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AG 505 DRYLAND FARMING AND WATERSHED MANAGEMENT                                                                               (3L+1P) I

Objective
  To teach the basic concepts and practices of dryland farming and soil moisture conservation, and watershed management

Theory

UNIT I
  Definition, concept and characteristics of  dryland farming, delineation of  dryland areas, desertification, dryland versus rainfed farming, significance and dimensions of dryland farming in Indian agriculture, types of drought, constraints limiting crop production in dryland areas.

UNIT II
  Drought resistance in crops, mechanism for drought tolerance and crop adaptability to drought situations, drought tolerant crops and their varieties, plant ideotypes for dryland areas, shoot and root growth characteristics, mid-season contingent crop planning under erratic and aberrant weather conditions, seed and fodder bank.

UNIT III
  Soil moisture conservation and utilization, moisture retention and availability concepts, water adsorption by plants under stress conditions.

UNIT IV
  Water loss through evaporation and transpiration and its management under stress conditions, mulches, anti-transpirants and light reflectance – their kinds, effectiveness and economics.

UNIT V
  Mechanical impedance of soil and its impact on plant growth; measures to overcome soil mechanical impedance.

UNIT VI
  Concept of watershed management - constraints, approaches and components. Water harvesting - concept and techniques (indigenous and modern), improved agro-techniques, conservation tillage, seed hardening.

UNIT VII
  Nutrient and weed management practices, cropping systems, integrated farming systems and alternative land use systems for dryland areas.

Practicals
  Seed hardening treatment, seed germination and crop establishment in relation to moisture stress. Moisture stress effects and recovery behaviour of important crops. Estimation of moisture index, aridity index and water-use efficiency. Spray of anti-transpirants and their effect on crops. Plant root growth studies with reference to stress management. Collection and interpretation of data for water balance equations. Crop planning for different drought conditions. Visit to dryland research experiments /stations and watershed projects.

Suggested Readings