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AGRONOMY OF FIELD CROPS 1

AGRONOMY OF FIELD CROPS 1

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In general, wheat requires a well-pulverized, but compact seedbed for good and uniform
germination. In irrigated areas, wheat is sown after kharif crops, hence the field is ploughed
with disc or mould board plough followed by 2 or 3 harrowing and 2 to3 planking should be
given. One pre sowing irrigation 7 to10 days before seeding is necessary to ensure good
germination.

Seed rate:

Normal sowing : 100 kg/ha
Bold seed / later sown condition : 125 kg/ha
Seed treatment: Treat the seeds with any one of the fungicides at 2g/kg of seed 24 hours
before sowing.

24

Spacing:

For normal sown crop : 20 to 22.5 cm between the rows
For delayed sowing : 15 to 18 cm.
Depth of sowing: Since the coleoptiles length is 5 cm, depth of sowing should not more than 5
cm and the optimum depth of sowing is 2.5 to 5.0 cm.

Method of sowing

a) Broadcast sowing : Seeds are broadcasted and then worked in by harrowing to cover
the seeds. Germination is very poor and plant stand is often irregular, since the seeds
are not placed in the moist zone. High seed rate and it is an inefficient method.
b) Sowing behind the country plough: A majority of farmers use this method. The seed is
dropped in furrows by hand and it is called as 'Kera method' and when it is dropped
through a 'pora', a special set of attachment with local plough it is called "Pora method".
In this method seeds are dropped at 5-6 cm depth.
c) Drilling: Seeds are sown by seed drill or ferti seed drill. In ensures uniform depth of
sowing, proper placement of fertilizers and good germination.
d) Dibbling : This method is used in the case where supply of seeds is limited, using the
implement is called "Dibbler". It is not a common method, because it is time
consuming.
e) Transplanting : It is not a common practice. When the sowing delays beyond Ist

week of
December, seedling are raised in the nursery and transplanted on 25 DAS at 2 or 3
seedling per hill at the row spacing of 15 cm x 5to 7.5 cm. The varieties Kalyansona and
Sonalika are best for transplanting.
Seed rate : 125 kg/ha.
Manures and Fertilizer: A crop of wheat yielding 50 q/ha (5 t/ha) removes 100-150 kg N/ha,
70-80 kg P2O5 and 120-150 kg K2O/ha from the soil. Fertilizer application should be made
based on the soil test recommendation.
FYM or compost : 12.5 t/ha at last ploughing and incorporated

Recommended dose
(kg/ha)

Condition

N : P2O5 : K2O

Time and method of application

Timely sown
condition

120:40:40

50 % N and 100 % P and K drilled 5 cm below
the seed and the remaining 50% 'N' at first
irrigation.

Late sown

80:40:40

50 % N and 100 % P and K drilled 5 cm below
the seed and the remaining 50% 'N' at first
irrigation.

Irrigated if followed
by legume crop

80:40:40

50 % N and 100 % P and K drilled 5 cm below the
seed and the remaining 50% 'N' at first
irrigation.

for light soil, 'N' should be applied in 3 equal splits viz 1/3 at basal, 1/3 at Ist

irrigation and

1/3 at 2nd

irrigation.
Weed Management: Critical weed free period up to 30 DAS.
Post emergence application of Isoproturon (Tolkan 50% WP or Arelon 50% WP) on 30 to 35 at
1.0 kg ai/ha followed by one hand weeding or combined application of Isoproturon 0.75 kg ai/ha
+ 2,4-D at 0.5 kg ai/ha on 30 to 35 days is more effective for control of monocot and dicot
weeds or pre-emergence application of pendimethalin 1.0 kg ai/ha followed by one hand
weeding on 30 to 35 days is more efficient and economical method.
Water Management: Wheat requires 440 to 460mm of water. Irrigation at 50% available soil
moisture or 50% depletion of available soil moisture is optimum. The critical stages of crop for
irrigation

1. Crown root initiation (21-25 days)
2. Tillering (45-60 days)
3. Jointing (60-70 days)

25

4. Flowering (90-95 days)
5. Milky stage (100-108 days)
6. Dough stage (120-125 days)
Of these, irrigation at CRI stage is the most important and delay of every day results in
reduction of 1.4% grain yield/day.
It has also been noticed that if any of following irrigation is delayed or missed, the yield is
reduced to the extent of 5 to 10 kg / ha.

Number of irrigation

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

CRI

CRI

CRI

CRI

CRI

Boot leaf Tillering

Tillering

Tillering

Boot leaf Boot leaf

Jointing

Milky stage Flowering and Milky stage

Cropping system

Wheat +sugarcane (4 to 5: 1)

Wheat + pea (4:2)

Wheat + gram (1: 1)

Wheat + chick pea (4:2)

Wheat + lentil (4:2)

Wheat + mustard (8:2)

Wheat + linseed (4:2)

Wheat may be grown as relay crop in potato after earthing up especially in case of early crop of
potato.
Harvesting and threshing: Harvest when the leaves and stems turn yellow and becomes fairly
dry. Harvest when there is about 20-25% moisture content. Harvesting is done by using sickle
or bullock driven reapers or by using Combine Harvester. After threshing and cleaning, the
grain is dried in the sun for 3 to 4 days for getting 10 to 12 % moisture for storing.

