Saturday, 23 November 2013

Farm Design - Design One (Ver 5.0)

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will see the pictorial representation of the Fence Design.  The detailed discussion about the Fences have already been covered previously in our blogs.


From the picture, you can notice that there are 3 layers of Fences available.  The Fences will consist of 2 Ft Wide & 1.5 Ft Depth.  The Open Spaces will consist of 3 Ft Wide.  Either we can plant ourselves in the Open Spaces or we will allow nature to take care of itself.

It is not necessary to have all the 3 layers of the Fences.  Depending on the requirement, you can go for single layer or multiple layers of the Fences.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Farm Design - Design One (Ver 4.0)

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see the Design One (Ver 4.0).


We have already analysed why Roads are very important in the Farm Design in one of our previous blogs.

In this blog, we are going to see the actual design in action and how we are going to utilize even the space allocated to roads to our advantage.


Note: The maximum width of the road vehicle in India is not more than 10 ft and hence we will keep this in mind while allocating the space for roads.

At the minimum, we have to allocate 15 ft or more for roads in our farm.  This is only required for the main roads as well as the entire border roads in our farm and may not be applicable for the roads in the interior of the farm.  This space is required so that the vehicle does not get into the crop areas of the farm and hence prevent the damage to the crops in the farm.

If you want the bigger vehicle to travel to the inner parts of the farm also, then 15 ft is required for all the roads.  Otherwise, you can allocate very small area for smaller vehicles (depending on the vehicle width and add 1 or 2 ft extra).  This way you can transport the goods to the bigger vehicle by using the small vehicle.

If you want only a single road, I think 15 ft is enough.  But if you want double roads (two-way roads) as depicted in the picture, it is better to allocate 20 ft for each of the roads.  This means you will be allocating 40 ft.

You can plant big trees (bigger crown area) like Coconut, Fig, Tamarind, Jackfruit etc in this Trees Space.  This way you are productively using the entire space allocated to the road for other purposes as well.  This type of planting is applicable only for the East-to-West direction road only.

For the North-to-South direction road, you need to align the trees as per the Trees Space alignment.  Otherwise, the Open Space area will have shadow and hence the growth of the crops will be affected.  If in case, you want to utilize the Open Space area as well, you need to grow only those crops that does not grow beyond 4 to 5 ft in height. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Resources & Links

I am trying to provide the very important Links which will be useful for the farmers.  I have so far identified the following links that will be of immense help to the farming community as they do not have to re-invent the wheel.

Note: As usual, please let me know the important links you have come across related to Farming/Agriculture.



Crop Production Techniques
  1. Crop Production Techniques of Horticultural Crops (for Tamilnadu from TNAU) (2013 Ver) - http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/pdf/2013/cpg_horti_2013.pdf (2.5 MB Size)
  2. Crop Production Guide for Agriculture (for Tamilnadu from TNAU) (2012 Ver) - http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/pdf/2013/CPG%202012.pdf (2.86 MB Size)
Tools
  1. Drip Irrigation
  2. General 
    1. http://www.ide-india.org/ - Tools for Small Land Holders
Facebook

  1. Dr. G. Nammalvar - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-G-Nammalvar-Organic-Agriculturist/197789246939878
Nurseries

  1. http://www.flowersofindia.net/misc/nurseries.html
  2. http://www.nhb.gov.in/nursery/report/nurseryreport.aspx - Registered Nurseries of India
Market Prices
  1. TNAU & Department of Agricultural Marketing, Chennai - http://www.tnagmark.tn.nic.in/default.htm
  2. Dynamic Market Information - http://202.129.199.72/

Organic Certification Agencies

Rainfall, Temperature & Weather
  1. http://www.imdagrimet.gov.in/
Schemes & Subsidies for farmers in Tamilnadu
  1. Agriculture Citizens Charter (in Tamil) http://cms.tn.gov.in/sites/default/files/documents/agri_t_cc_2014_15.pdf
  2. Agriculture Citizens Charter (in English) http://cms.tn.gov.in/sites/default/files/documents/agri_e_cc_2014_15.pdf
  3. Fisheries Citizens Charter (in Tamil ) - http://cms.tn.gov.in/sites/default/files/documents/fisheries_t_cc_2014_15.pdf
  4. Fisheries Citizens Charter (in English) - http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/fishery/fisheries%20citizen%20charter%202013-14.pdf
Soil Testing Labs in TN
  1. http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/agriculture/agri_soil_testinglabs.html

General
  1. Indian Society of Weed Science - http://www.isws.in/index.php - You can check the invasive plants in India
  2. India Water Portal - http://www.indiawaterportal.org/
  3. Krishi Vigyan Kendra's - http://www.icar.org.in/krishi-vigyan-kendra.htm or http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/kvk/kvkindia.html
  4. Indian Medicinal Plants Database - http://www.medicinalplants.in/
  5. Nabard - http://www.nabard.org
  6. National Centre of Organic Farming - http://ncof.dacnet.nic.in/
  7. National Medicinal Plants Board - http://www.nmpb.nic.in/
  8. Sanghavi Farm - http://www.savesanghavi.com/
  9. Subhash Palekar's Zero Budget Spiritual Farming - http://palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarming.org/home.aspx
  10. Self Reliance Movement (Thalanmai) (Tamil Online Magazine) - http://kaani.org/
  11. TNAU Agritech Portal - http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/
  12. Vanagam (Nammalvar's Farm) - http://www.vanagam.com/
  13. Rain Water Harvesting - www.malaineer.in

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Farm Design - Design One (Ver 3.0)

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will be covering an important design aspect by which rain water is harvested as part of the design. Water as a resource is becoming scarce and every farmer needs to ensure that water is saved for future use.



We can easily incorporate Rain Water Harvesting in this design without much difficulty.

Each of the Trees Space can be utilized for this purpose.  We need to dig  trenches of size 2 Ft Width and 1.5 Ft Depth and the Length is the entire length of the Trees Space.  This method of farming is called Trench Farming.  Please note that the Trees are grown in these trenches only.

  • The advantage of this method of Rain Water Harvesting is that we do not have to sacrifice/allocate land for the purpose of Rain Water Harvesting separately.
  • It helps reduce soil erosion due to rains/water run-off.
  • Improves the ground water levels.
  • During the non rainy season, we can use the trenches for putting the broken twigs, fallen branches of trees, leaves etc and this will become compost.


Please note that the excess water after filling the trenches, if any, should be collected in wells, ponds etc or should be made to leave the farmland in a graceful manner.

Note:  Rain Water Harvesting is possible only when there is a Run-Off of Rain Water.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Farm Design - Design One (Ver 2.2)

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will cover the various permutations and combinations of Long Term Crops (mainly Trees) & Medium Term Crops (again mainly Trees) and their placement at a basic design level.

