• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Abstract
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Acknowledgement
 Executive summary
 Introduction
 Methods
 The study area
 The farming system
 Crop management practices
 Problems affecting wheat
 Problems affecting the rice-wheat...
 Interactions among problems
 An agenda for action
 References
 Appendix A. Survey participant...
 Appendix B. Statistical data from...
 Appendix C. Recommended management...
 Back Cover
 Copyright






Title: Wheat and rice in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080059/00001
 Material Information
Title: Wheat and rice in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India farmers' practices, problems, and an agenda for action
Physical Description: ix, 44 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Harrington, L. W ( Larry W )
Publisher: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Place of Publication: México D.F. México
Publication Date: 1993
 Subjects
Subject: Intercropping -- India -- Haryana   ( lcsh )
Cropping systems -- India -- Haryana   ( lcsh )
Wheat -- India -- Haryana   ( lcsh )
Rice -- India -- Haryana   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: India
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 39).
Statement of Responsibility: editors, L.W. Harrington ... et al..
General Note: "Exploratory surveys, 22-29 March and 27 September-2 October, 1992."
General Note: "Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080059
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 30017459
isbn - 9686127860

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
    Abstract
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    List of Tables
        Page iv
    List of Figures
        Page v
    Acknowledgement
        Page vi
    Executive summary
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Methods
        Page 2
        Page 3
    The study area
        Page 4
        Page 5
    The farming system
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Crop management practices
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Problems affecting wheat
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    Problems affecting the rice-wheat system
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Interactions among problems
        Page 32
        Page 33
    An agenda for action
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    References
        Page 39
    Appendix A. Survey participants
        Page 40
    Appendix B. Statistical data from Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Appendix C. Recommended management practices for rice and wheat
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
    Copyright
        Copyright
Full Text
2-2.. /i/.-


Wheat and Rice in Karnal

and Kurukshetra

Districts,

Haryana, India:

Farmers' Practices, Problems, and an Agenda for Action


EXPLORATORY SURVEYS, 22-29 MARCH AND
27 SEPTEMBER-2 OCTOBER, 1992


Editors
L.W. Harrington
S. Fujisaka
M.L. Morris
P.R. Hobbs
H.C. Sharma
R.P. Singh
M.K. Chaudhary
S.D. Dhiman


Haryana Agricultural University (HAU)
Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR)
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)








Wheat and Rice in Karnal

and Kurukshetra

Districts,

Haryana, India:

Farmers' Practices, Problems, and an Agenda for Action


EXPLORATORY SURVEYS, 22-29 MARCH AND
27 SEPTEMBER-2 OCTOBER, 1992




















Editors
L.W. Harrington
S. Fujisaka
M.L. Morris
P.R. Hobbs
H.C. Sharma
R.P. Singh
M.K. Chaudhary
S.D. Dhiman


Haryana Agricultural University (HAU)
Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR)
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)





















CIMMYT is an internationally funded, nonprofit scientific research and training organization. Headquartered in
Mexico, the Center is engaged in a research program for maize, wheat, and triticale, with emphasis on improving
the productivity of agricultural resources in developing countries. It is one of 18 nonprofit international
agricultural research and training centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR). which is sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations,
the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), and the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP). The CGIAR consists of some 40 donor countries, international and regional organizations,
and private foundations.

CIMMYT receives core support through the CGIAR from a number of sources, including the international aid
agencies of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark. Finland, France, India. Germany,
Italy. Japan. Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the
USA, and from the European Economic Commission. Ford Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank.
OPEC Fund for International Development, UNDP. and World Bank. CIMMYT also receives non-CGIAR extra-
core support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, the Rockefeller
Foundation, and many of the core donors listed above.

Responsibility for this publication rests solely with CIMMYT.

Printed in Mexico.

Abstract: Two diagnostic surveys conducted during the rice and wheat seasons in 1992 in Kamal and
Kurukshetra Districts of Haryana, India, helped develop a preliminary assessment of both near-term and
potential longer-term problems in the area's rice-wheat cropping pattern. The surveys obtained information on
farmers' rice and wheat crop management (crops and cropping patterns, water and soil fertility management, pest
and disease management, and practices from sowing to harvest). Information on interactions between rice and
wheat cultivation and other enterprises in the farming system was obtained as well. The major problems
affecting wheat are (in order of importance) weed competition, declining soil health, poor groundwater quality.
low plant population, and late planting. In rice, insect pests and diseases were identified as problems. Leaffolder
and white-backed planthopper were the most severe, followed by blast, stemborer, foot rot, and bacterial leaf
blight. Increased weed pressure and changing weed species were problems that also affected rice. Problems of
declining soil fertility and soil health, poor groundwater quality, and groundwater depletion are longer-term
problems that have implications for the sustainability of the rice-wheat pattern. Suggested actions to address
these problems include additional diagnosis, monitoring to assess the longer-term effects of farmers' practices
and alternative technologies, research on alternative solutions to problems that are thought to be well understood,
extension, and research on policy implications.

Correct citation: Harrington, L.W., S. Fujisaka, M.L. Morris, P.R. Hobbs, H.C. Sharma, R.P. Singh, M.K.
Chaudhary, and S.D. Dhiman. 1993. Wheat and Rice in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India:
Farmers' Practices, Problems, and an Agenda for Action. Mexico, D.F.: Haryana Agricultural University, Indian
Council of Agricultural Research, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, and International Rice
Research Institute.

ISBN: 968-6127-86-0
AGROVOC descriptors: Wheats; rice; cultivation; intercropping; crop management; injurious factors
AGRIS category codes: F01; F08
Dewey decimal classification: 631.582








Contents


Page

iv Tables
v Figures
vi Acknowledgements
vii Executive Summary

1 Introduction

2 Methods

4 The Study Area
4 Weather and Climate
5 Soils and Land Types
6 Irrigation Infrastructure and Groundwater Quality

6 The Farming System
6 Crops and Cropping Patterns
7 Livestock, Dairy, and Fodder
8 Fuel, Forests, and Farm Yard Manure
9 Women in the Farming System
9 Effects of Farm Size

10 Crop Management Practices
10 Variety Selection and Seed Management
12 Wheat Tillage and Rice-Wheat Turnaround Time
15 Wheat Sowing Method
17 Wheat Sowing Date
19 Soil Fertility Management and Soil Health
21 Weeds and Weed Control
21 Insect Pests
21 Diseases
22 Irrigation and Water Management
23 Wheat Harvesting and Threshing

24 Problems Affecting Wheat

27 Problems Affecting Rice

27 Problems Affecting the Rice-Wheat System

32 Interactions among Problems

34 An Agenda for Action

39 References

40 Appendix A. Survey Participants
41 Appendix B. Statistical Data from Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts
43 Appendix C. Recommended Management Practices for Rice and Wheat








Tables

Page
5 Table 1. Physical and chemical properties of soils, Kaul, Haryana, India

8 Table 2. Estimates of women's work related to livestock, Karnal and
Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India, 1992

12 Table3. Costs and returns for Basmati and modern rice varieties,
Haryana, India, 1991 rice season

25 Table 4. Wheat problems: a summary

26 Table 5. Estimates of expected annual regional productivity loss (ARPL)
for wheat-related problems

27 Table 6. Relative importance of unscored problems (lower number
indicates
higher priority)

27 Table 7. Researcher-identified rice crop problems and researchers'
prioritization, Haryana, India, 1992 wet season

35 Table 8. Suggestions for action, by problem category

36 Table 9. Suggested priority actions, by problem and action class (wheat
survey team)

37 Table 10. Suggested problem-solving research for three major rice-wheat
system problems (rice survey team)

40 Table Al. Participants in the rice and wheat diagnostic surveys, Haryana,
India, 1992

41 Table B1. Population growth in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and
Haryana State, India, 1981-91

41 Table B2. Irrigated area (%) by source of irrigation in Karnal and
Kurukshetra Districts and Haryana State, India, 1979-80 and
1989-90

41 Table B3. Land use and irrigation in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and
Haryana State, India, 1979-80 and 1989-90

42 Table B4. Cropped area (%) for major crops in Karnal and Kurukshetra
Districts and Haryana State, India, 1979-80 and 1989-90








42 Table B5. Yield (t/ha) of major crops, Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and
Haryana State, India, 1979-80 and 1989-90

42 Table B6. Fertilizer use intensity (kg nutrient per hectare gross cropped area)
in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and Haryana State, India, 1979-
80 and 1989-90

42 Table B7. Farm machinery and implements (number) in Karnal and
Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India, 1979-80 and 1989-90


Figures

Page
1 Figure 1. Location of rice-wheat zones in Haryana, India

3 Figure 2. Locations of farmer visits in the survey area (Karnal and
Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India)

4 Figure 3. Annual rainfall and temperature, Karnal, Haryana, 1987-90

4 Figure 4. Total annual rainfall by year, Karnal, Haryana, 1987-90

14 Figure 5. Hypotheses on problems and causes: high tillage cost for wheat

16 Figure 6. Hypotheses on problems and causes: poor plant populations in
wheat

17 Figure 7. Effect of sowing date on wheat yield, Haryana, India

18 Figure 8. Hypotheses on problems and causes: late planting of wheat

23 Figure 9. Water table (in meters) fluctuation map of Karnal and Kurukshetra
Districts (areas under study), Haryana, 1974-91

28 Figure 10. Hypotheses on problems and causes: weeds in rice and wheat.

30 Figure 11. Hypotheses on problems and causes: soil-related issues for wheat

31 Figure 12. Hypotheses on problems and causes: groundwater depletion

32 Figure 13. Hypotheses on problems and causes: use of sodic water on wheat

33 Figure 14. Hypothesized links among problems and causes








Acknowledgements


The survey team would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement provided by:

* The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for permission to conduct the survey,
particularly the support of Dr. R.S. Paroda, formerly Deputy Director General (Crops), for
encouraging rice-wheat research activities in India.

* The Vice Chancellor, Dr. A.L. Chaudhary, and the Director of Research, Dr. S.P.S.
Karwasra, Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Hisar, for providing facilities, vehicles,
and support for the survey.

* The Wheat Project Directorate, Kamal, and in particular the Project Director, Dr. J.P.
Tandon, and the designated rice-wheat coordinator, Dr. R.P. Singh, for their participation in
the survey and encouragement of the project.

The funds made available by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, to support the
International Rice Research Institute's (IRRI's) research on issues in rice-wheat systems in
South Asia.

The funds provided out of CIMMYT's core and South Asian regional budgets that
supplemented the ADB contribution.

The numerous farmers who took the time to answer our many questions about their farming
systems and the roles of wheat and rice in those systems.

Helpful comments were provided by Derek Byerlee, Kelly Cassaday, Toon Defoer, R.A.
Fischer, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, and Terence Woodhead. Remaining errors are the
responsibility of the editors and the survey participants. Opinions expressed are not necessarily
those of CIMMYT, IRRI, HAU, or ICAR.








Executive Summary


This report contains the findings of diagnostic surveys conducted during the wheat and rice
seasons of 1992 in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts of Haryana State, India. Scientists from
ICAR, HAU, CIMMYT, and IRRI participated in these surveys. Methods of rapid rural
appraisal were used, similar to those employed in other rice-wheat diagnostic surveys in India
and Nepal.

The survey area, located on the Indo-Gangetic Plain in northeastern Haryana State, is
characterized by a semiarid climate. Annual rainfall averages only 704 mm, falling mostly in
the summer monsoon season. Irrigation is essential for growing rice and wheat. The soils in
the study area are light to medium in texture (sandy loam to clay loam), alkaline in pH, and
low in organic matter. Some soils in the southwestern part of the study area are salt affected.
Most irrigation water in the study area comes from tubewells, with only about one-fifth
provided from canals. Most of the groundwater is of good quality (although sodic in the
southwestern part of the study area).

Rice and wheat are the major crops grown by farmers, with sugarcane, oilseeds, pulses, fodder
crops, potatoes, and vegetables making up the balance. Rice-wheat is the major cropping
pattern. Rice-berseem clover and triple-crop patterns featuring rice, toria (Brassica
campestris) and wheat (or sunflower) are also found.

Livestock production and dairying are important components of the farming system. Animals
are largely cared for by women. These enterprises interact strongly with the rice-wheat system,
partly through the supplies of farm yard manure (FYM) they make available. Despite high
livestock populations, the use of FYM on crops is declining because dung is increasingly used
for fuel. The main sources of livestock fodder are wheat straw, rice straw (especially Basmati),
berseem, fodder maize and sorghum, oats, and cut grasses. Fodder scarcity is a particular
problem in sodic areas, where crop yields are lower and there are fewer alternative crops.

Tractors are used mainly to prepare land for planting wheat, and most land preparation is done
with tractors. Tractor numbers have tripled in the last 10 years. Disc harrows and cultivators
are the only implements available. Farmers perform 4-8 tillage operations prior to sowing
wheat on lighter soils and 8-12 operations on heavier soils. More operations are used where
rice stubble is a problem. Fewer are used when rice is harvested late. Farmers often burn rice
straw to facilitate tillage in wheat. The high number of wheat tillage operations appears to be a
problem in the study area. Extensive mechanized tillage increases costs and contributes to soil
compaction. Reasons given by farmers for extensive tillage include the need to incorporate
rice residues, to prepare a fine seedbed, and to break up clods in heavier soils.

Turnaround time between rice harvest and wheat planting is usually 15-35 days after modem
varieties (MVs) of rice, but turnaround is reduced to 4-12 days after Basmati. Pre-irrigation is
usually given to improve wheat germination.








Almost all wheat is broadcast sown by hand at a seed rate of around 100 kg/ha. Low plant
populations are found on 20-30% of wheat fields, however. Waterlogging, use of poorly stored
seed, poor plant growth, and poor tillering were suggested as causes of low wheat populations.

Some of the wheat in the study area is planted late, in early December. The long turnaround
time between rice harvest and wheat planting appears to be the major reason for this, although
late harvest of Basmati rice, toria, and sugarcane also can affect wheat planting date.
However, late wheat planting appears less common than in other rice-wheat areas of South
Asia.

