Thursday, February 14, 2013

Shallow tillage direct seeding

The challenge now I am facing with rice/sesame/cow pea cultivation is the lack of uniform germination. I felt germination is better with tillage and as part of this was reading the book 'The Natural Way of Farming' once again to see the initial experiments of Fukuoka San. He has done lots of experiments before coming to the success and here is a section from the


Shallow-tillage direct seeding: 22 pounds of each barley and rice seed may be sown together in the autumn and field raked. An alternative is to lightly till the field with a plow to a depth of 2 inches, then sow clover and barley seed and cover the the seed with rice straw. Or after shallow tilling, a planter may be used to plant seed individually or drill.Good
results can be had in water-leak paddy fields by using this method first, and then later switching to no-tillage cultivation. Success in natural farming depends on how well shallow, evenly sown seeds germinate.


The book clearly says uniform germination is the key and suggest to use 22 pounds (9.9Kg) of rice seeds per quarter acre, i.e - 39.6Kgs per acre which is a good quantity of seeds which will make sure, uniform germination. In conventional method locally they suggest to use 33Kgs per acre, while in transplanting using SRI method, just 3Kgs is used per acre, since only single rice plant is put in every 1 feet distance. 

In addition to this, book suggests to go for shallow tillage initially and later switching to no-tillage.


Farming enthusiast said...

Can you please elaborate the tillage implements used by in your farming operations ? also in your experience , what is the optimum depth for ploughing/tillage ?

Nandakumar said...

I used what is called a soil raker similar to shown in the I originally bought this tool to keep the mulch aside.

After putting the seeds, I just raked the soil so that it is not seen on the top, so probably assumes it is being disturbed for < 1cm


Unknown said...

I read that cow pea is a good starter for sandalwood. Are you trying some out? It may not establish, but sandalwood is such a slow growing tree, it won't really bother your crops, and if it survives, it would be a cash crop for a boost later on.

Nandakumar said...

Yes, I am growing cowpea in some places, I am slowly getting the hang of establishing it uniformly