Time of harvest

Hilly zone

: May to June
North Western plain zone : Mid April
North Eastern plains zone : March to April
Central zone : February to March
Peninsular zone: February.
Yield: 4.5 to 5.5 t/ha
Post Harvest Technology: Wheat is usually ground into flour before used as food. Earlier
days stone grinding was done. Nowadays steel roller mills are available for grinding.
Process of milling: Before milling wheat is tempered by adding water about 24 to 48 hours
earlier to milling so that the moisture of grains comes around 14%. This allows better
separation of bran from the endosperm.
Wheat is eaten as atta in the north and west, in the south and east as maida and suji. Rava is
consumed mainly in the south. Pasta is a mixture of flour and salt. Pasta products comprise
vermicelli, noodles, macaroni and spaghetti.
Storage: If the moisture content of grain is more than 12% they are eaten up by storage pests.
There is marked deterioration in weight, taste, nutrients or nutritive value and germination of
wheat grains when they are stored. Safe storage means ensuring that the stored grains retain
their original weight, taste, nutritive value and germination.

26

MAIZE (Zea mays.L)

Maize is one of the important cereal crops in the world's agricultural economy both as
food for men and feed for animals, because of its higher yield potential compared to other
cereal it is called as “Queen of Cereals”.
Classification : Classification is largely based on the character of the kernels. Classified into
seven groups.

1. Flint Corn: Zea mays indurata : Starchy endosperm enclosed with hard hammy
endosperm. Kernel size is large with flat bottom and round at the top. High proportion
of starch. Colour may be white or yellow. This is the type mostly grown in India.
2. Dent Corn : Z. mays indentata Because of formation of dent on the top of kernal
having white or yellow. Maize kernels have both soft and hard starches. The hard starch
extends on the sides and the soft starch is in the centre and extends to the top of the
kernels. Depression or dent in the crown on the seed is the result of drying and
shrinkage of soft starch. This type is widely grown in USA.
3. Pop Corn : Z. mays averta Kernel size is small. Presence of hard and corneous
endosperm.
4. Sweet Corn : Z. mays saccharata The sugar and starch make the major component
of the endosperm that results in sweet taste of kernels. It is mainly grown in Northern
half of USA. The cobs are picked up green for canning and table purpose.
5. Flour Corn : Z. mays amylaceae It resembles to the flint corn in appearance and ear
characteristics. The grains are composed of soft starch and have little or no dent are
called as “Soft Corn”. It is widely grown in USA and South Africa.
6. Pod Corn : Z. mays tunicata Each kernel is enclosed in a pod or husk in an ear,
which enclosed in husks, like other types of corn.
7. Waxy Corn : Z. mays cerabina The kernel looks to have waxy
appearance and gummy starch in them, because of amylopectin. Starch is similar to
that of Tapioca starch for making adhesive for articles.
Origin : - Mexico and Central America.
CIMMYT : - Centro International de Mejorimiento de Maizy Trigo (International Centre for the
improvement of Maize and Wheat) situated in Mexico.

Economic Importance and their uses

? Most important cereal crops in the worlds’ agricultural economy. 85% is consumed as
human food.
? Several food dishes viz Chapathi are prepared from maize flour.

? Green cobs are roasted and eaten by the people.

? Popcorn is used for popped form; green cob for table purpose.

? Corn has low fibre content, more carbohydrate and most palatable.

? Widely used in preparation of cattle feed and poultry feed.

? It can be used as green fodder It has no HCN content.

? Can be preserved as silage.

? Food product : Corn meal, Corn flakes.

? Industrial product : Alcohol, Corn Starch (Dextrose), Glucose, Corn oil , corn syrup

? Used in canning Industry, production of polymer, making paper,

? paper boards, bread etc.

? Maize grain contains

Protein - 10%

Carbohydrates - 70%

Oil - 4%

Albuminoides - 10.4%

Crude fibre

- 2.3%

Maize protein “Zein” is deficient in two essential amino acids viz., Lysine and
Tryptophane. Maize grain has significant quantity of vitamin A, nicotinic acid, riboflavin and
vitamin E. Maize is low in Calcium, but fairly high in ‘P’.

27

Area and Production

Area : 130 m.ha.

Production : 580 m.t.

Maize growing Countries

USA > China > Brazil > Mexico > India.
USA ranks first in area, production and productivity.
India : India occupies 5th

place in area and 11th

place in production.

Area : 6.25 m.ha (1996 – 97)

Production : 10.61 m.t

Average Productivity : 1698 kg/ha.
Area

: U.P. > Rajasthan > M.P. > Karnataka > Bihar.

Production

: U.P. > Bihar > Karnataka. Karnataka recorded the highest average
yield of 3379 kg/ha.

Tamil Nadu : (1997 – 1998)
Area

: 81,800 ha

Production

: 1,32,900 tonnes

Productivity : 1625 kg/ha.
Mainly cultivated in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Madurai, Trichy, Thanjavur, Pudukottai districts.
Rainfed Condition : Southern districts, Dindigul areas.
Climatic requirement

? It is essentially a tropical crop.

? It is a C4 short day plant.
? Though it is a tropical crop, it has got high adaptability to wider climate. 55? N to 45? S .
It can be grown up to 2500 m above MSL.
? This crop is not suitable when night temperature drops below 15.6? C.

? Maize requires moist and warm weather from germination to flowering.
? Most suitable temperature for germination is 21?C and for growth is 32? C.

? Extremely high temperature and low RH at flowering desiccate the pollen resulting in poor
pollen grain formation.
? Temperature more than 35?C reduce the pollen germination. Temperature < 15?C delays
silking and tasseling.
? Rainfall of 500 to 750 mm of well distributed rain is continue to proper growth.