So far, we have covered where the Trees will occupy the spaces in the field.  But now, we will see the different options within the Trees Space as well.




I have provided 6 options above and we will discuss them in detail below.  The Options that marked with * can be applied for Long Term Crops & Medium Term Crops as well.

Option 1

  • This option is a very generic option and no specific crops have been mentioned.  The Long Term Crops specifically means that we should only plant crops that are long term in nature and similarly Medium Term Crops specifically means that we should only plant crops that are medium term in nature.
  • The only requirement in this option is that we have to alternate between Long Term Crops & Short Term Crops in each row.
  • The advantage is that the entire row needs attention at the same time whether it is pruning, manuring, pesticide requirements, harvest etc.
  • This option is very simple in nature when compared to the other options.


Option 2*
  • This option has Single Type Fruit Crops in one row and Single Type Timber Crops in alternate row.
  • The only requirement in this option is that only one Fruit Crop (eg Mango) has to be planted in one row and followed by one Timber Crop (eg Teak) in the next row.
  • The third row can be a different Fruit Crop (eg Coconut) and the fourth row can be a different Timber Crop (eg Red Sanders) as well.
  • The advantage is that the entire row needs attention at the same time whether it is pruning, manuring, pesticide management, harvest etc.
  • Another advantage in this option is that the alternate row is occupied by Timber Crops and the crown size generally will be very less and hence the Odd Rows (Fruit Crops) will get sufficient space to grow.
  • This option is again very simple in nature.



Option 3*
  • This option has Single Type Fruit Crops (eg Mango) in one column and followed by Single Type Timber Crops (eg Teak) in the next column.
  • The second row can be a different Fruit Crop (eg Coconut) as well as the same or entirely different Timber Crop (eg Teak or Red Sanders).
  • The advantage in this option is that the alternate column is occupied by Timber Crops and the crown size generally will be very less and hence the Fruit Crops will get sufficient space to grow.
  • The complications starts here as we have 2 different crops in the same row and hence has to be managed differently.


Option 4*
  • This option has Single Type Fruit Crops (eg Mango) in one column and followed by Multiple Type Timber Crops (eg Melia + Teak + etc) in the next columns.
  • The second row can be a different Fruit Crop (eg Coconut) as well as the same or entirely different Timber Crops (eg Melia + Teak + etc or Pencil + Red Sanders + etc).
  • The advantage in this option is that the alternate column is occupied by Timber Crops and the crown size generally will be very less and hence the Fruit Crops will get sufficient space to grow.
  • The complications starts here as we have 1 fixed Fruit Crop and 2 or more different Timber Crops in the same row and hence has to be managed differently.



Option 5*
  • This option has Multiple Type Fruit Crops (eg Mango + Sapota + etc) and followed by Multiple Type Timber Crops (eg Melia + Teak + etc) in the next columns.
  • The second row can be the same or entirely different set of Fruit Crops (eg Mango + Sapota + etc or Coconut + Tamarind + etc) as well as the same or entirely different Timber Crops (eg Melia + Teak + etc or Pencil + Red Sanders + etc).
  • The advantage in this option is that the alternate column is occupied by Timber Crops and the crown size generally will be very less and hence the Fruit Crops will get sufficient space to grow.
  • The complications starts here as we have 2 or more different Fruit Crop and 2 or more different Timber crops in the same row and hence has to be managed differently.
  • Those who use this option has to maintain records properly to knows which crops stands where.
  • A mini forest is being created in this option.


Option 6
  • This option is a very generic option and no specific crops have been mentioned.
  • One of the  requirements in this option is that we have to alternate between Long Term Fruit Crops & Long Term Timber Crops in the same row.
  • The other requirement in this option is that we have to alternate between Medium Term Fruit Crops & Medium Term Timber Crops in the next row.
  • The advantage in this option is that the alternate column is occupied by Timber Crops and the crown size generally will be very less and hence the Fruit Crops column will get sufficient space to grow.
  • Another advantage in this option is that both the crops (more or less) will attain maturity at the same time since we are going for the same type of longevity of the crops and hence the entire row can be managed properly.
  • A mini forest is being created in this option.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Manures - Fermented Buttermilk & Coconut Milk Solution

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see a manure that can easily be made and can be used even for home based Vegetables & Crops.


Required Ingredients

S.No.Ingredient NameQty in Litres/Kgs
1Fermented Buttermilk5 Litres
2Coconut Milk5 Litres

Note:
  • For Home Use, instead of huge volumes, it is okay to have less volume by maintaining the ratio 1:1.
  • Please note that the stick (neem stick is better or any pole) used for mixing the ingredients should be cleaned before & after the usage so as to avoid maggots formations in the manure.

Method of Preparation
  1. Mix both the Fermented Buttermilk & Coconut Milk and keep them in a shaded place for 1 week.

Method of Storage
  1. The manure should be kept in the shade and covered with a wire mesh or plastic mosquito net to prevent houseflies from laying eggs and the formation of maggots (worms) in the solution. This is applicable during the preparation as well as during the shelf life of the manure as well.

How long can we store the Manure?
  1. Not Applicable

How to use the Manure?
  1. The manure needs to be sprayed after mixing 1 Litres of manure with 10 Litres of Water.

When to use the Manure?
  1. The manure should be mixed thoroughly twice daily (in the morning & evening) and should be used after 1 week only for better results.
  2. The manure should be applied during the flowering stage.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Farm Design - Design One (Ver 2.1)

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will address some of the queries we have raised in our previous blog namely Farm Design - An Overview.

We will focus mainly on the spacing for Trees as well as on the spacing for Open Spaces.  Also, we will discuss on the Generic v/s Standard (Specific) Spacing.

First, we will discuss on the options in the spacing of trees.  Either we can go for Standard (Specific) Spacing or Generic Spacing.
  1. The Generic Spacing between Plant-to-Plant is 10 ft.
  2. If we go for Standard (Specific) spacing, then the individual plant will dictate the spacing.  For eg., Coconut needs a standard spacing of 25 ft.
Secondly, regarding the Open Spaces, it is advised to have 12 ft between the rows of the plants.  Again, the Open Spaces can be 24 ft, 36 ft, 48 ft etc (can be any number of ft and not necessarily multiples of 12) and this depends on the individual needs of the farmer and the plant they grow as well.


We have mentioned the spacing between Plant-to-Plant is 10 ft and this may look very crowded.  Here, I want to highlight a general observation and this may be helpful before proceeding further.

I have noticed that there are 2 types of Trees:-
  1. Single Stem Tree - Eg., Coconut, Papaya, Banana etc
  2. Multi Branch Tree - Eg., Mango, Sapota, Lemon etc
Technically, even Single Stem Tree has multiple branches and the branches are basically the crown portion and not in the body.  The disadvantage in Single Stem Tree is that we cannot prune them or control them according to our needs.

