Sowing method
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We have used traditional method of tilling lands with bullocks to "no till" cultivation with varying degrees of success and sometimes failures. We have also experimented with "precision sowing" to "just throw".

        

Both "precision sowing" and "No till" cultivation of ragi and horse gram was not successful initially. So we started experimenting with some minor modifications of "No Till" methods. Most of the improvisations have been necessitated by lack of labour.

Horsegram

After monsoons in 2007, we decided to grow horsegram mainly as a intercrop between the tree saplings. This was mainly meant for fodder for the cattle. But this time we decided not to till the soil or remove any of the weeds.

We soaked the horsegram seeds in water for 5-6 hours and the water was drained off. The seeds were kept in a vessel for germination for 1-2 days. After the sprouts were clearly visible, the seeds were strewn across the field late. The plant growth was normal and survival rate was very high if there was a rainfall (within 1-3 days) after seed scattering. However, the seed survival was low if there was no rain within the first 6-8 days .

When there was no rainfall after seed scattering, we have used raingun for couple of hours once or twice within the first week. The plant growth was found normal.

Despite not removing any weeds or tilling, the seed yield was normal. Overall for us this was a big success as it minimized labour or manual efforts and most importantly abuse of the land was prevented. Not only did we get good fodder for our cattle but also got close to 120kgs of horsegram.