Zero Tillage Cultivation in Rice-Wheat Cropping Sequence
Authors: Sheeshpal Choudhary and Babu Lal
Ph.D. Scholar Department of Agronomy, SKNAU, Jobner, Jaipur, Rajasthan- 303329, India
Email of corresponding author:

Tillage is an integral part of a crop system. It is defined as the physical modification of soil properties for the purpose of promoting crop production. It is a process in which human, animal or machine energy is applied for physical manipulation of soil to provide favorable hydro-thermal, aeration and mechanical regime for the root and shoot growth in a plant. Tillage includes operations for planting, weed control; mixing and incorporating crop residues, manures, fertilizers and pesticides and to overcome such constraints as compaction and to break root restricting pans. Under certain situations tillage may also be used to compact a loose soil.

Zero tillage what is it actually : It is the practice of not adopting any tillage operations or minimum tillage operations in soil so that it is least disturbed. In this technique there is no preparation of soil prior to sowing or practice in which soil disturbance is limited only to the spot where seed would be placed.


  • Management of crop residues
  • Increasing or decreasing infiltration
  • Killing weeds
  • Breaking soil crusts
  • Breaking root restricting layers
  • Incorporating/placing fertilizers and amendments
  • Modifying thermal regime of soil
  • Reducing the insect and disease incidence
  • Minimizing erosion losses by wind and water
Advantage of zero tillages:

  • Net saving of Rs. 1500-2500/- per ha in term of cost of fuel, herbicides and labour.
  • Sowing of wheat can be early upto 15-20 days.
  • Pre-sowing irrigation is not required where sowing is done by zero-tillage.
  • Reduces the soil erosion.
  • Proper management of paddy straw, because sowing of wheat can be done in the presence of standing paddy straw. Farmers usually burn the straw to clear the field, which decreases the soil fertility and create environmental pollution also.
  • Reduction in weed infestation
Zero Tillage : A beneficiary practice for certain Cropping Systems

Through various experiments it has been concluded that incorporation of zero tillage in certain cropping system has led to yield increment.

  • Wheat sown by zero tillage after harvest of rice crop.
  • Wheat taken after soybean/maize/sorghum.
  • Pulse crop can be planted with zero till without any problem.
  • Green gram can be planted by this technology immediately after the harvest of wheat which can be used for grain and green manure as well.

    Practices to be adoption in zero tillage:
  1. Zero till sowing of wheat and controlling weeds with post emergence application clodinafop by 2,4-D, gave higher yield with higher monitoring return in rice-wheat cropping system.
  2. Rice may be directly seeded sucessfully to avoid, ill effect of puddling on the following wheat crop, zero tillage may be adopted to get higher wheat yield with low cost of production rice-wheat need 50 % higher fertilizers than recommended dose for higher rice wheat cropping system.
  3. Zero tillage after harvest of paddy along with compost application improve the soil physical and chemical properties also increased yield attribute ultimately resulted in higher total dry matter
Future thrust

  • The extension and training of their technologies are very much required for popularity of their new technologies of our farming community.
  • Adoption of zero tillage by farmers in to be facilited because of reduce the cost of cultivation
  • Adoption of animal operated zero till drill and raised bed planting equipment and technology with conservation approach need to be promoted.

About Author / Additional Info: