Thursday, June 25, 2020

Little millet and Sorghum trials

I have been keeping the seeds of little millet for some time now, and also a few seeds of sorghum. Each year some plants of this will come in the backyard and they will give some seeds. This year thought of putting them in some small area to get some more seeds.

Last year I had put seedballs of sorghum in one area (0.01 acre), but could see only a few plants, they also did not survive because of grazing. Generally seedball survival rate is very poor when the rain is not very consistent. Some time, will receive a good rain, after that 3 or 4 days no rain and seeds won't survive.

This time, cleaned one raised bed and put a line using a sharp tool (back side of a hoe which has a pointing head) then seeds were put and then covered with soil. These rows are around 0.5 to 0.75 feet apart. But since the seeds are covered by wet soil, they germinated readily.


Seeds were put around 10 days back, little millet

Sorghum below

In some cases leaves mulch affects the germination rate, since leaves may fall on to the rows,kept them aside for now, after the plants grow to some size will put it back.


I did some thinning for little millet, sorghum was left as it is...


Little millet started flowering, it looks like density is too high for this. At home voluntary little millet plants are much healthier


Little millet has grains, but the plants looks weak, may be they are too crowded and also needed some cowdung treatments.

Rice farming - Monsoon season 2020

This year rice farming activities started on time. Rains were less, not enough for puddling field, pumped water from big well and made field wet 2 days before the actual puddling started. If we just pump water on the puddling day, field will never be wet sufficiently. Last seasons Fukuoka style cowpea had established in some places and got some very tasty cowpea pods.

June 06,2020

June 7, 2020

Around 22Kgs (2.25 para) of rice seeds were soaked in water for 24 hours, a bit of cowdung slurry also added to the water. Then seeds were kept in jute sack for 12 hours, in around 24 hours time, they started germinating. By evening the sack had kept upside down, so that seeds germinates rather uniformly.

Using 2 plastic sheets as the nursery, a thin layer of mud is spread over this and seeds were spread and news paper was put over this so that peacocks and birds does not take away the seeds. Plastic sheets were spread a bit inside so that, peacocks does not enter to it, they try to avoid muddy fields.

June 13,2020

June 21,2020

Transplanting done on this day, 5 women laborers were employed. This time, they completed it on a single day, but they didn't push the weeds down, so that weeding has to be done very soon.


Rooted and turning bit more green


Weeding completed before 15 days after transplanting...4 women completed it in one day, 
they worked for 1 hour extra


2nd weeding completed. Before this 18 buckets of cowdung and 4 sacks of ash was spread in the field. 2nd weeding took, 5 laborers for 1.25days.

August 20,2020


Flowered and grains started forming...can see peacock eating from sides...

Started turning yellowish, getting ready for harvest. Last couple of days, receiving good rain, some plants have fallen, hope that would be OK. Peacocks started picking from sides, before that become considerable, harvesting has to be done.

Harvesting started and completed on next day.4 women laborers were used, on the first day, they cut it and piled up and next day threshing was done. 46 para (368Kgs) is the yield. Peacocks didn't eat much and wild boars also spared it.