Wheat varieties commonly planted by farmers include HD-2329 (normal and late planting),
HD-2009 (normal planting), and HD-2285 (late planting). Leaf rust was observed on all of
these varieties. Leaf firing and blight was also present on HD-2329, but these diseases need
more evaluation. As for rice, the area sown to Basmati varieties is said to exceed 40% of the
rice area and to be increasing. Basmati rice is grown largely on well-drained maggra land
having medium-textured soils. Basmati is grown by both large- and small-scale farmers.
Varieties popular in the study area include Basmati-370, Haryana Basmati-1, and Taraori
Basmati. Farmers find Basmati attractive because it sells for a higher price and costs less to
produce. Straw of Basmati rice is also preferred for feeding livestock.

Farmers usually use their own wheat seed, saved from the previous crop, or seed acquired
from their neighbors. Sometimes farmers purchase and then multiply certified seed for use in
the following year. Wheat seed was observed to be contaminated with barley, but many
farmers noted that wheat and barley mixtures usually do not reduce yields or the price received
for harvested grain.

Farmers use high rates of fertilizer on wheat (100-150 kg N/ha and 50-75 kg P20/ha) but
claim that they need to use more fertilizer now compared to 10 years ago to get the same yield.
Few farmers use potash. The use of FYM on crops appears to be declining, especially for rice
and wheat. Continuous rice-wheat cultivation, declining levels of organic matter, and other
causes were suggested for suspected problems of soil health.

Weeds affect yields of both rice and wheat. An annual regional productivity loss for wheat of
nearly 8% was estimated for the problem of Phalaris minor infestation higher than for any
other wheat-related problem that was identified. Nearly all farmers use Isoproturon herbicide
for control; few weed by hand. The effectiveness of chemical weed control varies considerably
among farms. Data recently collected by scientists suggest that P. minor is becoming resistant
to Isoproturon. If confirmed, this problem represents a major threat to the future productivity
of continuous rice-wheat systems. The incidence of different weeds affecting rice and wheat
appears to be changing over time.

Aphids and termites were identified as minor insect pests for wheat. Insect pests identified as
problems for rice include leaffolder, white-backed planthopper, and stemborer.

The survey team observed leaf blight, loose smut, and some rust in farmers' wheat fields but
did not consider them major problems. However, the year was not favorable for rust








development; more disease might be observed when rainfall is more abundant. Additional
work is needed to evaluate productivity loss to diseases, especially leaf blight. The most
important diseases affecting rice in the study area were blast, foot rot, and bacterial leaf blight.

Groundwater depletion is a serious problem in the study area, and water tables have fallen as
much as 20-25 ft (about 6-7.5 m) in 10 years. This problem has raised the cost of irrigation
and may eventually threaten system sustainability. Excessive pumping of groundwater, slow
replenishment of aquifers, and transport of water to other areas of the state by canal all
contribute to this problem. In about 10% of the study area, especially in the southwestern part,
poor groundwater quality (sodicity) is a problem. Few alternative sources of good quality
water exist in these areas; however, rice-wheat is not a common pattern there.

Wheat harvesting and threshing take place from April to mid-May. Most wheat (80-90%) is
harvested manually and threshed mechanically. The rest is harvested by combine, especially
on larger holdings where family labor is insufficient. Migrant labor is important for harvesting
and threshing wheat and transplanting rice.

In brief, among the problems that affect wheat as well as rice, weeds are a near-term problem
that limits both rice and wheat production. Declining soil fertility and soil health, as well as
groundwater depletion, are longer-term problems that have implications for the sustainability
of the rice-wheat pattern. In addition, poor groundwater quality is an issue in a few areas.

Suggested actions to address these problems include additional diagnosis, monitoring to assess
longer-term effects of farmers' practices and alternative technologies, research on alternative
solutions to problems that are thought to be well understood, extension, and research on policy
implications (for providing information to policy makers).








Wheat and Rice in Karnal and Kurukshetra
Districts, Haryana, India: Farmers' Practices,
Problems, and an Agenda for Action




Introduction

Haryana is a major agricultural state in northwestern India. A large part of Haryana is located on the
Indo-Gangetic alluvial plain, where rivers issuing from the Himalayas, along with groundwater, provide
water for irrigating crops. Two of the most common crops in the state are rice and wheat; in 1989-90, rice
accounted for 11% of the cropped area in Haryana, and wheat accounted for 33%. Typically these two
crops are grown sequentially in a rice-wheat cropping pattern. This cropping pattern, found throughout
the state, covers nearly 500,000 ha (Huke and Huke 1992), but is concentrated particularly in the
northeast (Figure 1). Rice and wheat are both important food grains for Haryana's large population,
which is growing rapidly at 2.6% per year (Appendix B, Table B1). Rice and wheat from Haryana also
make a significant net contribution to India's food reserves.


\-s* Area under rice-wheat
(numbers indicate size of zone in thousands of hectares)

Figure 1. Location of rice-wheat zones in Haryana, India.








Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts of Haryana were chosen to form one of nine study areas in a project on
rice-wheat systems of South Asia,1 since these districts are representative of the irrigated, mechanized,
high-input rice-wheat systems typical of northwestern India. The study area is well supported by Haryana
Agricultural University (HAU), which maintains stations at Kamal and Kaul (HAU Rice Research
Station), by the Wheat Project Directorate, and by the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute located in
Kamal.

In all nine rice-wheat study areas, research has commenced with diagnostic surveys conducted during the
rice and wheat seasons. These surveys bring together scientists of different disciplines and commodity
programs to describe and analyze the rice-wheat system at each study area. Particular attention is given to
interactions between rice and wheat, and between the rice-wheat pattern and the rest of the farming
system. Survey analyses have resulted in the development of a research agenda for each study area, to
guide the actions of a multidisciplinary team from the national agricultural research system (NARS),
working in partnership with (and receiving support from) the International Maize and Wheat Improvement
Center (CIMMYT) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

This report presents the findings of exploratory diagnostic surveys conducted during 22-29 March, 1992
(the wheat season) and 27 September-2 October, 1992 (the rice season) in the Karnal-Kurukshetra
study area.


Methods

Both the rice and wheat diagnostic surveys in Haryana employed well-known methods of rapid rural
appraisal and adaptive research planning (Tripp and Woolley 1989, Fujisaka 1991). As with many rapid
rural appraisals, these surveys were characterized by opportunity sampling (including farmer groups and
key informants, as well as individual women and men farmers), the integration of field observations with
semistructured farmer interviews, and a review of secondary data. The surveys aimed to describe farmers'
practices and farming system interactions, identify problems of productivity and sustainability, generate
hypotheses on their respective causes, and suggest ways of addressing these problems.2 Appendix A lists
the names of survey participants and their institutional affiliations.

The surveys were structured to take advantage of the study area's generally good roads. Participants were
divided into small groups. On a given day, each group was provided with a vehicle and was sent to a
preselected part of the study area. Villages visited during the wheat survey are shown in Figure 2. Some
of the same villages were visited during the rice survey. A higher proportion of farmers interviewed for
the rice survey lived in independent compounds, which may have biased the survey toward the larger,
mechanized farmers. Participants were encouraged to interview women as well as men farmers.
Considerable information on the role of women in the farming system was obtained during both surveys.


The national agricultural research systems, together with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the
International Rice Research Institute, have selected two study areas per country in Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh, and
three more study areas in India, to represent different rice-wheat systems in South Asia. These nine study areas are the
focus of a collaborative regional research program which is seeking ways to increase the productivity, profitability, and
sustainability of this system.
2 A more thorough description of diagnostic survey methods used in the rice-wheat project may be found in reports on the
surveys in other study areas, including Rupandehi District, Nepal (Harrington et al. 1993); Faizabad, India (Hobbs et al.
1992), and Pantnagar, India (Hobbs et al. 1991).










Discussions with farmers or farmer groups were guided by a list of priority themes or "guidelines."
Survey participants were expected to arrive at an understanding of farmers' perspectives on the guide
issues. As the surveys progressed, guidelines evolved from general themes to specific questions,
reflecting changes in the understanding of survey participants. During the wheat survey, guide issues
ranged broadly over land types, farming system components, crop-livestock interactions, cropping
patterns, wheat management and problems, and system problems associated with threats to sustainability.
During the rice survey, guide issues focused more closely on farmers' agroecological classifications and
their correlations with farmers' practices, rice production inputs and outputs, and rice crop problems and
farmers' solutions to those problems.


Participants returned each day to a meeting room for afternoon or evening discussions. Observations and
impressions were shared, challenged, and synthesized, and a new set of guidelines was developed for the
next day's visits. For the wheat season survey, points of consensus or controversy among the survey




Ambala

AMBALA DISTRICT


r".)
PUNJAB STATE -
S. Yamuna Nagar
-- ',


NORTH



>EAST





HARYANA


/


H


Kurukshetra O A ':
KURUKSHETRA DISTRICT / ,.. -' -0
A
- DOhand O .... .
Kaul "o ndri
-' Niloteheri
Kaithal 0 .A AA i
AA CA A. A
Pundri A Karnal A
&OA Nissangh A A

SA A / UTTAR PRADESH
.. A A STATE
A A* A
AA A
,' "..,, KARNAL
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'uADESH JIND DISTRICT A Panipat
AA A

.. ... "


UTTAR PRADESH "
|T

SFSONIPAT DISTRICT
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A = Farmer visits
= Main Basmati-growing zone


Figure 2. Locations of farmer visits in the survey area (Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India).


C r
U*~U
~









groups were recorded on a computer using personal information management software3 and sorted by
theme, group, and date. Survey notes were printed and circulated among the participants daily to check
for consistency and correctness. This procedure enabled a draft report to be written within days of the
survey's completion.

Towards the end of each survey, discussions focused on productivity and sustainability problems (and
their causes) identified by farmers and scientists. Problems were ranked and actions to address the high-
priority problems were discussed. Suggested actions included additional diagnosis, research to examine
solutions to well-defined problems, extension, and policy analysis.


The Study Area

The study area is located in the heart of the rice-wheat area of Haryana State (Figure 1). It lies between
2911' 30 16' N latitude and 76 11' 77 17' W longitude; it is about 240 meters above sea level.

Weather and Climate
The climate of the eastern subzone of Haryana State (including the study area) is classified as semiarid,
tropical to subtropical. Annual rainfall ranges from less than 300 mm to over 1,000 mm (mean 704 mm).
About 75-80% of the rain falls between June and September. Winter rains add only 50-125 mm to the
annual total and, compared to the monsoon rains, vary more from one year to the next (NARP 1990).
Mean air temperatures are around 29-310C during the summer and 16.5-180C in the winter. These
temperatures range from a maximum of 450C in the summer to a minimum of less than 5'C in winter
(Figures 3 and 4). Annual potential evapotranspiration is 1,400-1,600 mm, varying from 600-750 mm in
the summer to 400-450 mm in the winter. Annual water deficits range from 600 to 1,100 mm per year.
Irrigation for rice and wheat is necessary to make up for these deficits.


Rainfall (mm) Temperature ("C)
250 40
I Rainfall Max. temperature
35
200
30

150- 25


Min. temperature 20
15
50 10


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Figure 3. Annual rainfall and temperature, Karnal, Haryana, 1987-90.


Rainfall (mm)


1987 1988 1989 1990 Mean

Figure 4. Total annual rainfall by year,
Kamal, Haryana, 1987-90.


3 Lotus Agenda, release 2.0.









Soils and Land Types
Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts comprise part of the Indo-Gangetic alluvial plain laid down by the
Indus River system. Most of the rice-wheat tracts in these districts are located on the flat alluvial plain.
Nonetheless, farmers recognize several distinct land types, largely distinguished by differences in
elevation, with accompanying changes in soils and hydrology. Land types identified by farmers during
the survey include maggra (the upper part of the toposequence), dakkar or dungi (medium to lower), and
jhil (or "ponds," the lowest land, where prolonged flooding is common). Most cultivated land is maggra,
some is dakkar (30-35%), but little is jhil. There is a strong relation between land types and soil types:
lighter soils are found on maggra and heavier soils on dakkar and jhil. It should be noted, however, that
in the rice-wheat tract, maggra may include loam soils of medium texture.4

Soils in the study area are tropical arid brown to arid brown (Typic/Udic Ustochrepts). These soils are
calcareous but do not have calcium carbonate layers within a 1-m depth. They are very low in organic
carbon. Their texture ranges between sandy loam and clay loam. Levels of available phosphorous and
potash are medium to high, whereas nitrogen is low. Soil pH varies from 7.0 to 8.5, except for some
places that have problems of salinity and sodicity (Table 1).

Most soils are deep and well drained, without problems of salinity or alkalinity. However, some soils in
the southwestern part of the study area are salt affected mostly alkaline soils in areas where tubewell
water is brackish. Though very deep, these soils are poorly drained. They have a high pH (> 9.0), an
exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) of more than 15, excess sodium in the exchange complex, poor
soil structure, low water retention capacity, and poor permeability. To reclaim these soils (which many
farmers have done with government assistance), adequate drainage, leaching with good water, the use of


Table 1. Physical and chemical properties of soils, Kaul,
Haryana, India

Soil type
Property Sandy loam Clay loam

pH 7.6 8.0
EC (mmhos/cm2) 0.23 0.27
O.C. (%) 0.12 0.36
P (available kg/ha) 25.0 29.0
K (available kg/ha) 600.0 550.0
CaCO3 nil nil
Zn (ppm) 0.8 0.7
Sand (%) 47.0 29.0
Silt (%) 23.0 25.0
Clay 29.0 45.0
Moisture % at 0.3 bar 22.7 24.9
Moisture % at -15 bar 10.4 13.0
Moisture availability (%) 12.3 10.1
Infiltration rate (cm/h) 0.16 0.15

Source: Rice Research Station, Kaul, Haryana.


gypsum, and green manuring with Sesbania
aculeata are said to be beneficial. Altogether,
Karnal District has 30,000 ha of saline-alkaline
soils out of a total cultivated area of 210,000 ha;
Kurukshetra District has only 3,800 ha of saline-
alkaline soil.

Farmers tend to classify soil by texture, but they
also recognize some salt-affected soils. Their
classifications include: rosli or retili (sandy);
doyam or darmiyani (sandy loam or loam); chahi
(good, well-drained soils); dakkar or chikni
clayeyy relative to other soil types, or "hard"
soils); and kallar ("no plants grow," salt-affected)
or reh ("crusting of surface salts"). Farmers also
refer to soils of mixed texture (domat or "two
kinds of soils"), which appear to be a combination
of rosli and heavier soils (dakkar and chikni).


4 The lightest textured soils on maggra land are found outside of the rice-wheat tract, e.g., in sugarcane areas near the
Yamuna River.








Irrigation Infrastructure and Groundwater Quality
Agriculture in the study area relies heavily on irrigation, especially water from tubewells. In Karal
District, data from 1989-90 show that about 77% of the irrigated area was served by tubewells and 23%
by canals (Appendix B, Table B2). Reliance on tubewells was lower in Kurukshetra District, where 65%
of the irrigated area was served by tubewells and 35% by canals.

From 1979-80 to 1989-90, net irrigated area increased from 86% to 97% of cultivated area (Appendix B,
Table B3). However, the proportion of area irrigated by tubewells relative to canals did not change.
During the survey it was estimated that 75-80% of the wheat was irrigated with tubewells, and the
remainder with canals. No rainfed wheat was observed.

An analysis of groundwater quality in Karnal District reported in 1976 revealed that 60% of the samples
were good quality water and 5% were normal and marginally saline water, whereas 21% were sodic and
10% saline-sodic. Most of the poor quality saline-sodic water was concentrated in the Assandh block in
the southwestern part of Karnal. Bicarbonates were the dominant anions in water with low electrical
conductivity (EC). The proportion of chlorides and sulfates increased with increasing EC. In Kurukshetra
District, 76% of the water samples were good, 4% normal, 15% sodic, 2% marginally saline, and 3%
saline-sodic. Water quality issues from the farmer's perspective are discussed below, especially in the
section on "Groundwater Quality."


The Farming System

Crops and Cropping Patterns
Rice and wheat together account for nearly 80% of total cropped area in the study area (Appendix B,
Table B4). Sugarcane, oilseeds, fodder, potatoes, and vegetables are also important crops. Major
cropping patterns in the study area include rice-wheat, rice-berseem clover, and rice-(toria,5 potato)-
(wheat, sunflower). The rice-wheat pattern covers the largest area; virtually all farmers use this pattern on
at least part of their farms. Rice-berseem also appears to be grown by most farmers, although it covers
only 5-10% of the area. The rice-(toria, potato)-(wheat, sunflower) pattern is far more variable,
concentrated in areas with suitable land and soil types.6 In the rice-wheat pattern, both medium-duration
modern varieties (MVs) of rice and Basmati rice varieties are used; mostly short-duration rice varieties
are used in the rice-berseem pattern.

Farmer interviews revealed that some cropping patterns were associated with specific land and soil types.
Although a continuous rice-wheat rotation is followed on both maggra and dakkar, the rice-toria-wheat
pattern (which features the use of short-duration sathi rice varieties) was concentrated on lighter soils on
maggra lands. Alternatives to rice on maggra lands include fodder sorghum, cotton, and fodder maize.
Rice-rice-wheat with short-duration sathi rices is increasing, especially in fields close to tubewells. Sathi
rices are not found on reclaimed kallar land, although medium-duration MVs of rice and Basmati rice are
grown there. Alternatives to wheat in the upper landscape include berseem, onion, and sunflower. In the
lower dakkar only rice is grown in the wet season, whereas berseem is grown instead of wheat on a small
area in the second season.


5 Brassica campestris.
6 This pattern is of considerable interest because late planting of wheat one of the problems studied during the survey -
appears to be strongly concentrated in this pattern.








A variety of minor cropping patterns are also found, including:


* Those with a third crop following rice-wheat (e.g., rice-wheat-green manure; rice-wheat-rice); these patterns are
essentially intensifications of the fundamental rice-wheat pattern.

* Those featuring a longer-term rotation between rice-wheat and sugarcane (e.g., rice-wheat-sugarcane-ratoon).

* Those entirely without wheat (e.g., rice-sunflower; rice-sugarcane-ratoon-sunflower).

* Those featuring fodder sorghum or maize as a summer crop, such as (sorghum, maize fodder)-rice-berseem;
(sorghum, maize fodder)-rice-wheat; (sorghum, maize fodder)-berseem.

The survey team occasionally observed fields of oats, winter vegetables (e.g., garlic or onions), or winter
pulses (lentils, chickpeas). Some villages have substantial concentrations of winter cash crops (including
sugarcane), but the incidence of these crops is exceedingly variable within the study area.

The influence of sodic water on cropping patterns (assessed through visits to brackish-water areas) was
found to depend on the extent of sodicity and the availability of alternative sources of water. Where
reasonably good tubewell water (i.e., only slightly sodic) or canal water is available, rice-wheat is still the
main cropping pattern. Groundwater of poorer quality is often mixed with better quality water for crop
production. Where no sources of good quality water are available, however, monocropped rainfed
summer pearl millet is more common. In sodic-affected areas, pulses (with the exception of pigeon peas)
are not grown.

Livestock, Dairy, and Fodder
Although the surveys focused on the rice and wheat enterprises, farmers' livestock activities also received
considerable attention because livestock and crop activities were expected to interact strongly. Trends in
animal populations and in the use of farm yard manure (FYM) on crops were examined, since these
trends have implications for the future productivity and sustainability of the rice-wheat cropping pattern.

According to farmers, milk sales are increasing as a source of income, especially among smaller-scale
farmers.7 Since consumption of dairy products within the farm household does not appear to have
decreased, the implication is that the number of dairy animals per farm is also increasing (or that milk
production per animal is increasing). Nonetheless, farmers generally asserted that overall livestock
populations per farm are roughly constant. Numbers of bullocks and cows are said to be decreasing,
while buffalo numbers are increasing.8

This view of animal numbers as approximately constant was confirmed indirectly by women, who
reported spending an increasing proportion of their time caring for livestock not, however, because
there are more animals, but because better care of dairy animals (especially buffalo) improves animal
health and increases milk production and cash income. Also note that dairy buffalo consume more fodder




7 Some farmers suggested that migrants from other areas ("Punjabis") tend to be more active in this field.
8 This view is not consistent, however, with secondary data cited in NARP (1990), where it is reported that livestock
numbers doubled between 1960 and 1990. It seems likely that the growth in livestock populations has slowed in recent
years.








than dairy cattle. One constraint to increased livestock numbers, then, may be labor scarcity. Women
perform many of the tasks associated with animal husbandry and already dedicate a surprising proportion
of their time to these tasks (Table 2).

Table 2. Estimates of women's work related to livestock, A desirable herd size was reported as being
Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India, 1992 around 15-20 animals. Few farmers have this


Labor
Task (hours/day)

Milking (15-20 min/animal) 1.0
Preparing fodder and feeding 1.5
Cleaning the cattle shed 0.5
Making dung cakes 0.5
Collecting grasses (not from own field) 1.5
Cutting/ harvesting green fodder (own field) 1.0
Total 6.0


many animals, however. Landless farmers or
farmers with very small holdings typically keep
three to four animals at most (and many keep
none at all) because they lack access to adequate
fodder and sufficient space. Fodder management
has become increasingly important as animal
feeding patterns have changed from open-range
grazing to stall feeding.


Major sources of fodder include wheat straw,
Basmati rice straw, berseem, fodder maize or
sorghum, oats, and cut grasses. Straw from MV rices is rarely used. Mustard (grown in small amounts
mixed with the wheat crop) is often used to enrich rations, especially for dairy cattle. Berseem is
particularly important as a source of green fodder during the dry season, occupying around 10% of
cultivated land at that time. Farmers report that production of berseem has increased substantially to meet
the more demanding dietary requirements of dairy animals but that this has not been achieved by
expanding berseem area. Rather, berseem yields have been increased through greater use of better
varieties, nitrogen fertilizer, and improved management.

Finally, fodder scarcity is especially an issue in areas where water is brackish, where crop yields (and
crop residue yields) are lower.

Fuel, Forests, and Farm Yard Manure
Women report that, for all practical purposes, there are no community forests from which they can
obtain firewood. Limited amounts of firewood are obtained from branches of trees located in the farmers'
own fields or (for landless farmers) by the roadside, from dry twigs of pigeon pea, mustard, or Sesbania
aculeata or occasionally from other crop residues. However, the most common source of fuel is
dung cakes.

Total FYM production is steady or even increasing, but the amount of FYM diverted from use as
fertilizer to use as fuel is increasing. About 80% of cooking is done with a mud stove called the hara, a
structure designed for slow cooking which uses dung cakes as fuel. The hara is used to boil milk, cook
pulses, or prepare animal concentrates. Only about 20% of cooking is done with a chulha9 using firewood
for fuel this includes the preparation of chapatis and deep frying, both of which require a hot fire. In
general, women are aware of alternative sources of fuel other than firewood or dung cakes. For various
reasons, however, they prefer not to use them.10



9 A chulha is a structure for cooking that, in addition to reaching higher temperatures and cooking more quickly than the hara,
uses more fuel.
10 Biogas is not popular, as considerable open space is required to dispose of the slurry. Kerosene oil is available in villages,
but women prefer to collect firewood or prepare dung cakes rather than to spend cash on oil. The same applies to bottled gas.








The consequence of these trends is that FYM use in the rice-wheat cropping pattern is on the decline.
This decline, combined with the removal of crop residues for fodder and the burning of residues not used
for fodder (e.g., MV rice straw), goes a long way towards explaining the low levels of organic matter in
the soil (Table 1).

Even when FYM is available for application to crops, transporting it to the field may be a problem. Less
labor is required to transport FYM to fields closer to home; fields farther from the homestead may not
receive as much FYM as fields that are closer. The transport problem is complicated further by greater
crop intensification: it becomes more difficult to use animal-drawn carts to transport FYM to fields,
because cropped fields block the movement of the cart.

Women in the Farming System
The role of women in agricultural work appears to vary by caste and social status. Women of higher
castes, e.g., Rajput, do not engage in field work. Middle-income women of other castes may work in the
field of the family farm, whereas women from lower castes work in their own fields and in the fields of
others, for wages or on a share basis. When possible, the preparation of dung cakes is left to scheduled
caste women or laborers. Virtually all middle- and lower-income women, however, help harvest and
thresh wheat. Women bring the sheaves of wheat to the threshing machine, load threshed grain in sacks
for transport to the farm household, dry and clean the grain, and store it. Men are responsible for tillage,
sowing, irrigation, and application of fertilizers and herbicides. In earlier days, women were responsible
for hand weeding wheat, but this practice has declined in importance with the introduction of herbicides.
Women do not participate in the reclamation of saline or sodic lands. As noted above, women assume
responsibility for a large proportion of farm tasks involving fire wood and fodder collection and
livestock management. (Note that additional information on women's role in rice-wheat farming is
provided throughout this report.)

Effects of Farm Size
Farmers reported a number of differences between larger and smaller farms." Smaller farms appear to be
somewhat more diversified. A higher proportion of the income from small farms was received from dairy
products, whether these were consumed in the household or sold for cash. Small farms probably have
more animals per hectare because dairy animal husbandry is labor intensive, particularly for women.
Partly as a consequence, large-scale farmers are more likely than small-scale farmers to have some fields
that never receive FYM.

Larger farms are more likely to be confronted with labor scarcity at periods of peak labor demand, such
as rice transplanting, the rice harvest, and the wheat harvest. Full-time servants, family members, and
locally hired day laborers are often inadequate for operations that must be performed on time, and the
availability of migrant laborers from other states can be uncertain. This is one reason that large farms
have disproportionately adopted combine harvesting.









No preconceived definition of "small" vs. "large" farms was used during the interviews. Rather, farmers' perceptions of
farm size differentials guided the discussions.








Available secondary data indicate that the distribution of landholdings within the study area is highly
unequal: 35% of holdings account for only 5% of cultivated area. Mean farm size is around 3.2 ha.
Greater efforts should be made in forthcoming diagnostic activities to contact and interact with small-
scale and marginal farmers.


Crop Management Practices

Variety Selection and Seed Management
Wheat. Approximately half a dozen wheat varieties are recommended for planting in Karnal and
Kurukshetra Districts. These can be classified by recommended planting date into two groups. The first
group, comprising varieties recommended for timely planting, includes HD-2329, HD-2009, and WH-
283 (older varieties now susceptible to rust, powdery mildew, and Karnal bunt), WH-542 (a newer
variety resistant to rust, powdery mildew, and Kamal bunt), and WH-157 (recommended specifically for
salt-affected soils). The second group, varieties recommended for late planting, includes HD-2285
and WH-291.

Recent surveys conducted by researchers from HAU indicate that virtually 100% of the wheat area in
Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts is planted to improved varieties. Although no data are available on the
area planted to individual varieties, the diagnostic survey confirmed that the recommended varieties are
grown widely. Information provided by farmers, as well as visits by scientists to several hundred fields,
revealed that HD-2329 and HD-2009 are by far the most popular varieties for timely planting, whereas
HD-2285 and HD-2329 are preferred for late planting. A few farmers use other varieties, including HD-
2204 and WH-147 for timely sowing and HD-1553 for late sowing.

Wheat seed management practices appear relatively consistent throughout the survey area. Most farmers
plant seed they have saved from the previous cycle, in a few cases supplemented by seed acquired from a
neighbor. Farmers prefer to use their own seed to economize, since purchasing new certified seed every
year would be expensive. Nevertheless, they recognize the desirability of periodically replacing seed to
ensure genetic uniformity as well as to avoid buildup of weed seeds. Many farmers accomplish this by
purchasing small quantities of certified seed on a regular basis, preferably from the Haryana Seed
Development Corporation, or else from private traders (however, the quality of seed sold by private
traders is said to be unreliable). Every three to four years, farmers purchase enough certified seed to plant
approximately 10% of their total wheat area; they save the production from this certified seed and use it
to plant their entire wheat area in the following year. In this way, farmers replace their wheat seed on a
regular basis. By purchasing a relatively small quantity of certified seed and multiplying it themselves,
they avoid the cost of total seed replacement.

Despite farmers' claims to be replacing their seed regularly, many fields in the survey area were observed
to contain mixtures of wheat and barley. According to farmers, certified wheat seed is almost always
pure; thus, contamination with barley probably occurs on the threshing floor or during combine
harvesting.12 The incidence of wheat-barley mixtures varies widely, ranging from as low as 5% of fields
in some villages to as high as 35% in others. Most farmers are unconcerned about such mixtures,



12 Combine harvesting starts in Rajasthan where barley is the main crop. As the combines move north, the leftover barley in
the bins apparently mixes with freshly harvested wheat.








claiming that a low level of contamination with barley plants does not adversely affect overall wheat grain
yields. Furthermore, they point out that under the present grain marketing system one basic price is paid
for wheat, regardless of whether it contains a small amount of barley. Scientists' estimates of grain yield
losses attributable to wheat-barley mixtures were 1-4%.

In addition to possibly reducing yields, the presence of barley in wheat fields may invoke another cost.
Several farmers acknowledged that whenever the percentage of barley rises above a certain level, they
replace their seed by purchasing a fresh lot of certified seed. To the extent that wheat-barley mixtures
compel farmers to replace their seed more frequently than would otherwise have been necessary, the
presence of barley may be invoking an economic cost. Impure stands were also noted in rice.

Basmati rice vs. modern varieties. Over the past several years, many farmers in the study area have
replaced medium-duration rice MVs with Basmati rice, much of which is grown before wheat. Basmati
area is now said to exceed 40% of the area sown to rice and is increasing over time. However, the
incidence of Basmati varies enormously over different parts of the study area. The core of the Basmati
rice tract is shown in Figure 2.

Basmati is grown largely on well-drained maggra land having medium-textured soils, and is grown by
both large- and small-scale farmers. Basmati varieties include Basmati-370, Haryana Basmati- and
Taraori Basmati. Farmers find Basmati attractive because of its excellent price (well over twice that of
MV rice) and relatively lower cost of production (including a lower water requirement and lower rates of
fertilizer application). In addition, Basmati rice straw is a good and preferred source of fodder, unlike
straw from MV rice. These advantages more than compensate for lower Basmati rice yields, possibly
more disease problems, and possible lodging in more fertile soils. Farmers feel that the Basmati-wheat
pattern may be less exhaustive of soil nutrients than MV rice-wheat.

The case of Basmati rice is interesting for several reasons, including its effects on wheat land preparation
and wheat planting date. Basmati rice is harvested later than MV rice (in November, as opposed to the
end of October), so tillage practices for wheat are adjusted accordingly to enable farmers to plant wheat
on time (before 1 December). Turnaround time is around 25 days after MV rice, but only around seven
days (and sometimes as little as two days) after Basmati rice. This relatively rapid turnaround is achieved
by pre-irrigating rice fields where wheat will be planted, instead of waiting to irrigate until after the
standing rice crop has been harvested.

Nineteen large-scale farmers were interviewed more formally regarding management, costs, and returns
for Basmati and MVs (Table 3). The respondents grew both Basmati and MVs, had a mean farm size of
6.8 ha, and planted rice on 5.4 ha. Of the 5.4 ha of rice, 2.4 were planted to Basmati and 3.0 were planted
to MVs. Basmati required much less water than the MVs (two to three irrigations per week rather than
seven for the MVs, from about 10 days after transplanting). Lower irrigation costs were not reflected in
the budget for two reasons. First, farmers paid a flat rate for electricity ($1.50/hp/mo) to run their pumps.
Second, and contrary to "common sense," the electricity payment extended over a longer period (because
of the longer duration of Basmati rice) and therefore was higher.

Farmers applied similar rates of phosphorus (125 kg/ha diammonium phosphate) to Basmati and the
MVs, but higher rates of nitrogen (about 163 kg vs. 375 kg urea/ha) to the MVs. Insecticide and herbicide
use were essentially the same for the two types of rice, as were costs of land preparation (largely








mechanized), transplanting, weeding, harvesting, and threshing. These latter operations were done mainly
by hired labor. Overall, production costs for Basmati ($213/ha) and MVs ($224) were essentially the
same.

Yields of Basmati (2.4 t/ha) were half those of MVs (4.8 t/ha). Gross revenues, however, were higher for
Basmati ($940/ha) than for MVs ($618/ha), because farmers received a much higher price for Basmati
($0.40/kg) compared to the MVs ($0.13/kg). Net revenues, therefore, were about double for Basmati
($727/ha) compared to MVs ($393/ha) (Table 3).

Wheat Tillage and Rice-Wheat Turnaround Time
Land preparation for wheat consists of a variable number of tillage operations designed to incorporate
organic matter (e.g., crop residues, FYM, green manures) and to prepare the seedbed for planting. The
vast majority of farmers now prepare their land using tractors. Only a small proportion (probably around
10%) still use bullocks. Tractor numbers increased more than three-fold in the 10 years from 1980 to
1990 (Appendix B, Table B7). Most tillage operations are done using hired machinery, as less than half
of the farmers in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts own tractors. Disc harrows and tine cultivators are the
most commonly used tillage implements.


Table 3. Costs and returns for Basmati and modern rice varieties, Haryana, India, 1991 rice season

Number of farmers 19.0
Mean farm size (ha) 6.8
Total mean area plant to Basmati and MV rice (ha) 5.4
Mean area planted to Basmati rice 2.4
Mean area planted to modem variety 3.0

Basmati rice Modem variety
Units/ Rs/ Rs/ US$/ Units/ Rs/ Rs/ US$S
acre unit acre Rs/ha ha acre unit acre Rs/ha ha

Material costs
Seed (kg) 5.7 20.0 114.0 282.7 10.1 6.3 6.0 37.8 93.7 3.3
DAP (sack) 0.8 234.0 187.2 464.3 16.6 1.0 234.0 234.0 580.3 20.7
Urea(sack) 1.25 153.0 191.3 474.3 16.9 2.85 153.0 436.1 1,081.4 38.6
Herbicide .... 90.0 223.2 8.0 .... 106.0 262.9 9.4
Insecticide .... 185.0 458.8 16.4 .... 148.0 367.0 13.1
Water 4.0 42.0 168.0 416.6 14.9 3.0 42.0 126.0 312.5 11.2

Labor and machine costs
Land preparation .. 518.0 1,284.6 45.9 547.0 1,356.6 48.4
Pull, haul, transport .. .. 222.0 550.6 19.7 224.0 555.5 19.8
Weed 127.0 315.0 11.2 135.0 334.8 12.0
Harvest and thresh .. 606.0 1,502.9 53.7 ... 540.0 1,339.2 47.8

Total costs .... 2,408.5 5,973.0 213.3 .. .. 2,533.9 6,283.9 224.4

Returns
Gross retums .. 940.0 .. .. 617.5
Net revenues .. 726.7 .. .. 393.1

Note: US$ 1.0 = Rs 28.0.









The number of tillage operations carried out in any given field is highly variable and depends on
numerous factors, some of them interrelated:

* Soil type (light vs. heavy).
* Power source for tillage operations (tractor vs. bullock).
* Ownership of power source (owned vs. hired).
* Type of previous rice crop (Basmati vs. MV rice).
* Planting date of previous crop (early vs. late).
* Method of disposal of crop residues from previous crop (removal vs. burning).
* Method of harvesting previous crop (combine vs. manual).

No attempt was made to determine the average number of tillage operations associated with each of the
many possible combinations of factors. Most farmers reported that 4-8 tillage passes are usually made on
lighter soils and 8-12 passes on heavier soils. In general, the lower end of these ranges prevails if wheat
is being planted after rice and the previous rice crop was harvested manually (resulting in the removal of
rice straw from the field). The upper range prevails if the previous rice crop was harvested by combine
harvester (leaving the rice straw scattered in the field, so that it must be chopped andincorporated).'3
However, an important exception to these general rules is when farmers burn the rice straw left in
combine-harvested fields. Fewer tillage operations are needed then.

The high number of tillage operations used to prepare land for wheat planting is an important problem in
the rice-wheat system. The problem has two dimensions. First, in the short run, the high number of
tillage operations adds substantially to the cost of producing wheat (especially compared to alternative
reduced- or conservation-tillage methods practiced elsewhere in the world). Second, over the longer run,
the high number of tillage operations may contribute to soil compaction problems.

Although the survey participants were unable to estimate the total wheat area subject to an excessive
number of tillage operations, all agreed that the problem is widespread in the rice-wheat system. A
problem-cause diagram was developed to organize hypotheses on possible factors contributing to the
high number of tillage operations used in preparing land for wheat planting (Figure 5). Several causes
were identified:14

* The need to incorporate crop residues left from previous rice crop. Both of the predominant rice harvesting
methods tend to leave significant amounts of crop residues in the field, either straw and/or stubble (in the case of
combine harvesting and hand harvesting of MVs) or simply stubble (in the case of hand harvesting of Basmati
cultivars). This creates a need to incorporate residues, which is difficult, given that farmers' tillage implements are
not efficient at chopping and incorporating rice straw and stubble.








13 Ten years ago there were no combine harvesters, but their numbers are increasing slowly and their presence must be
considered in future research (Appendix B, Table B7).

14 It should be stressed that causes of problems discussed in this and following sections are hypotheses, stimulated by field
observation and discussion with farmers.









* The need to prepare a fine seedbed tilth for wheat after puddled rice. The puddling practice normally done to
prepare land for rice transplanting destroys the structure of the soil (for the wheat crop), creating the need for a
high number of tillage operations to prepare a fine tilth for wheat planting.15

* The need to break up clods in clay-loam soils. Wheat is often grown after rice in clay-loam soils, which are
relatively heavy. A high number of tillage operations are needed to break up clods in
these soils.

In rice-wheat cropping patterns, the turnaround time between rice and wheat varies, depending on the
type of rice that is grown. In the case of medium-duration MVs, which are usually harvested by late


Farmers use a high
number of tillage
operations


Farmers are unfamiliar
with alternative tillage
operations (e.g.,
minimum tillage)


Implements used by
farmers are not effective
at incorporating crop
residues ,


Note: Problems, primary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively.

Figure 5. Hypotheses on problems and causes: high tillage cost for wheat.


15 Farmers claim that a finer tilth fosters better wheat germination. As a result, they often pulverize the soil with multiple
passes to obtain a powdery consistency. Recent research, however, suggests that good germination may be achieved
without such a fine tilth.








October, farmers generally have 15-35 days to prepare land for wheat. In the case of Basmati rice, which
is usually harvested in mid-November, farmers generally must complete land preparation within only 4-
12 days to avoid planting the wheat crop late. Farmers surveyed during the rice cycle reported sowing
wheat by the end of November, regardless of what kind of rice they planted. They intentionally decreased
turnaround time by reducing the number of tillage operations and by shortening the periods between
tillage after harvesting Basmati rice. Nonetheless, field operations conducted during the wheat survey
indicated that late-sown wheat fields were concentrated in areas cropped to Basmati in the previous
season.

Land preparation for wheat typically involves a pre-irrigation to soften the soil for tillage, to facilitate the
decomposition of organic matter, and to raise the soil moisture content to ensure good germination of the
wheat crop. In rice-wheat cropping patterns, the timing of the pre-irrigation varies with the harvest date
of the preceding rice crop, since the harvest date determines how much time is available for timely
completion of land preparation for wheat. When the preceding rice crop consists of a medium-duration
MV harvested in October, the pre-irrigation usually takes place after the first two cultivations. However,
as noted earlier, when the preceding rice crop is Basmati rice (harvested in November or even
December), the pre-irrigation is often done into the standing rice crop to speed turnaround time. In this
case, farmers must wait four to five days for the soil surface to dry before entering the field to harvest
manually. Where combines are used for rice, fields must be left to dry somewhat longer so that they can
support the weight of the combine. In this case, pre-irrigation for wheat must be done after the rice
harvest.

Wheat Sowing Method
Throughout Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts, wheat is usually planted using the broadcast method.
Most farmers sow around 100 kg/ha of seed. Farmers prefer to broadcast seed because large areas may be
planted quickly and broadcasting requires very little labor. Seed drills are rarely used, partly because
suitable designs are lacking (i.e., drills capable of effectively sowing wheat into the remaining rice straw
and stubble). The drills that are available tend to get clogged by the stubble and end up acting more as
rakes than drills.

Despite its clear advantages of speed and labor savings, the broadcast method of sowing has one
disadvantage: it can result in suboptimal plant stands. Visual inspection of farmers' fields revealed that a
significant proportion of the total wheat area is characterized by plant populations that are lower than
desirable.16 (Interestingly, researchers' estimates of the percentage of wheat area affected by low plant
populations varied widely, from 10% to 60%, in part because different groups visited different areas.)
Associated productivity losses were estimated at 5-15%.

A problem-cause diagram was drawn to summarize hypotheses to explain low plant populations in wheat
(Figure 6). Four primary causes were suggested:

Use of the broadcast method for planting wheat. Although broadcast seeding need does not necessarily result in
low plant populations, some farmers seem to use inadequate quantities of seed when broadcasting. The
recommended seed rate for broadcasting is around 125 kg/ha, but many farmers use considerably less.



16 However, plant populations were observed in the survey at the maturation stage, when it is difficult to separate the effect
of later plant growth and tillering from initial germination. Detailed emergence counts are needed to determine whether
broadcasting causes suboptimal populations.








*Waterlogging. Low plant populations in some wheat fields can be attributed to waterlogging, especially
waterlogging occurring during germination and emergence, when wheat is most sensitive to this problem.
Waterlogging, which is a particular problem in sodic soils, often is caused by inadequate land leveling (due to a
lack of appropriate tillage equipment). Waterlogging is also a problem in soils characterized by hard pans, which
frequently develop as a result of shallow conventional tillage for wheat involving a high number of operations.


Poor tillering
Soil fertility problems and growth after
growth reduce emergence
ri--1 ft


Note: Problems, primary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively.

Figure 6. Hypotheses on problems and causes: poor plant populations in wheat.








* Poor seed germination. Poor seed germination may also be a cause of low plant populations. Poor seed
germination may result from the nature of the seed itself for example, farmers plant poor quality seed or
varieties poorly adapted to particular soil conditions (e.g., sodic soils). Alternatively, poor seed germination may
also result from abiotic stresses, such as uneven soil moisture at planting.

* Poor growth and tillering. Plant stands were observed near harvest, when poor growth and tillering after
germination could have been a factor in creating poor stands. Late planting, poor nutrition, drought, waterlogging,
weed competition, and other factors can be responsible for poor growth and an inability to compensate for poor
emergence. Factors leading to poor growth and tillering need to be separated out from those causing poor
emergence, since they are different.

