Natural Resource Management (NRM)

Studies on integrated nutrients, water and weed management in cereals, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and spices based cropping system; investigations on bio-mass production, use of bio-fertilizers and agro-energetics with emphasis on recycling of crop plants, shrubs, tree residues and effective utilization of agricultural wastes; studies on integrated approach for efficient utilization of rainwater and nutrients, and contingent crop planning for rainfed areas; investigations on biological and non-chemical methods of weed control, weeds shifts in cropped and non-cropped areas, weed biology and control of obnoxious, parasitic, perennial and aquatic weeds; investigations on weather based crop management using medium range weather forecasts; assessment of soil, water, climate and crop resources using remote sensing, GIS, nuclear and other allied techniques for generation of database and resources inventories; development of soil health index and restoration of soil health for sustainable crop production; development of criteria for optimizing the use of fertilizers and water in crops and cropping systems; development and refinement of bio-fertilizer applications and management practices; identification and utilization of efficient strains of nitrogen fixing and phosphate solubilising microorganisms in relation to soil fertility and crop productivity; design and development of multi-operational powered equipment for enhancing the productivity and cost returns on small and medium farms; development of suitable environmental control systems for polyhouses in different regions of India; impact assessment of increased CO2 and temperature on crop productivity, and flora and fauna; development and refinement of crop growth simulation models for important crops; management of land and water resources and evaluation of irrigation system; technologies for watershed development; development of on-farm water management technologies. Following are the divisions under this school:

 

Accomplishments 

In the present scenario, the intensification of agriculture, unbalanced use of agro-chemicals, deterioration of soil health, indiscriminate use of water resulting in depletion of water resources and deteriorating the quality, deforestation and climate change has caused significant pressure on the available natural resources. Hence sustainable resource management practices along with improvement in economic and social status of the community is paramount important. The school of natural resource management of Indian Agricultural Research Institute has been consistently working in line with requirement of the country. Significant research accomplishments of the School of natural resource management are given here.

Pusa STFR Meter- Solution for Soil Fertility Assessment and Fertilizer Recommendations

A digital Soil Test and Fertilizer Recommendation Meter was developed for estimating organic carbon (OC), NO3, P, K, S, Zn and Bo in soil samples and also for fertilizer recommendation for targeted yields.

First Sequential Fractionation Scheme of Boron Compatible with Colorimetry

First sequential fractionation scheme for soil boron compatible with colorimetry was developed for those laboratories which are not equipped with plasma optical spectrometer.

Induced Defoliation in Pigeonpea: A Novel Technology to Improve Soil Health and Crop Productivity

Induced defoliation through foliar spray of 10% (w/v) urea solution at physiological maturity stage significantly increased the yield of succeeding wheat crop in pigeonpea-wheat system.

Modified Fertilizer Products for Enhancing Productivity and Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Rice-Wheat System

Coating of 0.5 to 1.0% Zn onto prilled urea increased the productivity of rice-wheat cropping system by 10-12%. Coating of either gypsum or phosphogypsum @ 5% onto prilled urea increases the productivity and recovery efficiency of the nitrogen by 10-13% under rice-wheat cropping system.

Modified Nitrogen scheduling for Enhancing N-use Efficiency in Pearl Millet-Wheat System

Skipping of basal N application for one additional top-dressing led to substantial increase in yield, agronomic efficiency and recovery efficiency of N in pearl millet and wheat.

Enriched Compost prepared from Low-grade Rock Phosphate, Waste Mica and Crop Residues

Technology to prepare enriched compost using low-grade rock phosphate, waste mica and crop residues has been developed.

Development of Crop Simulation Model (InfoCrop) and Other Decision Support Systems

A generic dynamic crop simulation model (InfoCrop) developed which simulates all major processes of crop growth, soil water and nutrient balances, greenhouse gases emissions, and crop-pest interactions.

Assessment of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies

InfoCrop model predicts that the climate change is likely to reduce wheat, rice and mustard yields by ~6 to 17%, 4% to 6% and 2% respectively by 2020.

Managing Crop Residues to Avoid On-farm Burning

Indian agriculture facing the problem of burning on-farm crop residues. The crop residues can be successfully used with conservation agriculture to improve soil fertility and sustainability of agriculture.

Response of Field Crops to Elevated Temperature and Carbon Dioxide

Rise in atmospheric CO2 level up to 560 ppm enhanced yields of wheat, rice, chickpea, groundnut, green gram, mustard and potato to the extent of 15-20%. Increase in temperature by 1 to 4 oC, on the other hand decrease yields of these crops by 4-40%.

Post-methanation Distillery Effluent as Source of Plant Nutrients

Application of post-methanation distillery effluent (PME) either pre-sown or post-sown increased yields of rice, wheat, mustard, sugarcane and medicinal plants.

Mulching Technology for Better  Soil Physical Environment

Use of polyethylene mulch during winters increased the temperature by about 2 oC while during summer season, use of straw mulching can reduce the soil temperature to the extent of 5 oC and enhanced water and crop productivity.

Bed Planting Technology Developed for Improving Soil Physical Environment and Nitrate Retention

Bed planting with 37.5 cm wide beds and 30 cm furrows is better for improving water use efficiency, increases nitrate retention and crop yields.

 

 

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Technique for Screening Drought

Tolerance  : An accurate and simple method has been developed to characterize tolerance of wheat to drought.

