Preparing a Rabi Season
A FIELD PREPARATION GUIDELINE FOR THE NEW GROWING SEASON
Since monsoons are already over by November, Rabi crops are mainly cultivated by using irrigation. Major Rabi crops which are cultivated in India are primarily: Wheat, Barley, Mustard, Chickpea and Green Peas. For a successful season and a well yielding harvest, however, you should make a couple of important preparations:
- Plowing your field should be done immediately after harvesting of the previous crop.
- Since your land is exposed to the sun for two months, you should crush the clods with a Norwegian harrow or a clod crusher
- Add adequate farm yard manure into the soil
- Level the land with the help of a planker to prepare the seedbed
- For controlled irrigation, divide the field into small plots of convenient size
Under drought conditions soil based insects can lead to crop failures. Soil-borne diseases can also lead to severe damage, due to being caused by pathogens that can survive for long periods in the absence of the normal host. To control damping-off, rotting symptoms and other diseases, you can preventatively apply certain fungicides to the soil: hydrogen peroxide, metalaxyl, diazobene, pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB).
Plantix Community experts can tell you exactly which products and quantities are best for you.
Preventative measures for weed control
In general, there is no all encompassing solution in weed management. But the correct use of the product and its application rate will help you to work cost effectively. In any case, you should also consider the following points to save unnecessary costs and work.
- Make sure you are using clean seed by inspecting for the presence of weed seeds, tubers, rhizomes, weed seedlings, etc.
- Use well decomposed compost. When significant heat is generated, most of the weed seeds lose their viability
- Avoid feeding animals with fodder containing weed seeds
- Wastelands, cropped areas, embankments, irrigation channels and public places should be kept free of weeds, even threshing yards, composts and F.Y.M. Pits
- Farm implements and machinery should be properly cleaned before moving from weed infested area to clean area
Seed treatment before sowing can significantly increase the germination rate. Fungicides or hot water treatments can kill seed-borne pathogens and prevent the transmission of diseases. In addition, cold treatment can trigger premature germination: Soak the seeds in water and keep them in the cold store for a certain period of time. This greatly shortens the time from sowing to flowering.
Prepare a nursery in a protected place to enhance the survival of the young seedlings. We recommend sowing the seeds in a warm and protected place indoors by using pots or seedbeds with fertile soils which are enriched with farmyard manure or compost. This will optimize plant's survival rate in cool climates, where night frost can still damage the plants.
Depending on the level of soil moisture, sowing can begin in the first week of October or be postponed until the second week of October. Sowing must be completed early in the event of premature withdrawal of rainfall.
If you want to know more about preventative, as well as yield boosting work steps, start planning your growing season with our new feature: the Crop Guide.