Wheat Sowing Date
The recommended date for planting wheat in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts is 15 November. While
most farmers agree that this date is optimal for maximizing yields, not all farmers can get their wheat
crop into the ground by mid-November. Thus, wheat planting begins in early November and stretches
through December and occasionally even into January.

Planting date is important. Experimental data from Haryana show that when wheat planting is delayed
past the middle of November, yield begins to fall off at a rate of approximately 1.2% for every day's
delay (Figure 7). Similar data from Pakistan show a decline of 1% per day after the end of November
(Hobbs 1985). Although the rate of decline may be mitigated somewhat by using a variety adapted to late
planting, yield losses will still occur for short-duration varieties.

Wheat scientists in Haryana State consider late planting to be one of the major limitations to increased
wheat yields in the rice-wheat system. Their view is supported indirectly by research done at the other
survey sites in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, which has identified late planting as a major
cause of productivity losses in the rice-wheat system (Randhawa et al. 1981, Byerlee et al. 1984,
Saunders 1988, Fujisaka and Harrington 1989, Hobbs et al. 1991, 1992). Because of local researchers'
perceptions, as well as the empirical evidence from these other studies, an effort was made during the
survey to estimate
the extent of the problem in Karnal and
Wheat yield (t/ha) Yield = 4.063 0.0492X Kurukshetra Districts, to determine its
X = date, from 10 Nov to 30 Dec causes, and to explore possible
solutions.
4 -_ Slope = 1.2% yield loss
per day over this range
What proportion of the wheat crop is
3 planted late in Karnal and Kurukshetra
Districts? To answer this question, it is

2 necessary first to agree on the meaning
of the term "late." Wheat yields decline
in a more or less linear fashion as a
1 function of planting date, so "lateness"
is not clear cut. Thus, it is necessary to
0 select some arbitrary planting date
1 Nov 10Nov 20Nov 30Nov 10Dec 20Dec 30Dec beyond which yield losses can be

Figure 7. Effect of sowing date on wheat yield, Haryana, India. considered unacceptable. Intensive
Source: Data from the Department of Agronomy, Haryana Agricultural questioning of farmers in the survey
University, Hisar. area revealed that the definition of









"lateness" used by farmers corresponds closely to the definition used by researchers: wheat planted on or
after 1 December is considered to be "planted late." In the absence of formal survey data, it is not
possible to state precisely the percentage of wheat area planted by specific dates in Karnal and
Kurukshetra Districts. However, visual inspection suggested that 5-25% of farmers' fields had been
planted late enough to result in yield losses of 10-25% in these fields.

A problem-cause diagram was developed to summarize hypotheses on the causes of late planting of
wheat (Figure 8). Several factors were identified as contributing to late planting in wheat:


Note: Problems, primary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively.

Figure 8. Hypotheses on problems and causes: late planting of wheat.








* Late harvesting of the previous crop. Late planting in wheat occurs most often because the previous crop has
been harvested late. Most of the wheat that is grown after a medium-duration rice MV is planted close to the
optimal planting date in mid-November. When wheat is grown after Basmati rice, less time is available for land
preparation. When wheat is grown in a rice-(toria, potato)-wheat rotation, the toria or potato crop is usually not
harvested until late November or early December, and wheat planting is frequently delayed. The same situation
arises when wheat is grown after sugarcane or late-planted Basmati rice.

* Long turnaround between the previous crop and wheat. Late planting of wheat may also be caused by a long
turnaround between the previous crop and wheat. In the rice-wheat rotation, long turnaround usually results from
the high number of tillage operations needed to incorporate crop residues left in the field following the rice
harvest, sometimes exacerbated by failure of the machinery (tubewell pumps, tractors) needed for land
preparation operations, including pre-irrigation.

Unfavorable weather at planting time. Unfavorable weather can also contribute to late planting in wheat. Even
when the previous crop has been harvested and land preparation has been completed, wheat planting may be
delayed if rain falls after the fields are pre-irrigated, leaving the soil too wet for planting and final land preparation.

Soil Fertility Management and Soil Health
Increasing intensification in the rice-wheat system has forced farmers to become increasingly conscious
of the need for sound management practices to maintain soil fertility, preserve soil structure, and protect
soil health.

Among soil management issues, fertility management and soil physical degradation are both important.
Fortunately, many farmers in the principal rice-wheat areas are by now well aware of the need to replace
the large amounts of nutrients extracted every year by multiple cycles of ever-higher-yielding cultivars.
Soil fertility management generally involves applying some combination of fertilizer and organic
material (crop residues, FYM, and green manures).

Fertilizer use on wheat and rice. Most farmers in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts apply
100-150 kg/ha of nitrogen to their wheat (slightly less in fields where FYM has been applied to the
previous rice crop). The main source of nitrogen is urea, although the diammonium phosphate (DAP)
that is used also contains some nitrogen. Nitrogen fertilizer is broadcast, typically in three split
applications: at planting, after the first irrigation (25 days after planting), and after the second irrigation
(25 days later). A few farmers apply an additional top-dressing after the third irrigation, especially if the
leaves are showing signs of yellowing. Top-dressed fertilizer usually is applied four to five days after an
irrigation, as soon as it becomes possible to enter a field without sinking into the soil.

Phosphorus use on wheat is also significant in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts. Most farmers claim they
apply 50-75 kg/ha of P2 The main source of phosphorus is DAP, although occasionally single super
phosphate (SSP) is used when DAP is unavailable. Phosphorus is nearly always applied basally,
broadcast during the final stages of land preparation.

Fertilizer use on rice varies by the kind of rice grown. Farmers apply similar rates of phosphate
(25 kg/ha P2Os) to Basmati and MVs, but they apply higher rates of nitrogen to the MVs (about 75 kg/ha
vs. 170kg/ha).








Trends in fertilizer use proved difficult to discern at the farm level. Some farmers reported that use of
fertilizer has leveled off during recent years, although nearly all stated that current levels of fertilizer
application are significantly higher than they were 10-15 years ago, when yields were lower. In contrast,
other farmers asserted that they have to apply increasing amounts of fertilizer simply to maintain the
same yields.

Crop residues. The increasing intensification of the rice-wheat system seems to be changing the role of
crop residues in the farming system. Because farmers need to achieve rapid turnaround between rice and
wheat (or potato and wheat, or toria and wheat), they now view straw and stubble as more of a problem
than as a source of nutrients and/or material for improving soil structure. At the same time, given the
growing scarcity of grazing land, straw and stubble are increasingly valued as livestock feed. For these
reasons, incorporation of crop residues seems to be diminishing. Rather, these residues are increasingly
burnt, or removed and fed to animals, to facilitate land preparation for the next crop.

Farm yard manure. Despite declining in importance during recent years, use of FYM continues to be
widespread in the rice-wheat system. Virtually all farmers apply FYM to their fields, although application
strategies vary depending on its availability, the area to be covered, and cropping patterns. Most farmers
now have sufficient FYM to cover only about 10-25% of their fields per year, so that they can apply FYM
to a given field on average only once every four to 10 years.

In general, farmers follow a regular application schedule, cycling among fields according to a more or
less fixed rotation. However, the rotation may be interrupted to afford preferential treatment to certain
fields, such as fields that show particular signs of nutrient deficiency or fields used for vegetable
production. These preferred fields may receive FYM as often as once every three years. All fields
typically receive FYM at some time or another, with the exception of some fields of farmers with
extensive landholdings. Also, farmers who rent land rarely apply FYM to rented fields.

Farm yard manure application rates vary. Fields used for cereal production receive around 20-25 t/ha
(fresh weight), and fields used for vegetable production receive more than 30 t/ha.

When used in a straight rice-wheat rotation, FYM is always applied before the rice crop. Partly this is
because there is more time available to apply FYM before the rice crop, whereas land preparation for
wheat is constrained by the need to avoid late planting. An additional factor causing FYM to be used
before rice is that the dry (wheat) season is used for composting FYM collected during the rainy season.
In contrast, FYM collected during the dry (wheat) season is normally used to make dung cakes and is not
applied as fertilizer.

Green manure. Few farmers in the study area practice green manuring. Fewer than 5% of the farmers
contacted during the diagnostic survey grew a crop of dhaincha (Sesbania aculeata) between wheat and
early sathi rice. Although many farmers are aware of the benefits of green manuring, most simply do not
have enough time to fit a green manure crop into the rotation. Some farmers pointed out that another
reason for not growing green manures is that the implements needed for incorporating green manures are
not available. Also, considerable irrigation would be needed to grow a green manure crop, as it would be
grown during the driest and hottest part of the year.









Weeds and Weed Control
Weeds are a major problem in wheat in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts. The principal weed is Phalaris
minor, followed by wild oats (Avenafatua). Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and bindweed
(Convolvulus arvensis) are also present and on the increase.

Wheat. Although the incidence of P. minor is difficult to estimate, it seems safe to say that, in the
absence of control measures, virtually all wheat fields would soon be infested, with yield losses as high
as 75%. Farmers continue to experience yield losses even after applying herbicides.

Nearly all farmers in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts use herbicides to control P. minor in wheat, and
the P. minor problem seems to be declining over time as more and more farmers use herbicide. Very little
manual weed control is practiced. Reasons farmers give for this include the high cost of labor, the
difficulty of entering fields for hand weeding without damaging the wheat crop, and the difficulty of
distinguishing between P. minor and wheat during early growth stages. Isoproturon, the herbicide used
most widely to control P. minor, is usually mixed with urea fertilizer or a sand/soil mix and broadcast
after the first irrigation. Despite significantly reducing weed populations, this method of application does
not always result in uniform control and is not completely effective infestation with uncontrolled
P. minor still may be high enough to cause yield losses of up to 30% (particularly in fields where rice
straw has been burned). However, the uneven performance of Isoproturon may be as much the result of
adulterated product sold by private traders as of ineffective application methods. Moreover, some
scientists feel that P. minor is becoming resistant to Isoproturon.

Rice. To control weeds in rice, farmers use pre-emergence herbicides and family or hired labor for
weeding if infestations are severe. If they believe that weed pressure is not too severe, farmers usually
harvest weeds for fodder. Late removal of the weed Echinochloa crus-galli possibly leads to yield
reductions.

Insect Pests
Wheat. Insect pests do not appear to be a major threat to wheat in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts.
Aphids in low numbers were reported throughout much of the survey area, but it seems that they cause
discernible yield losses in wheat only rarely. (This issue needs monitoring in the future.) Termites (white
ants) were seen to cause occasional, highly localized damage to ungerminated seed, but the total area
affected appears small (0-2%), and productivity losses are probab; negligible (0-5%).

Rice. Insect pests identified as problems for rice included leaffolder, stemborer, and white-backed
planthopper. Of these, leaffolder and white-backed planthopper were more severe, each accounting for an
expected rice productivity loss of more than 10% per year for the study area as a whole.

Diseases
Wheat. Farmers did not consider diseases to be a major problem during the 1991-92 wheat season.
Survey participants claimed to have observed few disease problems during the survey." However, the
diagnostic survey was done in a year when weather was unfavorable for many wheat diseases, so that
levels of infection may have been lower than normal.



17 Many of the scientists who participated in the survey were not skilled in disease identification, however, and may have
under-reported disease problems. Pathologists traveling with one group reported high levels of leaf blight and premature
dying of the flag leaves. This problem needs to be explored further.








Pathologists noted that several diseases were widespread throughout the survey area, although at
relatively low levels of infection. Leaf blight was observed in 50-80% of farmers' fields, but rarely at
levels capable of causing sizable yield losses. Loose smut was also observed in 50-90% of farmers'
fields, but again at very low levels. Because most of the wheat observed during the survey was still in the
grain filling or ripening stage, levels of Karnal bunt infection could not be determined, even though
Karnal bunt at times has been an important disease in the survey area.

Rice. At the time of the rice survey, Basmati was at the heading stage and MVs were being harvested, so
it was difficult to take direct observations of rice diseases. Based on past experience, survey team
members suggested that blast, foot rot, and bacterial leaf blight were important diseases. However, only
blast was thought to lead to important yield losses at the level of the study area.

Irrigation and Water Management
Irrigation of wheat. All wheat produced in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts is irrigated. The wheat
crop normally receives four to six irrigations; more irrigations are done on higher land featuring lighter
soils (e.g., doyam soils), and fewer on low-lying land featuring heavier soils (e.g., dakkar soils). If
rainfall is relatively abundant during the growing season, fewer irrigations may be necessary. Pre-
irrigation, a universal practice in the study area, is used to ensure sufficient moisture for good wheat
germination. Additional irrigations are given, on average, every 20-25 days during the tillering, heading,
flowering, and grain filling stages.

As mentioned above, approximately 80% of the total wheat area in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts is
irrigated from tubewells and only 20% from canals. The increasing reliance on tubewells seems to be a
function of decreasing availability of canal water, much of which is being diverted to support irrigation
further south. Many farmers in the survey area agreed that canal water is not normally available during
the wheat season.

Groundwater depletion. Groundwater depletion is a formidable problem in the study area. Some
farmers estimate that the water table has fallen by 20-25 ft (about 6.0-7.5 m) during the past 10 years. In
the short run, this increases the cost of pumping water from tubewells, directly raising the cost of wheat
production. Over the longer term, the sustainability of the cropping system may be threatened. Figure 9
shows water table fluctuation in Haryana from 1974 to 1991. During this period, much of the rice-wheat
area in the two selected districts experienced water table decline on the order of 0-4 m.

Groundwater quality. Water management practices in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts are influenced
not only by the quantity of available groundwater, but also by its quality. This is particularly true in the
so-called "brackish-water" areas, where groundwater quality is poor due to sodicity. In these areas,
farmers have adopted a set of practices designed to minimize problems.

One common strategy is simply to bore deeper tubewells for access to aquifers containing better quality
water; in some of the brackish-water areas, farmers now pump water from as deep as 100 m. Additional
practices designed to manage poor quality groundwater include using scarce canal water as efficiently as
possible; mixing canal water and tubewell water to minimize the toxic effects of the groundwater; and
planting crops that require less irrigation (e.g., pearl millet).

Fortunately, soils contaminated by sodic groundwater often can be reclaimed by applying gypsum.
Farmers are well aware of this treatment, and, with the exception of some communal land, large tracts of









formerly contaminated land have been reclaimed. Because treatment with gypsum is fairly simple, soil
problems caused by sodic groundwater seem to be diminishing through time. Only in a few areas did
farmers report that the problem is increasing.