Soil : Maize is best adapted to well drained sandy loam to silt loam soil. Water stagnation is
extremely harmful to the crop, therefore proper drainage is must. Maize can not thrive on heavy
soil especially on low lands. pH ranges from 5.5 to 7.5. The alluvial soils of UP, Bihar and Punjab
are very suitable for growing maize crop. Salinity and water logging are harmful at seeding
stage. Continuous water logging 3 days reduce the yield by 40 to 45%.
Growth stages of Maize :
1. Seedling stage

: 1-14 days from sprouting to 2 to 4 leaves.
2. Vegetative phase : 15-39 days. (30-35 days is knee high stage)
3 Flowering phase : (40-65 days).
4. Maturity stage : 66-95 days. Includes soft and hard dough stage.
5. Ripening

: 96-105 days.
Varieties recommended for cultivation : All India Co-ordinated Maize Improvement Project
was started in 1957 in collaboration with Rockefeller foundation..
Hybrids : 100 to 105 days. Deccan, Ganga Safed, Ganga-4, Ganga-5, Ganga-7,9, Histarch,
Sangam, In Tamil Nadu, CoH1, CoH2 and CoH3 Hybrids, 5.5 to 6.0 t/ha.
Promising Composites : 100 to 105 days. Amber, Vijay, Kisan, Sona, Vikram, Jawahar. 5.0 to
5.5 t/ha. Shortest duration composite : K1(80 to 85 days
Co1 (105 days)

Cropping system

28

1. Maize – Potato
2. Maize – Berseem
3. Maize – Chickpea/Safflower (Rainfed)
4. Maize – Potato – Wheat

Tamil Nadu

1. Maize – Greengram

3. Maize – Onion

2. Maize – Cotton

Rainfed Intercropping

Maize + Greengram

Maize + Groundnut

Maize + Soybean

Miaze + Cowpea

Maize + Redgram

In North India Short duration Maize, Kathri and Sathi (65 to 75 days) grown as intercrop in
sugrcane in UP.
Time of sowing: In India, it is grown in 3 seasons.
1. Kharif – June – July (85% of rainfed area)
2. Rabi – Peninsular India and Bihar. Oct – November
3. Spring : North India. Jan – Feb. Irrigated condiiton.
Yield of maize is more during Rabi and Spring season.

Tamil Nadu : Optimum time of sowing is
1) Winter/Rabi : End of December to Ist

week of January.

2) Kharif

: First fortnight of June or First fortnight of August.

3) Rainfed

: End of September to October Ist

week.

System of Maize cultivation

1) Rainfed (78% area)

2) Irrigated (22% area)

MANAGEMENT PRACTICE FOR IRRIGATED MAIZE
Field preparation: The crop does not require fine tilth. Field is ploughed to a depth of 25 to
30cm using mould board plough, followed by 3 or 4 ploughing with desi plough or harrow. In
clay soils main problem is the formation of hard pan. Chiseling reduces the hard pan formation
and there is increase in yield of 25 to 30%.

Varieties and hybrids recommended for Tamil Nadu
CO1

: Composite, 105-110 days, suited for Coimbatore, Periyar, Pudukottai and Thanjavur.
Yield : Irrigated : 4 t/ha. Rainfed : 3 t/ha.

K1

: Composite, 80-85 days. Highly tolerant to drought, suited for Pudukottai district.
Hybrids (Irrigated) : 4 t/ha, Rainfed 3 t/ha.
COH1: Hybrid, 90-95 days, suited for all locations. Highly drought tolerant and resisitant to
downy mildew.
Yield: Irrigated: 5 t/ha. Rainfed

: 3.7 t/ha.
COH2: 100 to105 days. Best suited for all locations. Resistant to downy mildew.
Yield : Irrigated : 5.4 t/ha. Rainfed : 3.5 t/ha.
COH3: 90 to 95 days. Irrigated:6.0t/ha, Rainfed: 4.3 t/h.
COBC1 : For dessert and canning, 55 to 65 days. All areas of Tamil Nadu, Yield : 6 to7 t/ha,
Green fodder : 32 t/ha. (Multiple cobs 2-3)
[ 7pickings at interval of 2 days].
Land shaping : Among the different land shaping methods, ridges and furrow system is more
effective. Because water logging is less in this system.
Method of sowing : Mostly direct seeding, sowing/dibbling behind country plough is adopted.

29

Transplanting is adopted in problem areas like Dharmapuri and Pudukottai, where red
ferrugenious and laterite soils exist. Studies reveal that 5 days old seedling increased the grain
yield by 11 to 14% during kharif and summer season over direct seeding.
Pai Nursery technique is advocated. Raised bed is formed and above the seed bed spread
compost and sand at 1:1 ratio and dibble the seeds. Cover it, sprinkle the water for 3 to 4 days.
Pull out the seedling on 5th

day. There will be 100% germination.
Seed treatment with fungicide followed by Azospirillum (3 pockets)
Seed rate : Composite :

20 kg/ha, Hybrids : 5 kg/ha
Spacing : 60x20cm. 83,333 plants/ha. For maximum yield : 1.1 l/ha with (60x15cm).
Fertilizer management : Among the cereals, it is the heavy feeder. If there is no soil test
recommendation, blanket recommendation of NPK at 135:62.5:50 kg/ha is recommended for
irrigated maize, besides application of 12.5 t of FYM/ha.
Method of application : Apply fertilizer 5cm below the soil and 10cm away from the root zone.
Time of application of fertilizers : 100% P and K should be applied as basal. ‘N’ should be
applied in 3 splits. Why ?.
In all the cereal crops, there is 2 peak stages of uptake, where as in Maize, there are 3 peak
stages of uptake.
Ist

peak

30-35 days. (Knee high stage)

IInd

peak

50-60 days ( Tasselling)

IIIrd

peak

70-80 days ( dough stage).
Hence ‘N’ should be applied in 3 splits. ? basal, ? at 25th

day, ?rd

at 45th

day.
Bio fertilizers : Seed treatment with 3 pockets of Azospirillum followed by soil application of
Azospirillum @10 pockets (2 kg/ha) with FYM at 50 kg/ha,
For transplanted crop ‘N’ should be applied 50% basal and 25% at knee high stage and
25% at taselling stage.

