Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Chettiadi Rice Cultivation - 2017

This year brought one more area into rice cultivation, this area was left fallow since I bought the farm. Cows used to graze and tilling this area with tractor was not possible, this year got a tiller and also fenced it partially and trying a traditional variety called 'Chettadi' which is a 6 months duration crop. This area has enough water till January which rice loves.

One part was seeded with seed balls, germination is good in this part also.



So far growth is fine, except in some area, where water was not reaching. There is a small channel flowing on the boundary just allowed to pass water through this field, but since the field was not levelled properly in some area water didn't reach.


Time to cut it, some haven't reached good height, but one area where it gets good water grows well.


As it was getting taller, cut it as per the usual practice. I employed a worker, she did one portion and I did it using Scythe, it was OK, but collecting the cut portion and keeping it near the bunds is a hardwork, worked for a half day, but exhausted.


Today cut the remaining area using the scythe, growth was very fast in already cut places.  The paddy plants are quite strong with deep roots, so even if it gets pulled during cutting it just stays there. Also stamping to some extend does not affect them, and cutting very close to the ground also looks quite fine. In lot of places, it clearly outgrow grass, it looks like grass is in receding stage, typically they grow for 3-4 months and 8 month duration crop has advantage over here. Definitely this variety is a candidate for natural farming.

Rains have receded and there is no standing water in the field, the channel is directed towards other paddy fields for next crop. If there is a water shortage, the crop may fail, have to wait and see.

Very good growth in these areas...there is always water here.. 

In this area, there is less water..

This is regrowth after cutting, top portions of the leaves have the cut mark, they just elongate from the cut side.

 Regrowth after cutting, the grass which also was cut, was outgrown by paddy.

Newly cut area...


Re-growth is quite quick, this is 2 nd after cutting, shoot might be around 6-7cms.


After cutting growth is good..But there is water shortage...


Water is not reaching this area, levelling problem, so weeds have come up

Very healthy plants....amazing

Some started falling....

By December, field went very dry so the crop is lost. Trying a 6 month variety in this field was too ambitious, planning to try a 4 month traditional variety next time, but again if they have to be watered from well, it may not survive, since I don't have provision for it right now.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rice Cultivation - 2017 First Crop - Kunjukunju

Summer rains were less this year, received couple of rains in May 2nd week and starting of monsoon started around 5th of June. But still the rains were not strong, it does not continuously rain like it used to rain earlier.

Sensing less rain, lot of farmers started the cultivation with the first rain itself, by broadcasting seeds after ploughing. 

I waited for some more rain and used walk behind tiller this time, since it is not that damaging to the soil and also had added one more area for rice and in this area only tiller can be used.

Broadcasted seeds of Kunjukunju and then tilled once again so that seeds go inside the soil.


Germination was good and it has established uniformly. Still remains very dry, rain is avoiding this part.

Yesterday while going to farm could see that most of the paddy fields were dry since heavy rain was not there. But while coming back, scene changed completely, good rain and there was standing water in the paddy fields, felt quite happy to see that. It is raining heavily today, finally it looks like a rainy season.

Not many weeds this time, may be use of walk behind tiller reduced it?


Plants are not so healthy...this time, I had broadcasted and it looks like there are more plants per unit area and also water holding is less since land was not puddled.


Could harvest this area properly..

This one also..

Could not pick up this completely...

Because of lack of rain, the weeds completely took over the field and harvesting was not possible, could harvest only  a portion, just got around 20Kgs. It looks like dry field cultivation is not possible in this field, have to puddle and get rid of weeds completely and standing water is also required to control the weeds.

Mangoes - 2017 season

Farm has around 20 big mango trees and some smaller ones. There are varieties from Gudadath, Kilichundan,Kolumbu, Moovandan, Jeeri, Sindooram, Neelam, Alphonso, Chandrakkaran and some local varieties. I never used to apply any fertiliser or insecticide, but they yield reasonably well. For couple of years, I had agreement with some retailer and they would take mangoes giving me some money. Later one trader didn't give the money promised so I stopped that deal altogether.

This year, I tried to sell the mangoes by myself. But once I harvest, it will be around 100Kgs and selling them is not an easy task. Finally Altermedia Trichur took some considerable quantity and gave reasonable price starting from 20 rupees per Kg to 60 rupees per Kg depending on the variety. At open market, we get throw away price, around 8-13 rupees per Kg. Since no spraying, mangoes mature at their natural time, and by this time, the market demand will be less.

Anyway, overall, this year we distributed lot of mangoes in the neighborhood and ourself had enough and earned some money too. By next year, some more good marketing had to be done.

Also some varieties are not preferred by customers for e.g - Kilichundan. While varieties like Sindooram, Kolumbu has good demand. So more focus should be done for these varieties. There is one variety which is extremely sweet, name of this variety has to be found.

Chandrakkaran variety - this is a very good variety

Kilichundan - Rose coloured one, small one - kolumbu, other big one - Gudadath

Neelam mangoes...ripes after the start of rainy season, but still tastes good and no pest attack. A single tree yielded around 150Kgs.