Wheat Harvesting and Threshing
Wheat harvesting generally takes place from 15-30 April; threshing begins soon after harvesting and
extends through 15 May. Approximately 80-90% of the wheat area in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts is
harvested manually and threshed mechanically. Only 10-20% of the wheat area is combine harvested.
Manual harvesting is preferred because combine harvesting does not permit recovery of the straw, which
is valued as livestock feed.18







-, 5 2"
) 55
/'- 0
/ ,' /._." -;/
/ / .--S .-
-5 ... .- Kurukshetra *,.._,--


+1 -
NORTH +5 .
I-

EAST +1 ., '."
"A "" /. --, / -
r -. -10 -1






Y N6 "
S..RSG .2
J "A,.. ./ 0 .''"\ I. / "



UTTAR PFADESH
SONIPAT


Figure 9. Water table (in meters) fluctuation map of Kamal and Kurukshetra Districts (areas under study), Haryana,
1974-91.


18 Wheat straw (bhusa) is reported to sell for up to 100 Rs/quintal (100 kg) in the off-season. Since almost 2 quintals of
wheat bhusa are produced for each quintal of grain, the value of bhusa is of considerable economic importance.








On smaller landholdings, harvesting and threshing usually involve family labor. Harvesting generally is
done by women, while threshing tends to be performed by both men and women. Most threshing is done
by hired mechanical threshers; men operate the threshers, while women collect bundles of straw and bag
the threshed grain. On larger landholdings, family labor is rarely sufficient for completing the harvest in a
timely fashion, so farmers supplement family labor by hiring migrant laborers (typically from Eastern
Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) on contract.

The rates charged for contract harvesting vary. In 1991, most contract laborers in the study area were paid
in kind at a rate of 100 kg of grain and 50 kg of straw for harvesting, and 150-200 kg of grain for
threshing one acre (0.40 ha) of wheat. The few who were paid in cash received 250-300 Rs/acre (618-741
Rs/ha) for harvesting and another 350-500 Rs/acre (865-1,235 Rs/ha) for threshing. These rates
somewhat understate the total cost of contract harvesting, however, since migrant and local laborers also
receive food from their employers, and fodder for their animals. By way of comparison, during 1991 the
rates charged by combine harvesters for contract harvesting of wheat averaged around 250-300 Rs/acre.


Problems Affecting Wheat

The main wheat-related problems identified during the diagnostic survey can be separated into four
categories:

* Factors that appear to reduce wheat yield (e.g., late planting or competition from P. minor).

* Seemingly inefficient use of purchased inputs, regardless of whether yields are reduced (e.g., excessive tillage
when reduced tillage would result in similar yields).

* Seemingly inefficient selection of enterprises or cropping patterns (e.g., late planted wheat instead of sunflower).

* Practices thought to lead to resource degradation or reduced system sustainability (e.g., long-term decline in soil
health).

Care was taken to distinguish between problems (as defined above) and causes of these problems (Tripp
and Woolley 1989). Farmers' socioeconomic circumstances, such as a lack of credit, are often loosely
referred to as "problems," but these affect productivity or sustainability only to the extent to which they
also affect biological or physical processes. These socioeconomic circumstances are assigned a causal
role in this analysis, but are not considered "problems" in light of the definition being used.

Wheat-related problems are summarized in Table 4, in the order in which they were elicited during the
survey (that is, they are not yet ranked). Problems were introduced into the listing based on farmers'
suggestions, direct observation of problems in the field, and background information. Factors thought to
be problems based on researchers' previous experience or secondary data were at times included,
although many dropped out during the ranking process. Note that there were multiple sources of
information for most problems.









To distinguish the most important from the least important problems, survey participants developed a
weighted scoring model. Survey participants were divided into four groups. Each group independently
estimated four parameters for each problem:

* The percentage of farmers in the study area affected by the problem.

* The percentage of rice-wheat area affected by the problem.

* The productivity loss associated with the problem, when the problem is present (expressed as a percentage of
current yield).'9

* The frequency of the problem (expressed as a percentage).

The product of percentage area, percentage productivity loss, and percentage frequency provides an
estimate of the expected annual regional productivity loss (ARPL) associated with the problem,
expressed as a percentage of current yield. The ARPLs for a particular problem were compared and




Table 4. Wheat problems: a summary


Problem


Source


1. Weed competition reduces wheat yields, especially Phalaris minorand, to
a lesser extent, wild oats and broadleaf weeds.
2. New weeds may emerge as yield-reducing factors in the future
(oats, thistle, etc.).
3. Barley mixed with wheat reduces yields (or if the proportion of barley is sufficiently
high, farmers replace seed more frequently, leading to increased costs).
4. Suboptimal plant populations reduce wheat yields (especially in
salt-affected soils).
5. Declining soil health is leading to yield losses in some cases, and higher rates
of fertilizer application to maintain constant yields in other cases, causing
concerns about system sustainability. (Fertility? Soil physical condition?)
6. Depletion of groundwater increases production costs (near term)
and threatens system sustainability (long term).
7. Poor quality groundwater reduces yields and threatens land quality
in some areas. Gypsum treatment increases costs per hectare.
8. Loose smut reduces wheat yields.
9. Leaf blight reduces wheat yields (more study may show this disease
is more important than presently thought).
10. Termites reduce wheat yields in areas where water supply is lower.
11. Aphids reduce wheat yields.
12. Waterlogging early in the season reduces wheat yields.
13. Late planting reduces wheat yields.
14. Tillage is costly compared to known altematives (especially after combine-harvested rice).
15. Kamal bunt may be a threat in the future.


Farmer, observation,
background.
Observation,
background.
Background,
observation.
Observation,
background.
Farmer, observation,
background.

Farmer, observation,
background.
Farmer, observation,
background.
Observation.
Observation,
background.
Farmer.
Observation.
Farmer, observation.
Farmer, observation.
Background.
Background.


19 Productivity loss is interpreted somewhat differently for each of the four problem classes. For yield-reducing problems it
is simply yield reduction. For problems associated with external input efficiency or enterprise selection, it is foregone
profits. For sustainability problems it can be understood as the average annual current value of a stream of recurrent
annual reductions in social profits. Estimates of productivity loss are rough and are subject to confirmation, especially
those on sustainability themes.








averaged over groups. When groups were unable to make a quantitative estimate, question marks were
inserted in the model. The results of the scoring exercise may be seen in Table 5 (scores in Table 5 are
averages over the four groups).

Of the 15 problems identified, five received reasonably high scores. These are (in order of importance):

1. Weed competition.
2. Declining soil health,
3. Poor groundwater quality.
4. Low plant population.
5. Late planting.

The total ARPL for wheat was estimated to be around 25% of current yields.

It is clear from Table 5 that the importance of weed competition and soil health issues lies primarily in
the large proportion of the study area affected by these problems. In contrast, other priority problems -
poor groundwater quality, low plant populations, and late planting appear to affect only a small
proportion of the study area. It is instructive that the problem with the highest productivity lossfor
affected fields (poor groundwater quality) does not receive the highest priority in terms of ARPL.

Some problems (those in Table 5 with question marks) could not be scored because of insufficient
information. Survey participants were asked to rank these from 1 (most important) to 5 (least important).
Rankings were summed over groups (Table 6). According to these rankings, groundwater depletion and
excessive tillage warrant further attention.


Table 5. Estimates of expected annual regional productivity loss (ARPL) for wheat-related problems

Area Productivity loss Frequency ARPL
Problem (%) (%) (%) (%)

1. Weeds 65 12 100 7.80
2. New weeds ? ? ? ?
3. Barley+ wheat 40 2 100 0.90
4. Low population 28 11 100 2.94
5. Declining soil health 64 10 100 6.40
6. Groundwater depletion 85 ? 100 ?
7. Poor groundwater quality 11 30 100 3.30
8. Loose smut 71 1 100 0.36
9. Leaf blight (future) ? ? ? ?
10. Termites 5 2 50 0.04
11. Aphids ? ? ? ?
12. Standing water 19 6 100 1.05
13. Late planting 14 19 100 2.66
14. Costly tillage ? ? ? ?
15. Kamal bunt ? ? ? ?

Total ARPL 25.44

Note: See Table 4 for a more complete description of these problems.








Table 6. Relative importance of unscored problems Problems Affecting Rice
(lower number indicates higher priority)

Problem Score At the time of the survey, Basmati rice was at the
heading stage and rice MVs were being harvested.
Depletion of groundwater 4 Other than a few fields infested with weeds and at
Excessivetillage 10 most 15% of fields affected by some leaffolder, rice
Emergence of new problem weeds 12 stands were very good. The survey team, however,
Leaf blight 17
Kamal bunt 17 thought that rice pests and diseases constituted
Aphids 24 major problems (this hypothesis was based partly
on past experience). These problems are listed in
order of priority in Table 7. Research on these rice-
specific problems is already conducted by HAU and other rice scientists and is therefore not discussed
further here. Other problems noted in rice were weeds (a system-wide problem, discussed below) and
impure stands.


Problems Affecting the Rice-Wheat System

Several problems identified in the course of the rice- and wheat-season diagnostic surveys are system-
wide problems. One weeds is a near-term problem. Problems of soil fertility and soil health,
groundwater depletion, and poor groundwater quality are longer-term problems that have implications for
the sustainability of the rice-wheat cropping pattern. These problems and hypotheses for their causes are
discussed below.

1. More and different weeds.
A problem-cause diagram was developed to summarize hypotheses about factors contributing to the
problem of weeds in wheat and rice (Figure 10). In wheat, P. minor is of particular concern. Several
factors were identified:

Use of FYM promotes distribution of weed seed. Although no formal study has been conducted in the survey area
on weed dynamics, it seems likely that the use of FYM is a factor in weed infestation. Weeds are frequently
gathered along the edges of fields and from uncultivated land for use as fodder. Given that most weed seeds pass
intact through the digestive tracts of livestock, manure from these animals is infested with weed seed. Applying
FYM to cultivated fields thus promotes distribution of weed seed, contributing to the buildup of weed problems.



Table 7. Researcher-identified rice crop problems and researchers' prioritization, Haryana, India, 1992 wet season

Extent of problem
Productivity Annual regional
Frequency Area loss productivity
Problem (%) (%) (%) loss (%) Rank

Leaffolder 100 50 25 12.50 1
White-backed planthopper 80 80 20 12.80 1
Blast 80 20 30 4.80 3
Stemborer 30 20 10 0.60 4
Foot rot 10 10 10 0.10 5
Bacterial leaf blight 10 1 50 0.05 5








*Continuous rice-wheat cultivation promotes weed buildup. Weed scientists working at HAU feel that a major
cause of the P. minor problem is the homogeneity in cropping patterns throughout the study area. Continuous
reliance on the rice-wheat rotation promotes a rapid buildup of weed populations. Farmers recognize that
breaking the rotation can help control weeds, but they claim that they cannot easily expand production of the two
crops, berseem and sugarcane, which are most effective at breaking the buildup of P. minor.


Note: Problems, pmary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively.
Note: Problems, primary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively.


Figure 10. Hypotheses on problems and causes: weeds in rice and wheat.








* Higher labor costs leading to less hand weeding and more herbicide use in rice and wheat, which may contribute
to a shift in weed composition.

* Poor weed management in rice seedling nurseries and weed seed contaminants in rice seed, leading to
transplanting of weeds.

* Weed flushes in rice caused by interruptions in irrigation, which in turn result from unscheduled electric power
interruptions.

* Herbicide is often ineffective. One reason P. minor continues to cause yield losses in wheat is because chemical
control methods are often ineffective, for several reasons. First, the dosage may simply be incorrect, either
because of improper mixing, farmer ignorance or attempts to economize on the product, or because the
commercial product was adulterated. Second, the dosage may be correct, but the timing of the application may be
inappropriate, which sometimes happens because the farmer cannot obtain the herbicide on time (for example,
delays in the distribution channel) or because of delays in irrigating the crop. Third, the method of application may
itself be ineffective, especially since most farmers broadcast herbicide mixed with urea or sand. Suitable sprayers
and nozzles for effective herbicide application are not readily available to farmers. The efficacy of herbicide
applications may also be diminished by the ash left when rice residues are burnt in the field. Fourth, there is some
evidence that P. minors becoming resistant to Isoproturon, a major herbicide used in wheat cultivation. If
confirmed, this will represent a major threat to the future productivity of continuous rice-wheat systems.

2. Problems of soil fertility and soil health.
A problem-cause diagram was developed to summarize hypotheses on reasons for problems of soil
fertility and soil health (Figure 11). Several factors were identified:

Soil chemical problems. Many soils in Kamal and Kurukshetra Districts appear to be developing nutrient
deficiencies that adversely affect wheat yields. These nutrient deficiencies are probably associated with low and
declining levels of soil organic matter, stemming from removal or burning of crop residues, decreasing application
of FYM, and limited use of green manuring. Although application of chemical fertilizer succeeds in replacing some
of the nitrogen and phosphorus extracted by the intensive rice-wheat cropping pattern, fertilizer use is unbalanced
in the sense that other, minor nutrients may become progressively limiting.

Soil physical problems. Many soils in the study area appear to have compaction problems. Perhaps the single
most important cause of soil compaction is the high level of machinery use, including both conventional tillage for
wheat (involving many shallow passes) and combine harvesting (in some areas). In addition, the puddling
performed to prepare fields for rice transplanting effectively destroys from the point of view of the wheat plant
soil structure and deteriorates soil physical properties. Some of the deterioration in soil physical condition can
be attributed to reduced incorporation of crop residues and FYM. Besides directly inhibiting root growth, soil
compaction adversely affects wheat yields by preventing water infiltration, thus contributing to water stagnation.
Stagnation caused by compaction appears to be a particular problem in sodic soils.

Other soil health problems. Pathologists participating in the diagnostic survey expressed concern that continuous
rice-wheat cropping may facilitate buildup of soil-bore pathogens, which could conceivably affect crop yields in
the future. Relatively little is known about this, however.