ZnSo4 : Apply ZnSo4 at 25 kg/ha at the time of sowing. If not possible to apply at basal, foliar
spray of 0.5% ZnSo4 at critical stages is recommended.‘Zn’ deficiency cause “White bud” in
Maize.
For getting maximum yield: For irrigated crop adopt 1.1 lakh plants (60 x 15cm) with
200:100:80 kg NPK /ha (N and K application in 3 splits) + 25kg ZnSo4/ha.

Water management

? Requires 500 to 600 mm of water.

? Based on IW/CPE ratio, irrigating at 0.8 IW/CPE ratio recorded higher yield. Under
intercropping situation, 0.6 IW/CPE ratio is optimum.
? Critical stages for irrigation are taselling and silking. Peak consumption of water also
occurs during this period (taselling and silking).
? Water shortage for 2 days in this stage, reduce the yield by 20%.
Number irrigation required :Clay/clay loam : 8 irrigations
Light soil

: 10 irrigations

Irrigation for germination : 1 (Irrigation after sowing)
2 (Life irrigation 4th

day)

Vegetative phase:

1st

irrigation on 12th

day

2nd

irrigation on 25th

day

3rd

irrigation on 36th

day.

Flowering phase :

1st

irrigation on 48th

day

2nd

irrigation on 60th

day

Maturity phase

1 irrigation on 72nd

day

For light soil two more irrigations are needed.

Weed management

? Maize crop should be kept weed free condition up to 45 days.

30

? Among the herbicides, pre emergence herbicide, Simazine and atrazine are more selective.

? Hence integrated weed management of pre-emergence application of atrazine 0.25 kg/ha
followed by one hand hoeing and weeding on 30 to 35 DAS is effective and economical
compared to two hoeings and weedings (Conventional methods).
? For intercropping systems, atrazine should not be used.

? For maize + pulse intercropping system, pre-emergence application of pendimethalin 1.0 kg
ai/ha followed by one hand weeding on 30 to 35 DAS.
? Spraying should be done within 3 days

? There should be adequate soil moisture

? Should not disturb the soil immediately after application

? Use high volume sprayer fitted with deflected type or flat fan nozzle can be used.

? If pre-emergence herbicides is not applied, post emergence application, 2,4 D Na salt
(Fernoxone 80 WP) at 1.0 kg/ha on 2 or 3rd

leaf stage for sole maize, should not use when

intercropped with legumes.
? For maize + soybean/pulse intercropping system, pre-emergence application of alachlor at
2.0 kg ai/ha (Lasso 50% EC) + one hand weeding.

Chemical name

Trade Name

ai/ha

Commercial
Product

Pre emergence

Atrazine

Atratop 50%WP

0.25 kg/ha

500 g/ha

Pendemethalin

Stomp 30% EC

1.0 kg ai/ha

3.3 l/ha

Post emergence

2.4D Na salt

Fernoxone 80% WP

1.0 kg ai/ha

1.25 kg/ha.

Thinning and gap filling : Leave one healthy seeding per hill and remove others on 7th

or 8th
day of sowing. Where seedings are not germinated, dibble 2 seeds per hill and immediately pot
water it. The crop should be earthed up after application fertilizer at 30 to 35 DAS to prevent
lodging.
Harvesting and grain shelling : The grain cob is harvested when cob sheath turns brownish,
grains become hard and they do not contains more then 20% moisture and they are piled up for
24 hours and then dried in the sun for 5 or 6 days to reduce the moisture to 10 to 12%.
Shelling : Common practice is hand shelling, but efficiency is very poor. Now corn shellers of
greater efficiency, which are manually driven, tractor drawn, electricity operated are available.
The left over plants are used as green fodder or straw.

31

BARLEY (Hordeum vulgare L.emend, Lam.)

It belongs to genus Hordeum.
Classification of barley : Cultivated barley varieties are classified based on number of rows of
grain and their arrangement.
1. Six rowed barley

: Hordeum vulgare

2. Two rowed barley

: Hordeum distichum

3. Irregular barley

: Hordeum irregular
Of these, six rowed barley is the most commonly cultivated type.

Origin

i) Core group of investigators considered Abyssinia as the centre of origin for
hulled, awned type.
ii) Another group considered South-East Asia particularly, China, Tibet and
Nepal as centre of origin for hull less six rowed varieties.
Economic importance : Barley is a rabi cereal crop
? It is the most important cereal of the world and it is the major source of food for large
number of peoples in cooler semi arid parts of the world. It is the staple food crop of
people in Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. In European country, it is used only as break fast food.
? Important food crop in higher altitude.

? Flour is used for making ‘Chapati’ along with wheat flour or gram flour and used as “Missi

Rotti”.

? Used for preparation of malt, beer, whisky and industrial alcohol, vinegar.

? Mainly used in malt and brewing industries.

? Grain is broken and roughly ground in to pearl barley to be used in soup.

