Approaches to the Management of Vertisols in the Semi-Arid Tropics: The ICRISAT Experience

Virmani, S M and Rao, M R and Srivastava, K L (1989) Approaches to the Management of Vertisols in the Semi-Arid Tropics: The ICRISAT Experience. In: IBSRAM Inaugural Workshop: Management of Vertisols for Improved Agricultural Production, 18-22 Feb 1985, Patancheru, Andhra Prdesh India.

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Vertisols are potenriall~vp roductive soils within the dry tropics. When deep, these soils have a high water storage capacity. which allows 6.- 7months ofcropping in India ifthe rainfallexceeds 750mm. However, because of their high clay content and relatedphysicalproperties. they present a challenge in their management for increased crop production. The small farmers of limited means in the Indian semi-arid troplcs generev prefer to raise on/-v one crop in a year (during the post rain.^ season) on these soils even in areas with high and assured rainfall. ICRISA T has now asscm bled a technology for improved management of Vertisols. It involves growing t wo crops, one in the rainy season and another in the postrainv season. Application of the technology has resulted in considerable improvement in erosion control and moisture conservation. higher rainfall-use efficiencv. and annual~vieldso f'about 3000 kg ha-1 ofc ereal and IOQO kg ha-1 of legume grains for the lasf 9 .vears at ICRISA 7' experimen fa1 watersheds. The technology has been evaluated in on-farm tests in a few agrocliniates of the Indian semi-arid tropics with moderate but dependable rainfall. Gross profits from the improved technology were 2 to 5 tinles higher than those from the traditional technology. which involved only postrainy-season cropping. The improved technology required additional expenses ranging from Rs 590 to 1480 ha-1 (US$ I = Rs I2 approximately), but it gave a marginalrate ofreturn averaging23095. The tests also showed that the technology can be adapted to local conditions by suitable modification of one or more ofthe components involved. The transfer of this technology to other Vertisols in agroclimates similar to that of ICRISAT Center is relatively straightforward, but transfer to those in other agroclimates requires further testing. Establishment of a coordinated program for multilocational testing would help rapid exchange of information on experiences with the performance of the technology in various environments.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Library ICRISAT
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2011 13:39
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2011 13:39
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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