3. Groundwater depletion.
A problem-cause diagram was developed to summarize hypotheses on causes of groundwater depletion
(Figure 12). Several factors were identified:

*Excessive pumping of groundwater from tubewells. Groundwater depletion occurs primarily because of excessive
pumping from tubewells. Although excessive pumping can be traced to a number of causes, three were identified
as most important. First, steady population growth in the region is leading to intensification of the cropping system,


Note: Problems, primary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively.

Figure 11. Hypotheses on problems and causes: soil-related Issues for wheat.








which naturally increases the demand for irrigation water. Second, poor management of water at the farm level
apparently exacerbates the problem, as many farmers use groundwater inefficiently (this is hardly surprising,
given that the cost of water to farmers remains low). Third, supplies of canal water which could be used as an
alternative to tubewell water are inadequate, in part because canal water is diverted to the south to support
irrigation in other areas of the state. Canal water apparently is supplemented by tubewell water before being
diverted to other areas.

* Slow replenishment of aquifers. The depth of the water table has been falling because the increased reliance on
groundwater for irrigation and other uses has been depleting the region's aquifers faster than they are
replenished through rainfall. Effects of land management practices in other areas on aquifer replenishment were
not examined.

However, two factors reduce groundwater depletion: recharging of the water table by canals, rainfall, and
percolation from rice fields; and an increased proportion of the rice area is now sown to Basmati rice,
which requires less water.


Note: Problems, primary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively. Factors that
tend to ameliorate the hypothesized problem are shown within large arrows.

Figure 12. Hypotheses on problems and causes: groundwater depletion.








4. Poor groundwater quality.
A problem-cause diagram was developed to summarize hypotheses on factors contributing to poor
groundwater quality (Figure 13). One primary causal factor was identified:

*Insufficient alternative sources of water. Poor quality groundwater limits wheat yields only in those parts of the
study area (less than 10% of the total) where alternative sources of good quality irrigation water are unavailable.
This includes areas where good quality groundwater cannot be obtained by varying the depth of tubewells and
where supplies of canal water are exceptionally scarce. Farmers reported that the effects of poor quality
groundwater are most pronounced in fields located farthest from irrigation canals.


Interactions among Problems

During the survey, important interactions among problems became apparent. Figure 14 synthesizes these
interactions, focusing on the major problems identified during the surveys. It is not surprising that many
of these problems are associated with farmers' selection of the continuous rice-wheat cropping pattern, a
tendency noted in previous diagnostic surveys. Figure 14 illustrates hypothesized interactions and
linkages among a number of problems in terms of how they are affected by such system-level factors as
selection of cropping pattern, groundwater use policy, and trends in using FYM for fuel vs. fertilizer.


Note: Problems, primary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively.


Figure 13. Hypotheses on problems and causes: use of sodic water on wheat.













Wheat productivity
declining because
of soil-related
factors


threatens the future
sustainability of Irngated
agnculture in the long
term, and raises costs in
the near term


Note: Problems, primary causes, and secondary causes are represented by rectangles, hexagons, and ovals, respectively.

Figure 14. Hypothesized links among problems and causes.

33








Problem-cause diagrams, however, are not used merely to illustrate the influence of farming system
parameters on crop-specific problems. They also serve to elicit suggestions for possible ways in which
research, extension, or public policy can address and solve these problems. The suggestions for
action are presented next.


An Agenda for Action

An understanding of the possible causes of problems uncovered during the survey helped identify
opportunities for agricultural research, extension, or policy to contribute to solving those problems.
Specific opportunities were identified for the following classes of actions:

* Diagnosis: Actions to better define problems that are poorly understood, including testing of hypotheses on the
incidence and severity of a suspected problem, and its corresponding causes. Diagnostic activities may take the
form of surveys, experiments, or an assessment of secondary data.

Monitoring. Actions conducted in the context of periodic return visits to a panel of farmers (this category overlaps
to a certain extent with the more general category of diagnosis). Monitoring specifically aims to quantify changes
over time in farmers' practices and problems, and trends in system productivity and land quality.

Research on possible solutions: Actions whose primary purpose is to develop and assess alternative solutions to
problems that are fairly well understood. These actions may take the form of farmer-managed or researcher-
managed experiments or surveys of the responses of different farmer groups to major problems.

Extension: Actions to accelerate adoption of a well-known solution that seems feasible and attractive, for solving a
well-understood problem.

Research on policy. Actions whose primary purpose is to study the policy implications of a problem or a solution.
Some actions may serve to inform policy makers of the costs and benefits associated with alternative policy
options.

Altogether, 33 opportunities for action were identified. These are listed in Table 8, grouped by problem,
with action classifications marked for each.

A final discussion among wheat survey participants developed informal and tentative rankings among
these alternative actions.20 A small number of actions were selected as being of the greatest importance
(Table 9). Note that many of them call for additional diagnosis or research on policy, not just for
additional research on alternative technical solutions. A similar list was developed by the rice survey
team (Table 10).





20 Time did not permit a more thorough pre-screening of these actions. Such a pre-screening would require assessing each
alternative action for several characteristics before setting priorities. Characteristics might include technical feasibility,
expected profitability, likelihood of success, managerial complexity, and other factors associated with ease of adoption.
research cost, systems compatibility, expected effects on risk, etc. Note, however, that actions focusing on diagnosis or
policy must be pre-screened in ways that are necessarily subjective.








Table 8. Suggestions for action, by problem category

Problem category Type of action

Weed competition
1. Effects of different residue management practices on the effectiveness of herbicides. Diagnosis
2. Ways to increase the effectiveness of broadcast application methods for currently used herbicides. Solutions
3. Assessment of the quality of herbicide products used by farmers (effects of Diagnosis
product freshness and purity). Policy
4. Evaluation of new herbicide products. Solutions
5. Assessment of possible resistance of Phalaris minorto Isoproturon. Diagnosis
6. Altemative methods of herbicide application to improve their effectiveness (broadcast vs. alteratives). Solutions
7. Health, farmer safety, and environmental issues in the use of pesticides, Diagnosis
including herbicides. Policy
8. Weed dynamics for P. minor, including effects of farm yard manure and the use of P. minorfor feed Diagnosis
(and other farmers' practices) in weed seed buildup, studies of weed dormancy, etc.
9. Intensive study of farmer weed control practices, and how these interact with Diagnosis
the farming system. Monitoring
10. The use of alternative planting practices (e.g., row planting) to facilitate mechanical weed control. Solutions
11. Development of new wheat varieties more competitive with weeds. Solutions
12. Studies of the effect of seeding date on weed competition. Extension
Monitoring
13. Effect of alternative cropping pattems on weed competition in wheat planting. Extension
Monitoring
Late planting
14. Development of heat-tolerant wheat varieties. Solutions
15. Development of methods to speed the establishment of the wheat crop (tillage Solutions
methods for wheat, earlier establishment of Basmati rice, shorter duration varieties).

Soil health
16. Study crop residue and FYM management to determine effects on soil health, Diagnosis
especially nutrient cycling. Monitoring
17. Research on soil physical properties in relation to organic matter Diagnosis
management, crop management, tillage (including assessment of deep tillage, etc.). Monitoring
18. Monitoring of farmers with regard to farmers' practices, land quality, and Diagnosis
system productivity, especially as related to soil health. Monitoring
19. Analysis and synthesis of available secondary data, with special emphasis on trends for factors that Diagnosis
may affect soil health or system sustainability in terms of soil chemistry or soil physics. Policy
20. Long-term trials conducted on-station on issues of soil health and land quality. Diagnosis
Solutions

Groundwater depletion
21. Study of farmers' water management practices. Diagnosis
22. Synthesis of information available from secondary sources on water table decline. Diagnosis
23. Economic studies to determine the value of water use in different crops, and Diagnosis
likely farmer responses to increased water prices. Policy
24. Research on ways to improve water-use efficiency. Solutions
(continued)









Table 8. (continued)

Problem category Type of action

Reduced plant stand
25. Development and/or testing of seed drills adapted to local planting requirements, Solutions
including planting in rice stubble, and taking account of possibilities for minimum
tillage. (Economic assessment of options included here.)
26. Expanded efforts in extension on seed treatment to control pest damage. Extension
27. Practices for improving the quality of farmer-produced seed, including Extension
improvements in seed storage.

Expensive tillage practices
28. Development and/or testing of seed drills adapted to local planting requirements, Solutions
including planting in rice stubble, and taking account of possibilities for minimum
tillage. (Economic assessment of options included here.)
29. Intensive farm-level study of rice harvest activities and how these affect Diagnosis
tillage for wheat (including studies of manual vs. combine harvesting Monitoring
for rice, with respect to cost, differential impacts on social groups, etc.). Policy
30. Modifications in rice combines to ease straw management (baling, windrowing, etc.). Solutions

Groundwater quality
31. The use of water additives to improve water quality for the rice-wheat system. Solutions
32. Screening of wheat varieties for use under sodic conditions. Solutions
Extension
33. Development of crop management practices to cope with problems associated with Diagnosis
the use of poor quality groundwater. Solutions






Table 9. Suggested priority actions, by problem and action class (wheat survey team)

Priority action Problem Class

1. Effects of different residue management practices on the Weeds Diagnosis
effectiveness of herbicides.

2. Ways to increase the effectiveness of broadcast application Weeds Solutions
methods for herbicides currently in use.

6. Alternative methods of herbicide application to improve their Weeds Solutions
effectiveness (broadcast vs. alternatives .

7. Health, farmer safety, and environmental issues in the use of Weeds Diagnosis
pesticides, including herbicides. Policy
Solutions

10. The use of alternative planting practices (e.g., row planting) Weeds Solutions
to facilitate mechanical weed control.

16. Study of crop residue and FYM management to determine Soil health Diagnosis
effects on soil health, especially nutrient cycling.

(continued)









Table 9. (continued)

Priority action Problem Class

17. Research on soil physical properties in relation to organic Soil health Diagnosis
matter management, crop management, tillage (including Solutions
assessment of deep tillage, reduced tillage, etc.).

18. Monitoring of farmers with regard to farmers' practices, land Soil health Diagnosis
quality, and system productivity, especially as related to soil health. Monitoring

19. Analysis and synthesis of available secondary data, with special Soil health Diagnosis
emphasis on trends for factors that may affect soil health or Policy
system sustainability in terms of soil chemistry or soil physics.

20. Long-term trials conducted on-station on issues of soil health Soil health Diagnosis
and land quality. Solutions

23. Economic studies to determine the value of water use in different Groundwater Diagnosis
crops, and likely farmer responses to increased water prices. depletion Policy

25. Development and/or testing of seed drills adapted to local Stand Solution
planting requirements, including planting in rice stubble, and Tillage
taking account of possibilities for minimum tillage. (Economic
assessment of options included here.)






Table 10. Suggested problem-solving research for three major rice-wheat system problems (rice survey team)

Problem Suggested research

Weeds Test reduced efficacy of herbicides used after residue burning.
Assess crop losses in rice and wheat caused by weeds in farmers' fields.
Monitor changes in weed communities.
Monitor weeds in wheat fields after Basmati vs. after MV rices.
Study weed infestation resulting from irrigation (power) interruptions.

Soil nutrient depletion Review past research on improved farm yard manure management.
Conduct case studies of the few farmers growing green manures.
Monitor farmers' fields over time for soil nutrients (macro- and micronutrients, organic matter)
and soil physical properties.
Test interruptor" crops such as mustard.

Water table depletion Characterize water depletion, including water use by rice and wheat, recharge, and
drainage from the area.
Test lower water use for rice during the vegetative stage.
Conduct strategic research on dry-seeded rice cultivation.
Conduct variety screening for dry-seeded rices.
Examine methods to improve water-use efficiency during the rice-harvest wheat-
establishment transition.









The suggested agenda for action is ambitious. Although some of the actions already have been taken by
scientists at HAU, many have not. A number of the suggested actions aim to address major problems
through system-level interventions, or by using leverage points that rely on links between one enterprise
or problem and another (e.g., numbers 8, 13, 15, 16, 18, and 30 in Table 8). System interventions of this
kind, along with a new appreciation for policy issues (e.g., numbers 3, 23, and 29) provide fresh
opportunities for researchers and extension workers to collaborate with farmers.

Finally, the use of farmer monitoring appears repeatedly in the list of suggested actions, given concerns
about issues related to sustainability. This theme warrants just a bit more discussion here.

It was noted in the introduction to this report that the NARS-CIMMYT-IRRI collaborative research
project on rice-wheat systems in South Asia has a number of objectives. One of these is to assess the
sustainability of this system. To meet this objective, researchers must study the long-term effects of
farmers' practices and alternative technologies on the quality of resources devoted to rice-wheat
cultivation. They must aim, in' short, to "measure sustainability."

Without going into detail on interpretations and definitions of sustainability, or how that concept might
be made operational,21 it may be noted that a well-focused monitoring program can help "measure
sustainability." Such a program allows the measurement over time of changes in farming practices,
farming systems, and land quality (including soil chemical and physical measures). Changes in land
quality and system productivity can then be analyzed and assessed, holding constant such confounding
factors as technical change and changes in input use levels. A successful monitoring program requires the
participation of several disciplines, working together with a representative sample of farmers, over an
extended period.22

Whether or not farmer monitoring begins in Haryana in the near term, it is clear that researchers and
extension workers have their work cut out for them. Incomes and employment for millions of farm
families in the study area depend on rice and wheat cultivation. Opportunities to improve the productivity
of the rice-wheat pattern and chances to conserve the quality of resources farmers devote to this
pattern should not be neglected.
















21 For a discussion of interpretations of the notion of sustainability, and different approaches to its measurement, see
Harrington (1992).
22 A full discussion of issues in planning and implementing farmer monitoring programs goes beyond the scope of this paper.
A summary of some of the issues involved in such programs may be found in Harrington, Hobbs, and Cassaday (eds.)
(1993).









References


Byerlee, D., A.D. Sheikh, M. Aslam, and P.R. Hobbs, 1984. Wheat in the Rice-based Farming Systems of the Punjab:
Implications for Research and Extension. Islamabad, Pakistan: National Agricultural Research Centre.

Fujisaka, S. 1991. A set of farmer-based diagnostic methods for setting post-Green Revolution rice research strategies.
Agricultural Systems 36: 191-206.