? Excess grain is used as cattle feed and horse feed.

? Medicinal value, used for biscuit making.

? Nutritive value : Protein – 11.5%, Carbohydrates - 74%, Fat – 1.3%, Crude fibre – 3.9%,
Ash – 1.5% (3.69).

Area and distributions
World : It is grown in many countries viz., Russia, Canada, Germany, France, China, USA,
Turkey, India, Australia, Spain etc.
Area

:

76.2 m.ha

Production

:

171.9 m.t

Productivity

:

2.26 t/ha.
USSR ranks first in acreage and production.
India :

Area

:

8.84 l.ha (1995 – 1996)

Production

:

16.54 l.ton

Productivity

:

1.87 t/ha.
Of the total area, 61.0% area is under irrigated condition and 39% is under rainfed

condition.

Area :

UP

>

Rajasthan

>

MP

>

Haryana

(4.4 l ha)

(1.6 l ha)
50% of area 20% of area

Production : UP

>

Rajasthan

>

Punjab

(8.48 l.t)
Productivity : Punjab >

Haryana

>

Rajasthan

(3.15 t/ha)
Tamil Nadu : It is grown in a smaller area in Nilgris and Palani hills.
Climatic requirement : Similar to Wheat. Comes up well in cool climate. Warm and moist
condition are not conducive. It requires around 12-15?

C during growing period and around 30?
C during maturity. It cannot tolerate frost. Frost and Hailstorm at flowering are detrimental.

32

Rain at the time of ripening causes discolouration of grain and it is not good for malting or
seeding. The crop possesses high degree of tolerance to drought and Sodic condition.
Edaphic or Soil requirements : Sandy to moderately heavy loam soil of Indo-Gangetic plains
having neutral to Saline in reaction and medium fertility are most suited for barley. Being a salt
tolerant crop, it is the best substitute for sodic soils and also for saline coastal soils in West
Bengal and black soils of Karnataka. A higher spot with efficient drainage would be best location
for barley. The soil should not be very fertile which causes lodging and reduce the yield. Acidic
soils are not suitable.

Season

Rainfed crop : Before end of October or first week of November.
Irrigated

: Ist

or IInd

week of November

Late sown

: Up to December

Hilly Zones (2000 m): Ist

week of November.

Seed Rate

Irrigated

: 75 to 100 kg/ha.

Rainfed : 80 to 100 kg/ha.
Saline soil

: 100 kg/ha.
In very high altitude of 2000 m above MSL, grown only as summer crop. Sowing during

end of April or Ist

week of May . Similar to Wheat.

Spacing :

Irrigated crops : 23cm row spacing
Rainfed crops : 23-25cm row spacing

Depth of Sowing :

rrigated crops : 5cm depth
Rainfed crops : 6 to 8cm depth
Varieties recommended : Two type of varieties are sown
i) Huskless and ii) Hulled barley
I. Suited for hilly areas : (Northern hills)
1. Himami: Developed at Simla. Medium to lower hills. 140-145 days, 3.2-3.6 t/ha.
2. Dolma: Medium to high elevation. 140-150 days. Resistant to yellow rust. 3.5 to

4.0 t/ha.

3. Kailash: Six row hulled variety. Medium to lower elevation. 145-150 days. Resistant
to yellow rust. Yield:4.0 t/ha.

II. Rainfed areas

1. 1.Ratna: Six rowed hulled variety. Developed at IARI. 125-130 days, 2.5-3.0 t/ha – UP.
Grown in WB, Bihar.
2. Vijay : Developed at Kanpur, 120-125 days,. 3.0-3.5 t/ha. Suited for cultivation in UP,
Delhi, MP, Punjab.
3. Azad: Developed at Kanpur. Resistant to yellow rust. 115-120 days. 3.5-3.8 t/ha.
4. Ameru: Developed from Kanpur, 130-133 days, 2.5-3.0 t/ha. Best for production of
Malt for brewing.

III. Irrigated areas

1. Jyoti: Six rowed hulled variety. Developed from Kanpur. 120-125 days, 3.5-4.0 t/ha.
2. Ranjit: Six rowed, semi dwarf, non lodging.125-130 days. 3.0-3.5 t/ha. Recommended
for commercial cultivation.
3. Clipper: Two row barley variety. 135-140 days, 28-30 q/ha. Best for malt production
and brewing purpose.
4. Karan 18 and 19 : 5.0 –5.6 t/ha. Best varieties.
Dual purpose varieties (Fodder and grain): Ratna, Karan 2 , Karan 5 and Karan 10.
Selection of variety for malt production

? Plumpy, medium, good quality seeds

33

? Select the seeds having 1.2 to 1.5% N

? Timely sowing. Avoid late sowing.

? Fertile soil should be avoided.
Land preparation : Barley being a shallow rooted crop responds well to light textured, fine
seed bed. One ploughing with soil turning plough followed by 2 or 3 ploughings with desi plough
or 2 or 3 harrowings by tractor or bullock power. In areas where termites are problematic, mix
the soil with BHC 10% at 20-25 kg/ha or aldrin 5% dust at 10 to15 kg/ha.
Seed treatment : Treat the seeds with either Captan/Thiram/Bavistin @ 2g/kg of seeds. In
the case of saline and rainfed areas, sowing of overnight soaked seeds results in a quick
germination and also ensures better stand.
Fertilizer management :