Prediction of Soil Fertility Parameters from Hyperspectral Remote Sensing

Methodology was developed to estimate soil physico-chemical properties from ground and satellite remote sensing. The methodology is useful for generating soil quality and fertility maps.

 

Dryland Farming Techniques

  • Aqua-sowing of wheat, chickpea and mustard crops with 15,000-20,000 litre water/ha enhanced the crop productivity.
  • Mustard + lentil (1:2) intercropping system proved to be more remunerative.
  • Organic mulch + 6% kaolin spray helps in conserving moisture.

 

Water Management Technologies

  • Standardization of micro-irrigation and fertigation for better management practices in various crops
  • Development of low pressure drip irrigation systems for dryland areas.
  • Development of novel environmentally sustainable de-centralized wastewater treatment technologies with low CAPEX/ OPEX.
  • Resource management and planning tools such as ResourCeS©, IMPASSE© and Usar© developed for managing salt-affected lands/ waters.
  • Developed software for equitable canal water distribution, flow hydraulics in basin/ border irrigation systems, irrigation scheduling and geomorphologic parameter estimation.
  • Management strategies for optimal conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources in inland and coastal canal command areas developed.
  • Groundwater recharge, hydraulic head variability and crop water requirement assessments, under different climate change scenarios, using Hydrus-1D, Modflow and Cropwat models.
  • Direct run-off and sediment yield estimation from un-gauged basins through indigenousl Kinematic Wave - Geomorphic Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph technique based decision support systems.

 

Weed Control Measures

  • Sulfosulfuron @ 25 g/ha or pinoxaden @ 50g/ha effectively control resistant and cross-resistant populations of Phalaris minor.
  • Pendimethalin + imazethapyr (0.75 + 0.05 kg/ha) as pre-emergence is effective for weed including cyperus rotundus management in maize and enhanced grain yield.

 

Resource Conservation Technologies

  • Summer green gram residue in direct-seeded rice and rice residues retained on the soil surface in zero-tilled wheat followed by summer green gram resulted in higher system productivity, water productivity and net returns.
  • Cotton-wheat system under zero-till broad-bed with residues resulted in higher system productivity, water productivity and net returns than that of pigeonpea-wheat or maize-wheat system under similar tillage and crop establishment methods as well as under conventional tilled flat beds.

 

Arbuscular Mycorrhiza formulation

Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (AM) with trade name ‘Nutrilink’ was developed for mobilizing phosphorus and trace element for all crops.

Potassium Solubilizing Bacteria

First time potassium solubilising bacteria were isolated from various extremes environments of high salinity and high temperature.

Characterization of a Potent Biocontrol Agent

Bacillus subtillis RP 24, a promising plant growth promoting rhizobacterium, a potent biocontrol agent, was isolated and characterized using molecular tools.

Microbe based technology for biological delgnification

A technology for biological delignification of paddy straw was developed.

Consortium for in situ Degradation of Agricultural Residues

A consortium of fungi and bacteria was developed for in-situ degradation of rice and wheat biomass after harvesting of crops.

Technology for Mass Production of Green Algae

Technology for the mass multiplication of Chlorella sorokiniana for algal biodiesel production has been developed.

Reclamation of saline soils through cyanobacteria

Reclamation of saline soils with cyanobacteria and gypsum at 50 or 75% recommended dose gave comparable yield benefits in rice and wheat to that of the gypsum at the recommended dose.

Microbial consortium for rapid composting

Microbial consortium was developed using efficient strains of Trichoderma viride, Aspergillus nidulans, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, and Aspergillus awamori for quality improvisation and accelerated composting.

Organic Farming in Rice-based Cropping system through microbial inputs

Combined application of BGA, Azolla, vermicompost and FYM resulted highest yield compared to INM and chemical fertilizers.

Farm Machinery and Equipments

PUSA Aqua Ferti. Seed Drill: Very useful for sowing of Rabi crops. The technique helps in improving germination and the crops yield.

Animal Feed Block Formation Machine: Useful for making animal feed blocks by mixing crop residues with essential nutritional elements of size 20 cm x 20 cm.

Animal Feed Mixer: Useful for uniform mixing of roughages, concentrates, minerals, vitamins and other ingredients

Animal Feed Crusher: Suitable for proper crushing of fodder, useful for pre-treatment, preservation and storage of crop residues.

 

Pusa Onion Seed Extractor: A useful machine for samll sacle onion seed growers was developed for  extraction of good quality seed from onion umbel using spike tooth extraction mechanism.

Safety gadgets for chaff cutter : Developed a simple cost effective safety interventions which can be retrofitted on any machine.

Pusa Compost Turner cum Mixer: Suitable for thorough mixing of cow dung, farm residues and biomass for compost preparation

 

Pusa Compost Sieving Machine: Suitable for Sieving of compost for separating the finer grade from coarse grade

Mini Dal mill: Useful for making dehusked dal of Bengalgram, soyabean & Pea and split pulse of black gram, green gram etc.

 

Vegetable seed extractor: Suitable for extracting seeds of tomato, brinjal, bottle gourd.

Tractor operated okra planter: Useful for planting soaked okra seed on ridges.

Power operated Okra Thresher: Suitable for threshing okra pod, separate husk and other impurities from seed.

 

 

PUSA Basmati Paddy Thresher: Suitable for threshing of basmati paddy with minimum internal / external injury, powered by Tractor PTO (Minimum 35 hp), capacity 1000-1500 kg/h. Higher head rice recovery.