Bund cropping of pulses enhances soil fertility

By TheHindu on 24 Nov 2016
DOUBLE benefit: Bund cropping of pulses in paddy field at Varadhanallur in Bhavani agri division.

R. Sundaram

It provides additional income for farmers; pulses are rich in protein

ERODE: Growing pulses along the bunds of paddy fields has various advantages, said Assistant Director of Agriculture, Bhavani, R. Kandasamy, on Friday.

Pulses, an important protein supplement, have two to three times more protein content than cereals.

An individual needs 84 grams protein a day as against the present availability of 23 grams. So increasing the pulses production in the available land becomes inevitable.

The Agricultural Department is recommending simple cultural practice of dibbling the seeds of pulses such as black gram or cowpea along the bunds of paddy fields to make effective use of the field bunds.

These short duration pulses, whose duration ranges between 60 to 75 days, need no additional fertilizers or pesticides in bund cropping situation. The fertilizers and pesticides providing to the paddy are enough to obtain a yield of 50 to 75 kg from an acre depends upon the length of the bunds, says Mr. Kandasamy. It provides additional revenue to farmers. “Growing pulses as bund crop also has the advantage of harbouring beneficial insects such as coccinellids, which are predators on paddy pests like brown plant hopper and green leaf hoppers. This cropping system also effectively supervises weed growth in bunds and weeds which are host to some serious diseases of paddy like blast.” The remains of the pulses serve as a good cattle feed and also the root nodulation in these legume pulses enhances soil fertility.

Bund cropping in Bhavani Agricultural division has been proved successful, says Mr. Kandasamy.

He insists the farmers on this low-cost technology of pulses bund cropping in paddy fields to get more benefits.

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