Apply FYM at 12.5 t/ha during last ploughing

Condition

Recommended

N P2O5 K2O

Irrigated crop

60 : 30 : 20

Malt production

30 : 20 : 20

Rainfed

40 : 20 : 20
Method and Time of application: 50% N and 100% P and K as basal. Remaining 50 % N at
30 DAS (Ist

irrigation). In rainfed and saline soils, entire fertilizer should be drilled below 8

to10cm depth as basal.
Light Textured soil: N should be applied in 3 splits. ? as basal + ? during first irrigation + ?
during second irrigation.
Method of Sowing : Similar to Wheat
1) Broadcasting 2) Pora and Kera method.
Water management: It requires 200-250 mm water. 2-3 irrigations are adequate. Light soil
requires 4 irrigations. Following are the critical growth stages for irrigation.
1. Seedling or sprouting stage
2. Active tillering stage (30-35 DAS)
3. Flag leaf
4. Milling stage or soft dough stage.
Of these active tillering stage around 30-35 DAS and grain filling (60-65 DAS) are most critical.
Weed management : Up to 30 days is critical. Monocot and dicot weeds found are similar to
that of wheat.

1) Post emergence application of Isoproturan 0.75 kg/ha + 0.5 kg/ha 2,4-D combination
on 35-40 days (3-5 leaf stage) effectively control both dicot and monocot weeds + one
hand weeding or pendimethalin (pre emergence) 1.0 kg/ha + one hand weeding is
economical than that of two hand weedings.
Barley based cropping system: Barley being a short duration crop is more suitable for
rotation than wheat. The following are the common rotations.
Paddy - barley

Cotton - barley

Jowar - barley

Maize - barley

Bajra - barley

Urdbean - barley

Barley is grown mixed with crops like
1. Chickpea + barley

4. Mustard + barley

2. Pea + barley

5. Linseed + barley.

3. Lentil + barley
Harvest : Similar to that of wheat. Timely harvest ensures quality grain and prevent different
losses. Threshing either by using animal or mechanical threshers. Then winnowing and
cleaning are done. Storage of grains at 10-12% moisture level.
Yield :

Grain: 3.0-3.5 t/ha
Straw :4.0-5.0 t/ha

34

? Hulled barley is not accepted by consumers. Now two improved huskless varieties viz.,
Karan 18 and Karan 19 have been released and there is a great demand for them among
the farmers.

35

OATS (Avena sativa)

Oat belongs to genus Avena
Classification of oats :

According to their chromosome number.
Group I: A.brevis: short oats grown in Southern Europe for green fodder, hay
Group II: A.abyssinica. “Abyssinian oat” grown in several parts of North Africa for fodder.
Group III: “Common Oat”. It occupies 80% of total acreage under oat.
A. Sativa : 80% of total world acreage is under Common Oat.

A.byzantina - “red oat” grown around Mediterranean region, Europe and North Asia and
warmer sub tropical area for both grains and fodder. It also cultivated in India, next to A. satira.
Heat tolerant.
A.chirensis: Chinease naked oat extensively grown in hilly parts of China for grain.

A. strigosa: called “sand oat”.
Dual purpose : Grain and fodder. Grown in Mediterranean region. Of this, 80% of area is
under A. Sativa and the remaining area by A. byzantina.

Economic importance

? It is one of the most important rabi/winter cereal fodder crops of India.

? It is used as green fodder, straw, hay or silage.

? Oat grain makes a good balanced concentrate in the rations for Poultry, Cattle, Sheep and

Horse.

? Green fodder contains about 10-12% protein and 30-35 percent dry matter.

? It is fed to animals mixed with berseem or Lucerne green fodder. Its fodder and grain are
highly nutritious and preferred for milch cattle and draft animal.
? Very small portion of oat grain is processed in to food is the form of “rolled oats and
oatmeal” for human consumption.

Origin: Perhaps originated in Asia Minor.
Area and Distribution
World: Area : 26.8 m.ha. Production : 40.3 m.t.
The leading oat producing countries are USSR, USA, Canada, Poland, China, France, Australia.
India : It is cultivated on large scale in Punjab, Haryana, U.P. and a limited area in certain part
of HP, Maharastra, M.P., Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal. In Tamil Nadu, it is grown in Nilgris.
Climate : It requires cool temperature during germination, tillering, booting and heading. High
temperature at blooming increases empty spikelets and reduces the seed yield. Oat requires
about 15-25º C temperature for its optimum growth. Oat requires more moisture to produce a
given unit of dry matter than any other cereal except rice. Rainfall should not exceed 760 m.m.
and should be well distributed.
Soil: It can be grown on all types of soils except the alkaline and water logged ones. Oats
generally make their best growth on loam soils, but produce satisfactory yield on heavy or light
soil.

Varieties
1. Kent : Introduced from Australia Mid late variety resistant to blight, rust and lodging. Dual
purpose, flowering taken place between 112 – 116 days, fodder yield 60 – 65 t/ha. Grain 3
to 3.5 t/ha.
2. Algerian : For irrigated areas. Slow growing 145 to150 days, green fodder yield: 40 to45

t/ha.

3. Bunker 10 : Mid season variety. Suitable for moisture shortage
Condition. Resistant to loose smut. Green fodder yield: 40 t/ha
4. Coachman : Introduced from USA. Erect habit. Green fodder Yield:50 t/ha
5. H F O 114 : Erect type, multicut variety. Green fodder yield: 50 to 55 t/ha, grain yield: 2.5
t/ha. Suitable for Haryana.