Multi Branch Tree can be pruned or controlled to occupy the space that we have.  Alternatively, we can also go for Dwarf Trees as well.

Now we can visualize that 10 ft is good enough for a multi branch tree.  Those who feel the spacing is not good enough, can plant a Single Stem Tree (especially Timber Trees) next to the Multi Branch Tree and follow it with another Multi Branch Tree and repeat the process.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Farm Design - Design One (Ver 2.0)

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will concentrate on the crops section of the farm design.  We will mainly concentrate on the design structure in this blog and we will see several permutations and combinations in the next blog.

 

The entire Crops Section have been further divided into alternative sections.  The sections are called Trees Section & Open Space Section.

As the name suggests, the Trees Section will be utilized for growing Trees.  The Trees can be grown in this section can be of Long Term Crops as well as Medium Term Crops.

The Trees Section can be utilized for growing Long Term Crops like Mango, Coconut, Tamarind etc as well as for Medium Term Crops like Moringa, Papaya, Banana etc.

The Open Space Section will be utilized for growing Short Term Crops like Vegetables, Flowers, Cereals, Millets etc.

Looking in a different way, we can simply say that any crops that grow in density (like Tomatoes, Paddy etc) will be grown in Open Space Section and some of the crops may even be called Medium Term Crops based on the longevity of the crops.

Tips & Tricks

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, and in this page, you will get Tips & Tricks that will be very useful in improving your overall farming activities and benefit from the same.

Note: As usual, if anybody has anything to share, please provide the same.

Coconut

  • Do's
  • Dont's
    • Have Compost near or in the Coconut Groove (generally palm family trees) as Rhinoceros Beetle is known to lay their eggs in the compost and multiply there and hence it will attack the plants and this may result in reduced coconut production or destruction of the plant itself.
Tomato
  • Do's
    • Have Sunflower as the supporting plant for the Tomato and this will help the plants to climb onto the Sunflower and no need for any other structures and as well as additional income for the farmers from the Sunflower plants.
  • Dont's
Misc
  • Do's
    • Red Ants are very helpful in controlling pests.  To enable the Red Ants to cover the entire breadth and width of the farm, tie strings from one tree to the other tree above the height of 6 ft or above so that it does not create hindrance for movement of humans or vehicles in the farm.
    • Use local Earthworms namely Perionyx excavates (surface dwellers) & Lampito mauritii (subsurface burrowers) for Vermicomposting and other similar activities.
    • Have Honeybees and Chilli crops around the farm to avoid elephant entering into the farm.  Honeybees will get disturbed by the elephants and elephants are afraid of honeybees.  Also, elephants dislike the chilli crops as it is hot.
    • Wild Pig menace can be avoided by placing human hair cut into small pieces in the path taken by the pigs.  The human hair will enter their nostrils and irritate them.
  • Dont's
    • Have Coconut Trees planted near Electricity Lines (EB).  Plant Coconut Trees atleast 15 ft away the EB line to avoid power cuts and accidents.


Monday, 12 August 2013

Farm Design - Design One (Ver 1.0)

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, I am presenting the overall farm design and will keep explaining things in detail as we go along.

We will cover the Fence Design, Crops Design, Roads Design in detail by using this picture as a base and later we will cover Livestock Sheds & Living Quarters, if possible.

By using the design, we will know the following:-
  • How much land will be utilized for fencing? (Applicable only for Natural/Live/Bio Fencing model)
  • What type of plants are grown in which part of the fencing area? (Very useful for tracking as it can be utilized for our own manures & pesticides)
  • How much area of roads needs to be provided for?
  • What is the size of each road and what type of vehicles can be allowed to travel in that road without interfering/damaging the crops?
  • What type of plant is grown in which part of the land?

Design One (Ver1.0)


 
The picture given above is in Square Shape and should be considered as an illustration only and other farms which have different shapes can also incorporate this design easily without any difficulty.

Few Points to note are given below:-

  1. The Crops should be planted from East to West keeping in mind the sun's direction.
  2. The Livestock shed construction should also be constructed in such a way that the entrance to the shed is either from the South or North.  Also, the entire shed (length) should be from East to West.  This will reduce the heat from the sun to a greater extent.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Farm Design - Is it REALLY necessary to have Roads Design?

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will see why Roads Design is necessary and what are the reasons for having the Roads and also how to go about planning the Roads.

If we do not plan Roads in the initial stage and if we grow plants all across the farm in a haphazard manner, we may end up cutting the plants at a later stage and end up losing monetarily and hence it is necessary to have roads planned ahead of the planting of the trees.


Why Roads are necessary?

Some of the reasons for having Roads are given below.  These are just a few reasons and there may be many more reasons depending on the situation of the farm.
  • Roads are necessary for transporting the goods from the farm
  • Roads are necessary for monitoring the entire farm using a vehicle
  • Roads are necessary for immediately attending to the injured persons and also for immediately rushing them to the hospital, if necessary

We will re-visit the Farm example that has been used in Crops Design just to establish the reason for Roads Design. Just to re-cap, the example is given below for easy reference.

Lets take a Farm (hypothetical example) having 10 acres and the crops grown are Teak, Mango, Coconut & Vegetables.  The farm has 2.5 acres allocated to the individual crops.

The Farm has the following design and the crops placement in it are given below.

Please note that the author does not recommend monoculture design and has taken the example for the sake of simplicity.

First 2.5 Acres - Vegetables (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Coconut (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Mango (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Teak

  • In the above example, it is easy to carry the Vegetables using some bullock cart or even by a tricycle multiple times.
  • Carrying the Coconut is somewhat difficult as the load is heavy and the distance is more and hence we may go for a Tractor based vehicle.
  • We may go for Tractor based Vehicle or even Lorries to carry the Mangoes.
  • For carrying the Teak after harvest, we cannot use Bullock Cart or Tricycle or Tractor Vehicle.  It may be possible to use Lorries or even better using Truck Trailers is a good option.
  • As we can see, there may be different reasons for using different vehicles.  Hence, if we do not have proper roads, it is impossible to carry the goods from the farm to the outside world without much difficulty.

How many Roads are necessary?
  • Generally, it is advisable to have 2-3 kinds of roads in your farm.
  • The first one is similar to the National Highways which has wider roads and covers only the important routes.
  • The second one is similar to the State Highways which has roads big enough but less than the width of the National Highway.
  • The third one is similar to the roads we use often in our towns and cities and which is very small.
  • The National Highways road can be kept only for the roads from the entrance of the farm to the other end of the farm.
  • The State Highways can be used used to cover the boundaries as well as the left and right side of the four parts roads.
  • The City Roads can be created in the interior of the Farms by sub-dividing each part of the farm.