Harrington, L. 1992. Interpreting and measuring sustainability: Issues and options. Paper presented at the NARS-CIMMYT-IRRI
workshop, "Measuring Sustainability through Farmer Monitoring," 6-9 May, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Harrington, L.W., S. Fujisaka, P.R. Hobbs, C. Adhikary, G.S. Giri, and K. Cassaday (eds.). 1993. Rice-Wheat Cropping
Systems in Rupandehi District of the Nepal Terai: Diagnostic Surveys of Farmers' Practices and Problems, and Needs for
Further Research. Mexico, D.F.: NARC, CIMMYT, and IRRI.

Harrington, L.W., P.R. Hobbs, and K.A. Cassaday (eds.). 1993. Methods of Measuring Sustainability through Farmer
Monitoring: Application to the Rice-Wheat Cropping Pattern in South Asia. Proceedings of the Workshop, 6-9 May 1992,
Kathmandu, Nepal. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT, IRRI, and NARC.

Hobbs, P.R., G.P. Hettel, R.P. Singh, Y. Singh, L. Harrington, and S. Fujisaka (eds.). 1991. Rice-Wheat Cropping Systems in
the Terai Areas of Nainital, Rampur, and Pilibhit Districts in Uttar Pradesh, India: Diagnostic Surveys of Farmers' Practices
and Problems and Needs for Further Research. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT.

Hobbs, P.R., G.P. Hettel, R.K. Singh, R.P. Singh, L.W. Harrington, V.P. Singh, and K. G. Pillai (eds.). 1992. Rice-Wheat
Cropping Systems in Faizabad District of Uttar Pradesh, India: Exploratory Surveys of Farmers' Practices and Problems
and Needs for Further Research. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT.

Hobbs, P.R. 1985. Agronomic practices and problems for wheat following cotton and rice in Pakistan. In Wheats for More
Tropical Environments: A Proceedings of the International Symposium. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT. Pp. 273-277.

Huke, R., and E. Huke. 1992. Rice/Wheat Atlas of South Asia. Draft IRRI-CIMMYT-NARS publication. Los Banos, Philippines:
International Rice Research Institute.

NARP. 1990. Status Report, Haryana: Eastern Zone. Hisar, Haryana, India: Directorate of Research, National Agricultural
Research Project, Haryana Agricultural University.

Randhawa, A.S., S.S. Dhillon, and D. Singh. 1981. Productivity of wheat varieties as influenced by the time of sowing. Joumal
of Research at Punjab Agricultural University 18(3): 227-233.

Saunders, D.A. 1988. Crop Management Research: Summary of Results, 1983-88. Monograph No. 5. Nashipur, Bangladesh:
Wheat Research Centre, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute.

Tripp, R., and J. Woolley. 1989. The Planning Stage of On-Farm Research: Identifying Factors for Experimentation. Mexico,
D.F., Mexico and Cali, Colombia: CIMMYT and Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical.









Appendix A

Survey Participants


Table Al. Participants in rice and wheat diagnostic surveys, Haryana, India, 1992

Participated in:
Wheat Rice
Name Subject/Position Institute survey survey


Dr. S.C. Ahuja
Dr. M. Ali
L. Chand
Dr. M.K. Chaudhary
Dr. S.D. Dhiman
Dr. S. Fujisaka
Dr. A.C. Goel
Dr. A.P. Gupta
Dr. L.W. Harrington
D.M. Hegde
Dr. P.R. Hobbs
Dr. S.P.S. Karwasra

Dr. K.S. Kushwaha
Dr. Michael Morris
Mrs. Neelam Nalang
Dr. Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio
Dr. Dharam Pal

Dr. D.V.S. Panwar
Dr. H.C. Sharma
Dr. Ajmor Singh
Dr. Dalel Singh
Dr. Pal Singh
Dr. R.P. Singh

Dr. Samander Singh
Dr. S.P. Singh
Dr. S.P. Singh
Dr. V.P. Singh
Dr. J.P.Tandon
To Phuc Tuong
Dr. K.S. Verma
Dr. T. Woodhead


Rice Pathologist
Agricultural Economist
Subject Matter Specialist
Agricultural Economist
Agronomist
Agricultural Anthropologist
Water Engineer
Soil Chemist
Agricultural Economist
Project Coordinator
Wheat Agronomist
Director of Research,
Professor of Soil Science
Rice Entomologist
Agriculural Economist
Home Scientist
Wheat Agronomist
District Extension Specialist
(Agronomy)
Senior Rice Breeder
Project Director (NARP)
Rice Breeder
Soil Scientist
Agronomist
P.I. Agronomy,
Rice-Wheat Coordinator
Asst. Scientist, Soil Science
Senior Agronomist
Subject Matter Specialist
Wheat Breeder
Director, Wheat
Water Engineer
Senior Soil Scientist
Rice-Wheat Coordinator


HAU/Kaul
IRRI
Kamal
HAU/Kamal
HAU/Kaul
IRRI
HAU/Kamal
HAU/Hisar
CIMMYT
PDSCR, Modipuram
CIMMYT
HAU/Hisar

HAU/Kaul
CIMMYT
HAU/Kamal
CIMMYT
HAU/Kamal

HAU/Kaul
HAU/Hisar
HAU/Kamal
HAU/Kaul
IRRI
AICWIP/Kamal

HAU/Rohtak
DRR/Hyderabad
Dept. Agric., Kurukshetra
HAU/Kaul
AICWIP/Kamal
IRRI
HAU/Kamal
IRRI


Note: = did participate; = did not participate.









Appendix B


Statistical Data from Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts


Table 81. Population growth in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and Haryana State, India, 1981-91

Population
1981 1991 Growth rate
District (000s) (000s) (%/yr)a

Kamal 1,324 1,711 2.92
Kurukshetra 1,199 1,454 2.12
Total 2,523 3,165 2.54

Haryana State 12,922 16,318 2.62

a Calculated as the average annual increment in population as a proportion of the population level in the initial period.



Table 82. Irrigated area (%) by source of irrigation in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and Haryana State,
India, 1979-80 and 1989-90

Canal Tubewell Other
District 1979-80 1989-90 1979-80 1989-90 1979-80 1989-90

Kamal 21 23 76 77 3 0
Kurukshetra 35 35 62 65 3 0
Average 28 30 69 70 3 0

Haryana State 55 51 43 49 2 0



Table B3. Land use and irrigation in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and Haryana State, India, 1979-80 and
1989-90

Net Net
cultivated area irrigated area Percentage
(000 ha) (000 ha) irrigated
District 1979-80 1989-90 1979-80 1989-90 1979-80 1989-90

Kamal 313 311 270 302 86 97
Kurukshetra 325 369 260 358 80 97
Average 638 680 530 660 83 97

Haryana State 3,557 3,593 2,174 2,657 61 74








Table B4. Cropped area (%) for major crops in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and Haryana State, India,
1979-80 and 1989-90

1979-80 1989-90
District Rice Wheat Sugarcane Rice Wheat Sugarcane

Karnal 30 44 3 36 44 2
Kurukshetra 33 43 3 32 46 2
Average 31 43 3 34 45 2

Haryana State 10 30 3 11 33 2



Table B5. Yield (t/ha) of major crops in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts and Haryana State, India, 1979-80
and 1989-90

1979-80 1989-90
District Rice Wheat Sugarcane Rice Wheat Sugarcane

Kamal 2.7 2.4 50.6 2.6 3.9 52.0
Kurukshetra 2.8 2.2 54.9 2.8 3.9 55.8
Average 2.8 2.3 52.7 2.7 3.8 53.9

Haryana State 2.6 2.4 40.7 2.8 3.5 52.8



Table B6. Fertilizer use intensity (kg nutrient per hectare gross cropped area) in Kamal and Kurukshetra
Districts and Haryana State, India, 1979-80 and 1989-90

1979-80 1989-90
District N P K Total N P K Total

Kamal 84 16 5 105 122 32 2 156
Kurukshetra 73 12 6 91 108 29 1 138
Average 78 14 6 98 115 30 2 147

Haryana State 36 6 2 44 67 21 1 89



Table B7. Farm machinery and Implements (number) in Kamal and Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India,
1979-80 and 1989-90

1979-80 1989-90
District Tractors Tubewells Combines Tractors Tubewells Combines

Kamal 6,589 65,297 n.a. 20,552 95,935 112
Kurukshetra 7,185 59,028 n.a. 15,220 89,878 219
Total 13,774 124,325 .. 35,772 185,813 331

n.a. = not available.








Appendix C


Recommended Management Practices for Rice and Wheat

Note: Recommendations abstracted from bulletins for farmers in the State of Haryana.

RICE

Varieties
* Short duration (120-125 days): Pusa-33 and Pusa-221.
* Medium duration (135-145 days): IR-8, Jaya, PR-106, HKR-120, IR-64 and Palman-579.
* Scented varieties: Basmati-370 and HBC-19 (Pakistani Basmati).

Field preparation
* First plowing by a soil-turning plow in summer followed by 2-3 harrowings in planting season. Before transplanting, flood the
soil and perform shallow puddling.

Seed and seed treatment
Thirty kilograms seed for coarse and fine varieties, and 25 kg seed for scented (Basmati) varieties is sufficient to plant a
nursery to transplant one hectare of land. Select healthy seed in a 10% salt solution. Treat the seed with a fungicide such as
PMA (1:400) for seed-borne diseases. For bacterial diseases treat the seed with 25 g agalol, 2.5 g streptocyclin or 6 g
agrimycin-100 in 25 litres of water for 10 hours before sowing.
Sow seed in nursery from 15 May to 30 May for short- and medium-duration varieties and from
15 June to 30 June for Basmati varieties.

Planting time and method
Short-duration dwarf varieties: 15th June to end of July.
Medium-duration dwarf varieties: 15th June to 7th July.
Basmati: 15th July to end of July.
Plant seedlings at a distance of 15 cm x 15 cm for dwarf varieties and 22.5 cm x 15 cm for Basmati varieties in puddled field.

Weed control
For grassy and some broadleaf weeds apply Butachlor E.C., Thiobencarb E.C., Pendimethalin E.C. at 1.2 kg a.i./ha or
Anilophos at 0.4 kg a.i./ha within 2-3 days of transplanting in standing water. Granules of Butachlor, Pendimenthalin, and
Thiobencarb can also be used in standing water within 2-3 days of planting.

Irrigation
Irrigate the crop at regular intervals with 5-6 cm deep water so that the field is kept saturated. Newer allow cracks to develop.
Irrigate the field at the following critical stages: one week after transplanting, late tillering, panicle initiation, and grain filling.

Fertilizer
Irrigated and transplanted dwarf varieties: 150-60-60 kg N, P205, and K20 per hectare.
Scented tall (Basmati) varieties: 60 kg N and 30 kg P20/ha.
Dwarf varieties: drill all P, K, and 1/3 N at puddling, and the rest of the N in two splits (the first 3 weeks after transplanting
and second three weeks later).
Tall varieties (Basmati) apply all P at puddling, haltfthe N after 3 weeks, and the remaining N six weeks after transplanting.
Apply 25 kg zinc sulphate per hectare at the time of puddling or at the latest 10 days after transplanting. If the field is green
manured, apply only 2/3rd of the recommended dose of NPK but the same dose of zinc sulphate.








Pest and disease management
* Rice root weevil, leaffolder, white-backed planthopper (WBPH), and stemborer are the main rice pests. Leaf and neck blast
are the major diseases in Basmati and sheath blight, false smut in coarse and fine varieties of rice.
* Use 3 litres of Aldrin 30 EC or 5 litres Chlordane 20 EC with irrigation water or 15 kg BHC 6G or 25 kg Carbofuran per
hectare in standing water for control of rice root weevil. Spray 500 ml Monocrotophos 36 WCS or 875 ml Endosulfan 35 EC/
ha with 500 litres of water for leaffolder and WBPH. Dusting of 2% methyl parathion or BHC 10% at 25 kg/ha is also
effective.
* Spray of 1 litre of Methyl Parathion 50 EC, 2-3 times, can control stemborer.
* Use of Bavistin at 500-600 ml per hectare can control footrot and blast diseases in Basmati rice.


WHEAT

Varieties
* For sowing in the first three weeks of November: HD-2329, WH-283, WH-157, HD-2009.
* For the last week of November and first three weeks of December: HD-2285, HD-1553, WH-291.

Land preparation
* A deep and well-pulverised seed bed, having ample moisture, is essential for raising a good crop of wheat. First plough with
a soil turning/stirring plough and subsequently 4-5 ploughings with a disc harrow/soil stirring plough.

Seed and sowing
Sowing should be done in November and if late by the third week of December with a seed-cum-fertilizer drill or in lines
with a spacing of 20-22 cm for normal and 18 cm for late-planted wheat. Check the seed for germination and treat the seed
with Vitavax or Bavistin at 2 g/kg seed to control loose smut or with Thiram or PMA at 2 g/kg seed for Kamal bunt. For
normal planting, use 100 kg seed/ha of HD-2329 and HD-2009, 112 kg for WH-283, and 125 kg for WH-157 varieties. For
late planting use 125 kg seed/ha for all varieties recommended for late sowing.

Fertilizer
Fertilizer should be applied according to a soil test. Normally the recommended rate is 150-60-30 kg N, P20s, KO0/ha. If
wheat follows a legume crop or FYM/compost is applied, reduce the nitrogen dose
by 25%.
Apply ZnSO, to the paddy crop grown before wheat; otherwise use 25 kg ZnSO, on wheat. Drill half the N and all of the P,
K, and ZnSO, at sowing. The rest of the N should be applied as two top dressings after the first and second irrigations.
ZnSO, can be applied as a spray as a 0.5% solution mixed with 3% urea 30-35 days after sowing.

Irrigation
Five to six irrigations are normally required for raising a good crop of wheat, depending on soil type and weather
conditions. The first irrigation must be given 3-4 weeks after sowing at the crown root initiation stage depending on weather
conditions.

Weed control
Prominent grassy weeds are Phalaris minor and wild oats (Avena spp.). Apply Isoproturon at
0.75-1.0 kg a.ilha as a post-emergence spray for control of Phalaris minor and other grassy weeds and some broad leaf
weeds. A tank mixture of Isoproturon and 2,4-D at 0.75 + 0.50 kg/ha is recommended for the control of weeds. 2,4-D at
0.50 kg a.i./ha is recommended as a post-emergence spray 30-35 days after sowing for control of broadleaf weeds.








ISBN: 968-6127-86-0


International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo
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