36

6. UPO. 50 : Medium late and semi erect variety released from Pantnagar. Resistant to rust,
blight and lodging. Fodder yield : 45 to 50 t/ha. Suitable for cultivation in U.P.
Time of sowing : Optimum time of sowing is from middle of October to middle of November
for getting higher yield. Oct. middle for fodder production and Nov.middle for seed production
Seed rate : 100 kg/ha. Drill sowing is better than broadcasting.
Field preparation: The field should be thoroughly prepared to secure a fine and firm seed bed.
One deep ploughing followed by 3-4 harrowings and planking are sufficient to get good seed
bed. Long narrow beds may be laid out across the field so that only single irrigation channel
along the upper side of the field may serve the purpose.
Spacing : 20 to 23 cm for fodder 23 to 25 cm for grain
Manures and fertilizers: The crop responds to organic manures apply 15.0 to 20.0 t/ha.
Recommended NPK : 80:40:0 kg NPK/ha. Apply entire ‘P’ as basal and ‘N’ should be applied
as follows

60 kg N/ha as basal
10 kg N/ha at Ist

irrigation (25 to 30 DAS)

10 kg N/ha after Ist

cutting.
Water management : Lowest WUE next to rice, require high amount of water. The crop
irrigated once in 20 to 25 days, 4 to 5 irrigations are needed. Generally irrigation is necessary
after each cutting. Critical stage is tillering stage for oat.
Weed Control : Usually one weeding after 3 to 4 weeks of sowing is enough.
Harvesting : The crop needs about 120 to 150 days to mature (4½ to 5 months). It is
common practice to take 2 or 3 cuttings of fodder and then to allow the crop to grow for seed.
But normally only two cuttings are taken from the seed or grain crop. Of these two cuttings,
first is taken after 60 to 65 days and second after 90 days of sowing or at the flowering stage of
the crop. Then plants are allowed to grow and set seeds.
Yield : If it has given two cuts, Green fodder: 50 to 60 t/ha and
seed / grain yield : 200 to 400 kg/ha.
Threshing, winnowing and cleaning of the grain as per wheat.

Rotation and Inter cropping

1. Jowar – Oat – Maize
2. Maize – Oat – Maize
3. Cowpea – Oat+Mustard – Miaze+Cowpea
4. Jower+Cowpea – Oat+Lucerne
Yield : If the crop is allowed after Ist

cut for seed set, then fodder yield : 25 to 30 t/ha. Seed: 3

to 3.5 t/ha. Straw: 2.5 to 3 t/ha

37

Rye (Secale cereale)

Minor rabi cereal. Mainly used for green fodder, pasture crop, green manure crop and cover
crop. The flour of rye is mixed with wheat flour for making bread. Rye straw is used for bedding
and packing material.
Area and distribution : In the world, it is cultivated in an area of 16.3 m.ha with a
productivity of 40.7 m.t. 60% of area is in USSR, followed by Germany, Austria, Hungari, USA,
Canada, Poland, Turkey etc. In India, it is grown in Punjab, Haryana and U.P.
Origin : Compared to wheat, rye is a relatively new crop. The earliest cultivation appears to
have been in Western Asia and Southern USSR.
Climate : It can with stand all adverse weather conditions except heat. Commonly called as
“Winter hardy cereal” and is the earliest of all cereals.
Soil : Rye is the only one rabi cereal best suited for sandy soil.
Season : Winter season and spring season.
Rye Varieties : Rye varieties are not so numerous as Wheat, Barley and Oats.
For Winter Season: Forage type: Athens, Common, Abruzzes
Grain type : Rosen, Dakold, Balba

Spring Rye : Prolific, Merced.
Time of sowing :

For Forage crop

: October is the best time.

Grain crop

: November.
For Pasture or green manure or cover crop: August.
Seed rate : 75 to 95 kg/ha for forage and 55 to 65 kg/ha for grain.
Land preparation: Summer ploughing is recommended. Stubble mulching to over come the
erosion.
Method of sowing: Broadcasting and Drill sowing. Depth 2.5 cm. 20 to 25 cm row spacing.
Fertilizers: It responds to 30 to 90 kg N, 35 to 55 kg P and 65 kg K2O. ‘N’ is applied in two
splits.
Application of BHC 10% or Aldrin 5% at 15.20 kg/ha for termite.
Water Management : CRI and heading are the critical stages.
Six irrigations are recommended.
1. Sowing irrigation
2. 20 to 25 DAS Vegetative (CRI)
3. 40 to 45 DAS (Tillering)
4. 70 to 75 DAS (Late Jointing stage)
5. Flowering stage
6. Dough stage (115th

day).
If only one irrigation is available - Irrigate at CRI.
If 2 irrigations , CRI and flowering.
If 3 irrigations, CRI, Late jointing and flowering stage.

Harvest
For Forage crops : Two harvests. 50 to 55th

day and at Dough stage.

Forage cum grain crop : 50 to 55th

day and allowed for seed set.

Yield : 50 to 55 t/ha [Only fodder purpose].
Dual Crop : 25 t/ha fodder, 2.5 t/ha grain and 2.5 t/ha straw.

TRITICALE

Rye, a member of the Poaceae family, is popularly grown as fodder in foreign countries
and the same is found on the North Indian hills. It has characteristic feature of growing very
profuse with exceptionally more number of tillers per plant under poor fertility status of soil
having marginal or no irrigation facilities. Breeders took rye for crossing with wheat and the
resultant offspring was named as man made cereal or ryewheat scientifically known as triticale.
This was done with a view to reduce the required input in wheat production and to increase the
per unit area. Besides these, triticales have about 20 per cent protein and a very high biological
value but the greatest drawback was that the grain colour was dark-red, seeds were very

38

wrinkled with low viability and the plants had a very high degree of sterility. The grains are also
susceptible to store grain pests. In the present day breeding these points are being taken into
active consideration and probably in near future the farmers would be having a good number of
triticale varieties for the cultivation.