How much spacing needs to be provided for Roads?

  • Have a good understanding of the goods that needs to be transported.
  • Have a good understanding of the biggest vehicles in terms of length and width that needs to do transportation.
  • Are you okay to transport the goods multiple times using a smaller vehicle and if this is the case, we can compromise on the vehicle as well as the road size and also on the number of roads. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Farm Design - Is it REALLY necessary to have Crops Design?

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will see when Crops Design makes sense and when it does not make sense.  We will be using a very simple example for showcasing when Crops Design makes sense.


When is Crops Design not necessary?

The Crops Design will not be necessary if you go for a mono-crop for the entire farm and hence there is no design requirement (for crops) at all.


When is Crops Design necessary?

The Crops Design is necessary if you go for a diversified crop activity.

Lets take 2 Farms (hypothetical example) each having 10 acres and the crops grown are Teak, Mango, Coconut & Vegetables.  Both the farms has 2.5 acres allocated to the individual crops.

Please note that the author does not recommend monoculture design and has taken the example for the sake of simplicity.

The 1st Farm has the following design and the crops placement in it are given below.

First 2.5 Acres - Teak (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Mango (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Coconut (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Vegetables

The 2nd Farm has the following design and the crops placement in it are given below.

First 2.5 Acres - Vegetables (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Coconut (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Mango (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Teak

We will discuss why the 2nd Farm has a better design than the 1st Farm?

In the 1st Farm, the Crops Design is absurd.

  • Because, Teak is a long term crop and should have been placed at the tail end of the farm for the simple reason that we may not need to attend to it daily.
  • Similarly, Mango's harvest happens once in a year and we may not need to attend to it on a daily basis.
  • Coconut's harvest comes in every 45 days or so and hence we need to attend to it on a regular basis.
  • Vegetables harvest comes through the year starting from 15 days for greens and extending upto 2 years as well and hence we need to attend to it on a daily basis.
  • Calculate the amount of time wasted for getting to the Vegetable Crops every day if this design is implemented.
  • Calculate the amount of load that we have to carry from the Vegetable Crops to the farm entrance.

In the 2nd Farm, the Crops Design is somewhat perfect.
  • The Vegetables Crops are at the front and hence any activity is done quickly and it is accessible as it is very near to the entrance of the farm.
  • The Coconuts are harvested and transported quickly as the distance to cover is less.
  • Same goes for the Mangoes as well.
  • The Teak is harvested only after 15-20 years and hence only monitoring is done at regular intervals.

In Conclusion, if we choose the right Crops Design, it will benefit us in the long run and also save us time and money.

 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Farm Design - An Overview

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will try to understand the basic requirements of the Farm Design and how to approach the detailed design using the basic requirements.

Keeping it very simple, we need to understand the basic requirements of the Farm in the first place and jot them down.  Please note that it is not required that each and every basic requirements needs to be made available immediately.  What we are trying to achieve is to provide the spacing in terms of land parcel and the placing of the requirement in the right place in the farm keeping in mind our overall design.

Please note that all the requirements mentioned below may or may not be required for each and every farm except for the Crops.
  1. Crops
  2. Fences
  3. Roads
  4. LiveStock
  5. Living Quarters

Once we have decided on the basic requirements, we can create a detailed design using the basic information as the basis.

The following detailed questionnaire will help us to finetune the detailed design.
  1. What type of Fencing is required for our farm?
  2. How much space needs to be allocated for Fencing?
  3. What model are we going to follow in creating the Fences?
  4. What type of crops will be grown? (Short Term, Medium Term, Long Term)
  5. How many crops will be grown?
  6. Where the Crops will be placed in the farm?
  7. Whether the Crops spacing will follow Generic Spacing or Specific Spacing?
  8. Whether the Crops will be planted Mono Planting or Poly Planting?
  9. How many Roads are required?
  10. Where the Roads will be constructed?
  11. How much space for Roads need to be allocated?
  12. Are we planning to have LiveStock?  If Yes, how much space needs to be allocated to them? (Cattle, Poultry etc)
  13. Where the LiveStock shed need to be constructed in the farm?
  14. Are we planning to have Ponds? If Yes, how much space needs to be allocated to them?
  15. Where the Pond needs to be constructed in the farm?
  16. Are we planning to have Living Quarters? If Yes, how much space needs to be allocated to them? (Owner Quarters, Labour Quarters, Storage & Drying Quarters, Eco Tourism Quarters etc)
  17. Where the Living Quarters shed need to be constructed in the farm?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Manures - Ghana Jeevamrutha

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see Ghana Jeevamrutha popularised by Subhash Palekar.

Required Ingredients

S.No.Ingredient NameQty in Litres/Kgs
1 Cow Dung 100 Kgs
2 Jaggery 2 Kgs
3 Flour of any Pulse 2 Kgs
4 Soil from same land 1 Handful
5 Cow's Urine As required

Note:
  • If Jaggery is not available, use Palm Jaggery.
  • If Jaggery or Palm Jaggery is not available, add 4 Litres of ripened Tender Coconut.
  • Use Greengram or Blackgram or CowPea flour.
  • Living Soil should be used.

Method of Preparation
  1. Mix the first 4 ingredients well and keep adding Cow's urine as required to get a good solid form.
  2. Spread the solid form in a shaded place during the day and allow it to dry well.

Method of Storage
  1. The manure should be kept in the shade.

How long can we store the Manure?
  1. The manure can be stored for longer periods.

How to use the Manure?
  1. The solid manure need to be made into a powdery form before mixing it with FYM.
  2. Apply the manure in the ratio of 100 Kgs of FYM & 10 Kgs of Ghana Jeevamrutha.

When to use the Manure?
  1. The manure can be used frequently.

Manures - Jeevamrutha

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see Jeevamrutha popularised by Subhash Palekar.  The data provided below is for ONE acre only.


Required Ingredients

S.No.Ingredient NameQty in Litres/Kgs
1 Water 200 Litres
2 Fresh Cow Dung 10 Kgs
3 Cow's Urine 5-10 Litres
4 Jaggery 2 Kgs
5 Flour of any Pulse 2 Kgs
6 Soil from same land 1 Handful

Note:
  • If Jaggery is not available, use Palm Jaggery.
  • If Jaggery or Palm Jaggery is not available, add 4 Litres of ripened Tender Coconut.
  • Use Greengram or Blackgram or CowPea flour.
  • Living Soil should be used.
  • Please note that the stick (neem stick is better or any pole) used for mixing the ingredients should be cleaned before & after the usage so as to avoid maggots formations in the manure.

Method of Preparation
  1. Mix all of them and keep them in a shaded place for 48 hours.

Method of Storage
  1. The manure should be kept in the shade and covered with a wire mesh or plastic mosquito net to prevent houseflies from laying eggs and the formation of maggots (worms) in the solution. This is applicable during the preparation as well as during the shelf life of the manure as well.

