man, and one of them didn’t know what he was doing when he did the given bore on the field. Other bores around that area have a good 4 inch flow and decent throw as well with same power machine. How to determine who’s good and honest at their jobs? Whereas option 4 i referred to is something on a more professional manner, atleast for guidance or consulting or even the job. Please suggest again!  and also what’s the difference of captive and non captive boring?

C)  Electricity! Will explore in more detail gradually.

D)  There are a lot of resources around the village which are lying as waste. How to tap them? (mainly refer to residual waste of banana plantations)
    3.Use as input for organic biomass creation.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Can be used as input to compost or vermicompost.
Here again, compost would be natural and vermi would be organic?

    4.Look to develop skills and create a small unit which can develop utility end products from the plantation’s residual waste.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Can be used for creating Bags and Sarees from Banana fibre.
Thanks, will surely look into it more.

E)  There are designated ponds (averaging 5 mts deep x 10 mts long x 5mts wide) lying idle or vacant. I believe they are available for contract. How can i use this opportunity?
    2.Get the village Pradhan and the surrounding community involved in making use of the resource.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Use the canal to bring water for future use.
Opt way of getting water if i can channel and time it correctly. Will explore more. But this option won’t be possiable if i do self contract, or will it? Let me see.

    3.Do a contract fishing farm.
[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Is water available for more than 6 months, then go for contract fishing.
Never done fish farming before. There are people around that do. I see it as a high risk activity as the crop is very susceptible to damage from a lot of fronts. But, there are atleast 5 to 6 good 10/10/5 deep ponds and decent neat & clean. These good clean ponds are mostly surrounded by barb wire fencing and tri colour painted pillars. I believe they are GOI property? The rest are not so clean and no fencing at all in the name of protection. I can’t say if they are private. Hardly 2 / 10 ponds is used for any activity except laying vacant or dump. None of the fenced ones are used either. Will explore the mystery on this.

Regards, naf :slight_smile:
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See my comments inline.

[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - ZNBF is not taking any external input while organic is similar to zbnf except for external input.  For eg., you can Panchakavya from outside which is organic and use it
What about Vermicast? At the Subhash Pallekar page, i read stuff about Vericulture that repulsed me, palekarzerobudgetspiritualfa … ganic.aspx
Can you please advise or direct me to the correct relevant stuff! TIA

[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - Each acre can be utilized to rear 1+24 goats.
That’s it? Even in stall fed method i will need so much farm space for only 25? i was of the opinion that in stall fed method, i could do with 5000 to 6000 sqft for 50 goats! This is about 15 % of an acre. That too i had planned a raised shed, 8 ft from ground so that i could use the space for multi purpose. On Ground; two cows, farm equipment & implement space, a small store with lock key. On First; Goat shed and the works. Above that, roofing with Hybrid (Solar & Wind). Kindly explain why i need rest of the 85% space? Is that to farm & produce feed stock for the goats?

[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - What type of nursery?  Is it Vegetables, Flowers or anything other than this (be specific).  Only short term crops can go with your lease period.
Vegetables of course. No Flowers for now. Fruits, yes possible, will have to study closely. Crops, definitely. There’s also a lot about crops fruits veggies and plantations that i have to read as i plan a multi cropping project. something i glanced was 33:33:33, something of a multi cropping mix model. Looked interesting, will have to re-visit that page.
Why only short term crops if lease is for 5 years? Also i was pondering on high value crops, like dals and lentils and stuff. i believe they have longer harvest times but then give high value in the market??? … My God! there so much to study and understand and so little time.

  There’s also this school of thought in agricultural circles about the Yield. One has a fixed space of land. What is the max yield of the land? in terms of every year, every 5 years, in 10 years, in 25, … Mind here we’re keeping to agriculture and no other like real state & stuff. So what’s the yield? To begin to answer, i ask, for how long do i have it? to begin to answer that i again ask, for how long should i have it for the whole thing to be optimal? How do i answer that  ??? or am i on the wrong drift? Comments Please!

[Padmanabhan Ganesan] - The difference between compost and vermicompost…  Both are natural and organic only.  There is no chemicals used in either of them.
The same as above about Vermicast.

some new queries - Machine & Tools
am planning to buy some farm equipment, tractor & implements. Any advice what brand, how many hp, what model, which implements? Of-course all will depend on what crops or plants i will do. In a general case if i do contract farming on a longer perspective and treat the expenses as investments for farm equipment, i have decided to go for a Mahindra 35 hp tractor. For an initial, is this power sufficient? Or 39 HP is better?

No use of the tractor without implements, thus i’ve planned for a thresher as well. also a rotovator as it’s highly recommended, a cultivator, a two piece iron leveller ( useful for border wall creation) & a woodden leveller.
i want to ask about the rotator specifically. is it really that important? have seen it in action around the place but never used in own field. i believe the correct use of it in terms of the wheat crop would be when after the seed is broad casted over the field, the rotovator is used to churns & granulate the soil and mixes the seeds in this nicely porous soil to improve the germination yield. And it levels the field up in the same run as well.  is my understanding correct?

also, do i need the disc harrow as well when i already have the cultivator? Which one of the two can i eliminate? Or do i need both along with the rotovator?
The thresher, should it be high mount feed model or bucket model? Electrical / diesel / or tractor operated? Multi crop or crop specific?
i was keen on the reaper too but i’ve been advised to not go for it right now, may be a year later or so. In any case, looking at the vids of reapers, they only cut the crop and lay it on one side. One has to bind it, carry it to the store / thrasher site, feed it in thrasher and collect the grains. Whereas in a combine harvester, the same job becomes much easier to carry out? My question in that case is, are there compatible combine harvesters for 40 hp tractors? if so, are they viable in performance and cost?

Testing tools - To start a planned Agri project, one understands the importance of soil and it’s nutrient / microbial contents. Are there any tools available in the market which can measure the various minerals vitamins and nutrient / microbial contents of the soil? This will help to determine what additives are needed for specific crops and thus they can be optimally applied in the required quantities organically or naturally. This will help greatly in the short & long term viability of the project.

Data - i was also searching for a data matrix of sorts which will help me understand a lot of things. for ex every crops plantation times (all season or specific season), their nutrient requirements at various stages of growth (seeding, planting, flowering, fruiting & harvest), their compatibility with other veggies & crops, any basic or advanced doe’s and dont’s.

This has become too much to answer and i’ve only just started,  :stuck_out_tongue:
i hope members can contribute. Monosyllable answers will do, links & direction wherever possible. Thanks in advance.
Cheers & Regards, naf :slight_smile:

See my comments inline.