JOWAR or SORGHUM (Sorghum bicolor)

It is an annual crop belonging to family Poaceae and genus, Sorghum.
Classification of Sorghum: Harlen and de Wet (1971) gave a modified and simple
classification based on spikelet type.
a. Basic races : 1. bicolor, 2. guinea 3. caudatum 4. kafir 5. durra.
Now cultivated sorghum is Sorghum biclor.
b. Hybrid races : Guinea bicolor, Caudatum bicolor etc.
Origin :

Warth (1937) : Africa
Decandolle(1984)

: Abyssinia

Economic importance

1. Sorghum is one of the major food crops of the world, particularly Africa and Asia. In
India, it ranks third in major food crop, especially central and peninsular.
2. It is used in various forms, similar to rice as cooked food, malted, flour for Dosai and
making Chapathi or Rotti, popped, semolina.
3. Very good dry and green fodder.
4. Good concentrate for cattle and poultry feed.
5. Raw material for starch Industries.
6. Used in production of alcohol similar to corn.
7. Used for preparation of sorghum syrup (20 to 25% sugar) from sweet sorghum

varieties.
8. Used for production of Jaggery.
9. It contains high amount of aconitic acid which prevents the crystallization of sugar.
Quality of sorghum: It contains 72.6% carbohydrate, 10 to 12% protein, 3% fat, 1.6%
mineral and contains more of fibre.

Bad Qualities

1. It contains high amount of Niacin, which interface with the synthesis of Tryptophane which
is the precursor for synthesis of IAA.
2. “Pellagara”: nutritional disorder due to presence of high amount of Leucine : iso-leucine
ratio (3.4). When it is reduced, yield is also reduced. This disease is common in Africa.
3. It contains considerable amount of oxalic acid which interface with absorption of Calcium
and metabolism of calcium.
4. Phytin ‘P’ is not utilized due to high oxalic acid. Oxalic acid also affects the iron uptake.
5. Low digestability and low palatability due to presence of phenolic compounds and glucosides
tannin and lignin.
6. Sorghum contains “cynogenic glucoside” called “Dhurin”. This glucoside is converted in to
HCN in the stomach of ruminants. It causes bloating and reduce the transfer of O2 to the
blood steam and causes death of the animal. It is called “sorghum poisoning” or “sorghum
effect”. HCN content is more than 100 ppm in the early stage. Critical level is 50 ppm. It
(50 ppm) normally occurs during 60 to 65 days after sowing or at heading stage. If it is
harvested earlier, it should be dried and fed to cattle.
7. “Sorghum injury” : Sorghum stubbles / roots have high C:N ratio (50:1), ie., it contain low
amount of ‘N’. Hence microbes take the soil ‘N’ for decomposition than from the
decomposed stubble, which causes temporary immobilization of soil ‘N’. Hence succeeding
crop after sorghum is affected due to N deficiency in the early stage called sorghum injury.
Succeeding crops need higher N.

Important characters of sorghum

39

? It has the capacity to withstand drought or excess moisture (92% of sorghum is grown
under rainfed.
? Comes up well even in marginal soil under moisture stress
? It does well in low rainfall areas
? It makes comparatively quick growth than maize.
? It is dormant during stress condition and it resumes it growth, when optimum condition

occur.
Climatic requirement : It is a short day plant. Long day condition delays flowering and
maturity. It is a C4 plant. It is a warm weather plant and is grown to as high as 1500 m from
MSL. Sorghum can tolerate high temperature throughout their life cycle, better than any other
cereal. It is highly resistant to desiccation. It can tolerate water logging. Low temperature at
flowering affect the seed set. Rainfall at maturity affect the quality of grain. Low temperature
with cloudy weather at flowering induce sugary disease.
Edaphic or soil requirement : It is grown under variety of soil. Soil with clay loam or loamy
texture having good water retention are best suited. It does not thrive in Sandy soils, but does
better in heavier soils. It does well in pH range of 6.0 to 8.5 as it tolerates considerable salinity
and alkalinity. The black cotton soils of Central India are very good for its cultivation. In
TamilNadu, 60% of soil is alfisol, where sorghum is grown.

Area, Production and Productivity

During 1997, world production : 147 mt.

Production

USA

>

Brazil >

Argentina

>

China

(74.2mt)

(26.5)

(14.5mt)

(13.5)
In India, it is staple food crop of North Karnataka, Maharashtra, AP, Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan.
It is mainly grown as kharif crop and smaller extent as Rabi crop in Maharashtra, Karnataka, AP
and MP.
India: (1996 – 1997) Area:11.5 m.ha, Production:11.08m.t Productivity: 950 kg/ha. In
India, 92.0% of the area is under rainfed.
Area : Maharashtra > Karnataka

> MP > AP

(61.6 l ha)

(20.8 l ha)
In Maharashtra, Karnataka, MP and AP sorghum is grown in both kharif and rabi.
Tamil Nadu : Area:5.06 l. ha, Production: 4.86 l.t and
Productivity: 960 kg/ha.

At present, Maharashtra has the largest area accounting 43% of Indian area under
sorghum and 51% of total production. In Tamil Nadu, it is largely grown in Trichy, Coimbatore,
Salem, Dharmapuri, Madurai, and Tirunelveli (undivided district). North Arcot and Erode
districts. In Tamil Nadu 85% of area is under rainfed and 15% is irrigated.

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