How long can we store the Manure?
  1. The manure can be stored for only 1 week due to unbearable overpowering stench.

How to use the Manure?
  1. The manure can be mixed with irrigation water.
  2. The manure can also be used with Drip Irrigation.
  3. Also, can spray 10% filtered manure on the crops.

When to use the Manure?
  1. The manure should be mixed thoroughly twice daily (in the morning & evening) for 2 days before usage
  2. The manure should be applied when the land is wet for the plants.
  3. Generally, it is accepted that every 15 days the manure can be applied.
  4. For even better results, the manure can also be used thrice in a month.
  5.  

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Vegetables Crops - A Data Oriented Complete Guide - WorkInProgress

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see a Data Oriented Complete Guide to Vegetables Crops.


The first table (Parameters Template) will contain the parameters filter while the second table (Detailed Template) will contain more details about the crop.

Note: Request readers to help update the parameters of the crops and let me know of any other parameters.

Parameters Template

S.No. Common Name ST / MT / LT (age) SSH / MSH SH / MH SC (%)
1Amaranthகீரை வகைகள்WIP3WIP4WIP5
2Annual Moringaசெடி முருங்கைWIP3WIP4WIP5
3Ash GourdWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
4AsparagusWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
5BabycornWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
6BasellaWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
7Beetrootபீட்ருட்WIP3WIP4WIP5
8Bellary OnionWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
9BhendiWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
10Bitter GourdWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
11Bottle GourdWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
12Bread FruitWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
13BrinjalWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
14BroadbeansWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
15Brussels SproutWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
16Butter BeanWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
17Cabbageமுட்டைக்கோசுWIP3WIP4WIP5
17ACabbageWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
18Carrotகேரட்WIP3WIP4WIP5
19Cauliflowerகாலிஃபிளவர்WIP3WIP4WIP5
20CeleryசெலரிWIP3WIP4WIP5
21Ceylon SpinachWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
22Chakravathi KeeraiWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
23ChekurmanisWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
24ChilliesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
25Chinese CabbageWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
26Chow ChowWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
27Cluster BeansWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
28CocciniaWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
29ColeusWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
30Colocasiaசிறுகிழங்குWIP3WIP4WIP5
31CucumberWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
32Curry Leafகருவேப்பிலைWIP3WIP4WIP5
33Dioscoreaகருணைக்கிழங்குWIP3WIP4WIP5
34Elephant Foot Yamசேனைக்கிழங்குWIP3WIP4WIP5
35French BeanWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
36GherkinWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
37Knol-kholWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
38Lab labWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
39LettuceWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
40MintWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
41OnionWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
42PalakWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
43PaprikaWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
44PeasWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
45Potatoஉருளைக் கிழங்குWIP3WIP4WIP5
46PumpkinWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
47Radishமுள்ளங்கிWIP3WIP4WIP5
48RhubarbWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
49Ribbed GourdWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
50Small OnionWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
51Snake GourdWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
52Sweet Potatoசர்க்கரைவள்ளிக்கிழங்குWIP3WIP4WIP5
53Tapiocaமரவள்ளிக்கிழங்குWIP3WIP4WIP5
54TindaWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
55TomatoWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
56TurnipWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
57Vegetable CowpeaWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
58WatermelonWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
59Winged BeanWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5

Notes:
  • ST/MT/LT (age) stands for Short Term Crops(ST), Medium Term Crops(MT), Long Term Crops(LT), (age) stands for the economical lifetime of the crops
  • SSH/MSH stands for Single Season Harvest Crops(SSH), Multiple Season Harvest Crops (MSH)
  • SH/MH stands for Single Harvest(SH), Multiple Harvest(MH)
  • SC (%) stands for Shade Crops. This will help us to grow shade crops once the main crops are grown. (%) stands for percentage of shade required
  • Anything that starts with WIP* means Work In Progress. The same will be updated in a future date once the information is available

Detailed Template


The Detailed Template provides the data the farmer is looking for quick decision making.
  • Soil Type - Provides the Vegetable Crop information based on the Soil Type
  • Water Requirement - Provides the information on the amount of water required for the specific Vegetable Crop
  • Best Season - Provides the information on the Best Season to grow the specific Vegetable Crop
  • Crop Longevity - Provides the information on the Crop Age of the Vegetable Crop
  • Type of Vegetables - Provides the information on the Vegetable Crop that needs Pandals or Trellis as well as the Type of Vegetable
 



