Main Article Content
Tornala village of Siddipet District (Previously part of Medak district) in Telangana State comes under low rainfall area with an average annual rainfall of 787.6 mm and experiences extreme seasonal variation in rainfall. A new Agricultural Research Station was established in 2014 to meet the agricultural needs of adjoining areas of Siddipet District. Maize is one of the principal crops of the Siddipet District grown in light soils under rain fed situation. Erratic behaviour of rainfall results in moisture stress of both kinds (excess and deficit) during maize growing season which is leading to frequent crop failures. Millets and pulses are gaining importance which can be grown very well under rainfed situation. To create awareness among the farmers about the importance of other drought tolerant crops suitable for the situation and also to promote drought resistant and short duration, nutritional rich pulse crops in place of maize was the primary objective in conducting this trial. Keeping the above in view, a field experiment was conducted to identify a suitable crop comparable/ alternative to maize with a view to reduce the risk of crop failure under rain fed conditions and to realize the nutritive value of millets. Nine crops viz. Bajra, Ragi, Korra, Maize, Green gram, Pigeon pea, Cotton, Castor Hybrid (PCH 111) and Castor variety (Kranthi) were evaluated for three years. Yields of all the crops were converted into maize equivalent yields and economics was worked out. Pooled means were worked out for yield as well as for economic returns. Results showed that higher maize equivalent yield was recorded in Pigeon pea (4354 kg ha-1) followed by Bajra (2804 kg ha-1), ragi (2604 kg ha-1), cotton (2344 kg ha-1) and green gram (2075 kg ha-1). In terms of net returns pigeon pea recorded highest mean net returns (39080 Rs ha-1) followed by bajra (25553 Rs ha-1) and ragi (20614 Rs ha-1) whereas highest mean benefit cost ratio was with bajra (2.44) followed by pigeon pea (2.41) and ragi (2.05) compared to maize (2297 Rs ha-1 and 1.08 respectively). Hence, from the study it can be recommended that Bajra, Pigeon pea and Ragi can be grown in place of maize in low rain fall areas of Siddipet (Dt) under rain fed situation.
Bengtsson L. The global atmospheric water cycle. Environmental Research Letters. 2010;5(2):025202.
Chou C, Chiang JCH, Lan CW, Chung CH, Liao YC, Lee CJ. Increase in the range between wet and dry season precipitation. Nature Geoscience. 2013; 6(4):263– 267.
Hegerl GC, Black E, Allan RP, Ingram WJ, Polson D, Trenberth KE, Zhang X. Challenges in quantifying changes in the global water cycle. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 2015; 96(7):1097–1115.
Lesk C, Rowhani P, Ramankutty N. Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production. Nature. 2016; 529(7584):84– 87.
CRIDA-ORP. Progress report of operation research projects of all india coordinated research project on dryland agriculture. 1997;519.
Niranjan Kumar K, Rajeevan M, Pai DS, Srivastava AK, Preethi B. On the observed variability of monsoon droughts over India. Weather Clim Extremes. 2013;1:42–50.
Warrier G. Telangana: Stone or diamond? The Hindu; 2013. Available:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/telangana-stone-ordiamond/article4996206.ece
DES. Statistical reports of directorate of economics and statistics, Hyderabad, Telangana State; 2014.
Kumar R, Srinivas K, Sivaramane N. Assessment of the maize situation, outlook and investment opportunities in India. MAIZE-CRP Project Report, National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad, India; 2013.
International Rice Research Institute IRRI. Steps to successful rice production. Rice production manual, Los Banos, Phillipines; 2015.
National Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Role of millets in nutritional security of India; 2013. Available:http://naasindia.org/Policy%20Papers/Policy%2066.pdf
Qiao G, Wen XP, Yu LF, Ji XB. The enhancement of drought tolerance for pigeon pea inoculated by arbuscular mycorrhizae fungi. Plant Soil Environment. 2011;57(12):541-546.
Behera MK. Assessment of the state of millets farming in India. MOJ Eco Environ Sci. 2017;2(1):16-20.