Mulching: New technology for high groundnut output
Authors: Dr. Sushma Tiwari1 and Dr. R.S.Tomar2
1College of Agriculture, RVSKVV, Gwalior-474005
2NRC on Plant Biotechnology, IARI, Pusa Campus, New Delhi-110012
Corresponding author: email@example.com
The groundnut yield in India is currently 700-900 kg per hectares (ha) which is less than one-third of the world’s average of 2,200 kg per ha. The average groundnut yield in China is 2,300-2,400 kg per ha whereas of US and Argentina is 3,000 kg per ha and 2,800 kg per ha respectively. The main reason behind reduced productivity in groundnut yield is poor nutrient
Mulching Technology requires groundnut plants to be covered with special mulching plastic sheets for moisture protection and maintaining plant growth for maximum yield (Fig. 1). Agriculture with mulch in the tropics promotes plant health and vigor; and improves nutrient and water retention in the soil, encourages soil microbial activity and worms, and suppresses weed growth. When properly executed, mulching can significantly improve the well-being of plants and reduce maintenance as compared to bare soil culture. Mulched plants have better vigor and, consequently have improved resistance to pests and diseases.
Fig.1 Grown seedlings of groundnut covered by Polythene Mulch
The biggest advantage of this technology is that the crop does not have to dependent on monsoon. The irrigation is done through mechanical means. Hence, the crop can be grown in off-monsoon season as well. This new technology has the capacity to increase groundnut yield up to three times more than the existing conventional techniques in India. This means, the technology can revolutionalise entire groundnut farming in India
Benefits of using Mulch
At the groundnut sowing initial rise in temperature increases soil temperature by 4-5 degree centigrade by converting solar energy into heat energy at the rhizosphere which would help faster germination. It will also activate soil microbes useful for groundnut crop. During evaporation from the soil in high temperature conditions it will conserve moisture. No chance to weed growth.
About Author / Additional Info:
Geneticist and Plant Molecular Breeder