S.No.Common NameTamil NameBotanical NameFamily NameSpacing(Rows X Plants) (Cms / Inches / Fts)Seed Rate (Varieties / Hybrids)Seed Sowing DepthGestation Period (Yrs)Avg Yield/Crop(Nos/Kgs/Tonnes)BCD
1 Amaranth கீரை வகைகள் Amaranthus sp L Amaranthaceae WIP4 V:300-350 g/ha                   H:100-150 g/ha WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
2 Annual Moringa செடி முருங்கை Moringa oleifera L Moringaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
3 Ash Gourd சாம்பல் பூசணி Benincasa hispida Cogn Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
4 Asparagus
அஸ்பிரகஸ்
Asparagus officinalis var.altilis WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
5 Basella
பேசல்லா
WIP2 WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
6 Beetroot பீட்ருட் Beta vulgaris L Chenopodiaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
7 Bellary Onion பெல்லாரி வெங்காயம் Allium cepa var. cepa Alliaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
8 Bhendi வெண்டை Abelmoschus esculentus (L) Moench Malvaceae R:45 C
P:30 C
V:8.0 kg/ha
H:2.5 kg/ha
0.5 I WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
9 Bitter Gourd பாகற்காய் Momordica charantia L Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
10 Bottle Gourd சுரைக்காய் Lagenaria siceraria (Mol) Standl Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
11 Bread Fruit
கறிப்பலா
Artocarpus altilis WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
12 Brinjal கத்தரி Solanum melongena L Solanaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
13 Broadbeans பிராட் பீன்ஸ் Vicia faba L Fabaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
14 Brussels Sprout
புரசல் ஸ்பிரவுட்
Brassica oleracea var. Gemmifera WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
15 Butter Bean
பயிர் பீன்ஸ்
Phaseolus lunatus WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
16 Cabbage முட்டைக்கோசு Brassica oleracea var. capitata Brassicaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
17 Capsicum குடை மிளகாய் Capsicum annuum Solanaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
18 Carrot கேரட் Daucus carota L Umbelliferae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
19 Cauliflower காலிஃபிளவர் Brassica oleracea var. botrytis Brassicaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
20 Celery செலரி Apium graveolens WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
21 Ceylon Spinach
ஸ்பினாச்
Talinum triangulare WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
22 Chakravathi Keerai
சக்ரவர்த்தி கீரை
Chenopodium album WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
23 Chekurmanis
செக்குர் மணிக்கீரை
Sauropus androgynus WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
24 Chillies மிளகாய் Capsicum annuum L Solanaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
25 Chinese Cabbage
சைனிஸ் முட்டை
கோஸ்
Brassica pekinensis WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
26 Chinese Potato சீன உருளைக்கிழங்கு Coleus parviflorus L Labiatae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
27 Chow Chow செளசெள Sechium edule Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
28 Cluster Beans கொத்தவரை Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L Fabaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
29 Coccinia
கோவைக்
காய்
Coccinia indica WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
30 Colocasia சிறுகிழங்கு Colocasia esculenta L. Scott Araceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
31 Cucumber வெள்ளரி Cucumis sativus L Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
32 Curry Leaf கருவேப்பிலை Murraya koenigii Linn. Sprengal Rutaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
33 Dioscorea கருணைக்கிழங்கு Dioscorea alata L. & Dioscorea esculenta L Dioscoreaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
34 Elephant Foot Yam சேனைக்கிழங்கு Amorphophallus companulatus Blume Araceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
35 French Bean ப்ரெஞ்சு அவரை வகைகள் Phaseolus vulgaris  L Fabaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
36 Gherkin ஜெர்கின் Cucumis sativus var. angaria Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
37 Knol-khol
நூல்கோல்
Brassica caulorapa WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
38 Lab lab அவரை Lab lab purpureus var. typicus Fabaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
39 Lettuce
லெட்டூஸ்
Lactuca sativa WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
40 Mint
பெதினா
Mentha virides WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
41 Muskmelon முலாம் பழம் Cucumis melo L Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
42 Palak
பாலக்கீரை
Beta vulgaris var. Bengalensis WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
43 Paprika பஜ்ஜி மிளகாய் Capsicum annum var. longum Solanaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
44 Peas பட்டாணி Pisum sativum L Fabaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
45 Potato உருளைக் கிழங்கு Solanum tuberosum L Solanaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
46 Pumpkin பரங்கிக்காய் Cucurbita moschata Poir Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
47 Radish முள்ளங்கி Raphanus sativus L Brassicaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
48 Rhubarb
ருபார்ப்
Rheum rhaponticum WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
49 Ribbed Gourd பீர்க்கன் Luffa acutangula Roxb Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
50 Small Onion சின்னவெங்காயம் Allium cepa var. aggregatum Alliaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
51 Snake Gourd புடலைக்காய் Trichosanthes cucumerina. L Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
52 Sweet Potato சர்க்கரைவள்ளிக்கிழங்கு Ipomoea batatas (L) Lam Convolvulaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
53 Tapioca மரவள்ளிக்கிழங்கு Manihot esculenta Crantz Euphorbiaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
54 Tinda டின்டா Citrullus vulgaris Schrad var. fistulousus Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
55 Tomato தக்காளி Lycopersicon esculentum Mill Solanaceae P:24 I V:300-350 g/ha                   H:100-150 g/ha 0.25 Inches 0 V:30-40 t/ha                   H:80-95 t/ha WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
56 Turnip
டர்னிப்
Brassica rapa WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
57 Vegetable Cowpea காய்கறி தட்டைப்பயிறு Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp Fabaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
58 Watermelon தர்பூசணி Citrullus lanatus (Thumb) Matsum and Nakai Cucurbitaceae WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11
59 Winged Bean விங்கிடு பீன்ஸ் Psophocarpus tetragonalobus WIP3 WIP4 WIP5 WIP6 WIP7 WIP8 WIP9 WIP10 WIP11

Notes:
  • Soil Types are
    1. Red Soils
    2. Black Soil
    3. Laterite Soils
    4. Coastal Soils
  • Spacing provided here is for the normally accepted standard spacing only
  • Water Per Crop is the accepted water requirements. The template may be modified to accomodate water requirements for each year as well in future
  • Avg Yield Per Crop can be in Numbers, Kgs/Tonnes.  This can be expanded to accomodate Avg Yld Per Crop based on the age of the crop as well in future
  • Last Market Rate is the price that the market has given to the crop
  • Anything that starts with WIP* means Work In Progress. The same will be updated in a future date once the information is available

Monday, 27 May 2013

Water Irrigation Methods

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will cover the water irrigation methods generally followed in and around the country.  Only the important methods are covered here.

  • Flood Irrigation
    • This is the traditional method that is being used even today in most parts of our country
    • This is the cheapest method in terms of cost and maintenance is very less
    • The water loss is very high in this method
    • This method is suitable for Paddy, Wheat etc

  • Furrow Irrigation
    • This is another traditional method that is being used even today
    • This method is cheaper as well as easy to maintain
    • The water loss is somewhat average in this method
    • This method is suited for row crops or tree crops
    • This method is suitable for Coconut, Mango, Sugarcane, Vegetables etc

  • Pot Irrigation
    • This method is generally used in areas where the waterfall is very less and hence recommended for dryland agriculture
    • This involves filling up the pot every week or so and hence is a tedious work
    • No or minimal water loss due to evaporation / heat
    • Cost is negligible
    • This method is suitable for Tree based crops

  • Drip Irrigation
    • This is the newly introduced method mainly for the purpose of reducing/saving the water to a greater extent
    • This method needs infrastructure and materials (like pvc pipes etc) and hence the cost is higher
    • This method requires maintenance at regular intervals and there is a nominal cost associated with it
    • This method requires power for the water to be pumped across
    • Very less water loss due to evaporation
    • This method is suitable for Tree based crops as well as for Vegetables

  • Sprinkler Irrigation
    • This is also newly introduced method and is a better alternative than flood irrigation for certain crops
    • This method needs infrastructure and materials (like pvc pipes etc) and hence the cost is higher but less than that of Drip Irrigation
    • Little more of water loss is associated with this method
    • This method requires power for the water to be pumped across
    • This method is generally used for Vegetable based crops or even can be used for growing crops like Maize, Grasses etc where the requirement of water is minimal

  • RainGun Irrigation - This method is similar to Sprinkler Irrigation except the coverage and reach of the water

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Internal Water Sources - An Analysis

In our last blog, we have covered the difference between Internal Water Sources and External Water Sources.

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will do a deeper analysis and understand the different Internal Water Sources and their advantages and disavantages.


Borewells

AdvantagesDisadvantages
1. Occupies very less space
2. Digging of borewell is quite fast
3. No evaporation of water at all
1. Need power for lifting water
2. Identifying the water point is not fool proof
3. How much water available cannot be established?


Open Wells

AdvantagesDisadvantages
1. Occupies a little more space
2. Takes more time to dig an Open Well
3. Can measure the amount of water available and plan crops accordingly
4. Can be utilized to store water harvested
5. Recharge of groundwater happens automatically
6. Water can also be lifted by mechanical power
1. Need power for lifting water
2. Little bit of evaporation takes place
3. Mosquito menace can be a problem for humans and livestock


Calculating Water Holding Capacity of an Open Well

Volume of Pond in Litres = 3.142 X Diameter/2 X Diameter/2 X Average Depth X 1000

For eg., a pond with 2.5 metres diameter and 5 metres avg depth will have

3.142 X 2.5/2 X 2.5/2 X depth X 1000 = 24547 Litres


Ponds

  1. Allocate 10% of the farmland for ponds if you wish to utilize the pond for growing fish and have only 3 to 5 feet of water for better maintenance
  2. Allocate atleast 1% of the farmland for ponds if you need just water and increase the depth of the pond according to your needs
  3. Confirm whether the water will be held in the pond without too much seeping
  4. Identify the lowest point of the farm where the water rushes to during rain and create the pond there for easy collection of water and better maintenance

AdvantagesDisadvantages
1. Occupies a huge space
2. Takes a little more time to do construction of the pond
3. Can measure the amount of water available and plan crops accordingly
4. Can utilize the pond for growing fish, ducks etc
5. Can be utilized to store water harvested
6. Recharge of groundwater happens automatically
7. Water can also be lifted by mechanical power
1. Need power for lifting water
2. More evaporation takes place
3. Filling of pond takes time
4. Mosquito menace can be a problem for humans and livestock

Calculating Water Holding Capacity of a Pond

Square or Rectangular Pond

Volume of Pond in Litres = Length (in metres) x Width (in metres) x Average Depth (in metres) x 1000

For eg., a pond with 25 metres length and 10 metres width and 5 metres depth will have

25 m (Length) X 15 m (Width) X 5 m (Avg Depth) X 1000 = 1875000 Litres


Round Pond

Volume of Pond in Litres = 3.142 X Diameter/2 X Diameter/2 X Average Depth X 1000

For eg., a pond with 2.5 metres diameter and 5 metres avg depth will have

3.142 X 2.5/2 X 2.5/2 X depth X 1000 = 24547 Litres
 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Water Sources

We all know Water is a very important requirement for farming activities.  In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will understand the various sources from where we can get the water for our crops.

We can classify the Water Sources into two as below.
  1. Internal Water Source
  2. External Water Source

Internal Water Source

Internal Water Sources are those that are available within our farms.  We have some limited control on these water sources.

Generally, the Internal Water Sources are created by us and some of them are given below.
  • Borewells
  • Open Wells
  • Ponds
I mentioned limited control in the previous paragraph, just to highlight the point, that the water in these sources can become dry if other farms in the area exploit the underground water indiscriminately by using borewells.


External Water Source

Any water source that is outside of our farm are considered External Water Source.  We have literally no control on these water sources.

Some examples of External Water Sources are
  • Common Wells / Ponds
  • Streams
  • Springs
  • Canals
  • Lakes
  • Rivers
If External Water Source need to be utilized, we may have to get permission from the concerned authorities.  External Water Sources need to be used co-operatively and any naturally occuring water source is the best option as these will replenish by themselves.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Manures - Panchakavya Plus

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will see the extension of Panchakavya namely Panchakavya Plus or Panchagavya Plus.


Required Ingredients

S.No.Ingredient NameQty in Litres/Kgs/Nos
1 Fresh Cow Dung 5 Kgs
2 Cow's Urine 3 Litres
3 Cow's Milk 2 Litres
4 Cow's Curd 2 Litres
5 Cow's Ghee 0.5 Kg
6 Sugarcane Juice 3 Litres
7 Tender Coconut Water 3 Litres
8 Banana (Ripe) 12 Nos
9 Toddy (or) Grape Juice 3 Litres

Note:
  • If Sugarcane Juice is not available, add 500 grams of Jaggery dissolved in 3 litres of water.
  • If Toddy is not available, add 100 grams of Yeast powder and 100 grams of Jaggery to 2 litres of warm water and add this solution to the manure after 30 minutes.
  • If Toddy is not available, take 2 litres of Tender Coconut Water and keep it in a closed plastic container for 10 days and this becomes toddy.
  • Where possible, Poovanan Banana should be used.

Method of Preparation
  1. Non-Metallic Container should be used for preparing the manure.
  2. The fresh cow dung and cow’s ghee has to be placed in the container and they need to be mixed thoroughly twice daily (in the morning & evening) for 3 days.
  3. On the fourth day, add the rest of the ingredients and stir it twice daily (in the morning & evening) for 15 days.
Note:
  • The manure will be ready after the 18th day.
  • Please note that the stick (neem stick is better or any pole) used for mixing the ingredients should be cleaned before & after the usage so as to avoid maggots formations in the manure.

Method of Storage
  1. The manure should be mixed thoroughly twice daily (in the morning & evening).
  2. The manure should be kept in the shade and covered with a wire mesh or plastic mosquito net to prevent houseflies from laying eggs and the formation of maggots (worms) in the solution. This is applicable during the preparation as well as during the shelf life of the manure as well.

How long can we store the Manure?
  1. The manure can be stored for 6 months time.

How to use the Manure?

  1. Spray System - Three litres of manure to every 100 litres of water is ideal for all crops. The power sprayer of 10 litres capacity may need 300ml of manure per tank. After dilution the manure solution has to be filtered before using it for spraying.
  2. Flow System - The solution of manure can be mixed with irrigation water at 20 litres/acre, either through drip irrigation or flow irrigation.

When to use the Manure?
  1. Generally, it is accepted that every 15 days, 2 sprays need to be used.
  2. During the Flowering and Pod setting stage, 2 sprays need to be used once in 10 days.
  3. During the Flowering/Pod maturation stage, it need to be used once only.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Manures - Panchakavya

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see Panchakavya.


From this blog onwards, we will be covering all the manures which are part of Organic Farming. 

As a first step, we will fix the format for the users of this blog.  You will see the same format being repeated for every manure that we are going to cover from this point onwards.  Anything that has not been filled under the topic, means the data is not available currently and will be filled in once the data is available.

The term manure will be used generically and it will refer to the manure in the topic unless explicitly mentioned .

In this blog, we are going to see a very important manure namely Panchakavya or Panchagavya


Required Ingredients

S.No. Ingredient Name Qty in Litres/Kgs
1 Fresh Cow Dung 5 Kgs
2 Cow's Urine 3 Litres
3 Cow's Milk 2 Litres
4 Cow's Curd 2 Litres
5 Cow's Ghee 0.5 Kg

Method of Preparation
  1. Non-Metallic Container should be used for preparing the manure.
  2. The fresh cow dung and cow’s ghee has to be placed in the container and they need to be mixed thoroughly twice daily (in the morning & evening) for 3 days.
  3. On the fourth day, add the rest of the ingredients and stir it twice daily (in the morning & evening) for 15 days.

Note:
  • The manure will be ready after the 18th day.
  • Please note that the stick (neem stick is better or any pole) used for mixing the ingredients should be cleaned before & after the usage so as to avoid maggots formations in the manure.

Method of Storage
  1. The manure should be mixed thoroughly twice daily (in the morning & evening).
  2. The manure should be kept in the shade and covered with a wire mesh or plastic mosquito net to prevent houseflies from laying eggs and the formation of maggots (worms) in the solution.  This is applicable during the preparation as well as during the shelf life of the manure as well.

How long can we store the Manure?
  1. The manure can be stored for 6 months time.

How to use the Manure?

  1. Spray System - Three litres of manure to every 100 litres of water is ideal for all crops. The power sprayer of 10 litres capacity may need 300ml of manure per tank. After dilution the manure solution has to be filtered before using it for spraying.
  2. Flow System - The solution of manure can be mixed with irrigation water at 20 litres/acre, either through drip irrigation or flow irrigation.

When to use the Manure?
  1. Generally, it is accepted that every 15 days, 2 sprays need to be used.
  2. During the Flowering and Pod setting stage, 2 sprays need to be used once in 10 days.
  3. During the Flowering/Pod maturation stage, it need to be used once only.
 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Parameters For Crops - A Data Oriented Complete Guide - Work in Progres

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see a Data Oriented Complete Guide for Parameters in Crops.


We have introduced many parameters (criteria or filter) in the previous blogs.  Some of the parameters were introduced as the very basis for selecting the crops while some of them were introduced as information.  While some of the parameters many not be even covered by the blog, but may be important as well.

To consolidate the information covered and to provide the parameters as a data, I have compiled this template as a starting point for farmers to filter the crops based on their needs.

Note: Request readers to help update the parameters of the crops and let me know of any other parameters.
 
S.No. Common Name Category ST / MT / LT (age) SSH / MSH SH / MH SC (%)
1RiceCerealsST (60-180 days)SSHSHN
2WheatCerealsST (120-150 days)SSHSHN
3CumbuMilletsST (105-140 days)SSHSHN
4MaizeMilletsST (120-160 days)SSHSHN
5PanivaraguMilletsST (105-140 days)SSHSHN
6RagiMilletsST (105-140 days)SSHSHN
7SamaiMilletsST (105-140 days)SSHSHN
8SorghumMilletsST (120-130 days)SSHSHN
9TenaiMilletsSTSSHSHN
10VaraguMilletsSTSSHSHN
11BengalgramPulsesSTSSHSHN
12BlackgramPulsesSTSSHSHN
13CowpeaPulsesSTSSHSHN
14Garden lablabPulsesSTSSHSHN
15GreengramPulsesSTSSHSHN
16HorsegramPulsesSTSSHSHN
17RedgramPulsesSTSSHSHN
18SoybeanPulsesST (135-150 days)SSHSHN
19CastorOilseedsSTWIP3WIP4N
20CoconutOilseedsLTMSHMHN
21GingellyOilseedsSTWIP3WIP4WIP5
22GroundnutOilseedsST (130-140 days)SSHSHN
23NigerOilseedsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
24OilpalmOilseedsLTMSHMHN
25SafflowerOilseedsSTWIP3WIP4WIP5
26SunflowerOilseedsST (125-130 days)SSHSHN
27AgaveFibreWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
28CottonFibreST (180-195 days)WIP3WIP4N
29JuteFibreWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
30SugarcaneSugarST (270-365 days)SSHSHN
31Sweet SorghumSugarWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
32SugarbeetSugarST (160-230 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
33Cumbu NapierForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
34Fodder CholamForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
35Fodder CowpeaForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
36Fodder CumbuForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
37Fodder MaizeForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
38Guinea GrassForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
39Kolukattai PulluForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
40Kudirai MasalForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
41Muyal MasalForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
42SoundalForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
43SubabulForagesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
44AcidlimeFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
45AmlaFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
46AnnonaFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
47AppleFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
48ApricotFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
49AvocadoFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
50BananaFruitsST (300-365 days)SSHSHN
51BerFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
52BilimbiFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
53Bread FruitFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
54CarambolaFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
55DurianFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
56Egg FruitFruitsST (130-140 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
57FigFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
58GrapesFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
59GuavaFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
60JackFruitsLTMSHMHN
61KarondaFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
62KiwiFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
63LemonFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
64LitchiFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
65LoquatFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
66Mandarin OrangeFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
67MangoFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
68MangosteenFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
69MulberryFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
70PapayaFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
71Passion FruitFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
72PeachFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
73PearFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
74PersimmonFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
75PhalsaFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
76PineappleFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4Y
77PlumFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
78PomegranateFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
79RambutanFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
80SapotaFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
81StrawberryFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
82Sweet OrangeFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
83West Indian CherryFruitsWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
84AmaranthVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
85Annual MoringaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
86Ash GourdVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
87AsparagusVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
88BabycornVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
89BasellaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
90BeetrootVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
91Bellary OnionVegetablesST (130-175 days)SSHSHN
92BhendiVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
93Bitter GourdVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
94Bottle GourdVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
95Bread FruitVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
96BrinjalVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
97BroadbeansVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
98Brussels SproutVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
99Butter BeanVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
100CabbageVegetablesST (120-140 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
101CarrotVegetablesST (100-150 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
102CauliflowerVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
103CeleryVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
104Ceylon SpinachVegetablesST (60-100 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
105Chakravathi KeeraiVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
106ChekurmanisVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
107ChilliesVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
108Chinese CabbageVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
109Chow ChowVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
110Cluster BeansVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
111CocciniaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
112ColeusVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
113ColocasiaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
114CucumberVegetablesST (105-130 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
115Curry LeafVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
116DioscoreaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
117Elephant Foot YamVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
118French BeanVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
119GherkinVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
120Knol-kholVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
121Lab labVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
122LettuceVegetablesST (75-140 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
123MintVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
124OnionVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
125PalakVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
126PaprikaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
127PeasVegetablesST (90-100 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
128PotatoVegetablesST (105-145 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
129PumpkinVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
130RadishVegetablesST (35-45 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
131RhubarbVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
132Ribbed GourdVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
133Small OnionVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
134Snake GourdVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
135Sweet PotatoVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
136TapiocaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
137TindaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
138TomatoVegetablesST (90-150 days)SSHMHN
139TurnipVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
140Vegetable CowpeaVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
141WatermelonVegetablesST (80-110 days)SSHSHN
142Winged BeanVegetablesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
143AllspiceSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
144CardamomSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
145CinnamonSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
146CloveSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
147CorianderSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
148FennelSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
149FenugreekSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
150GarlicSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
151GingerSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
152MustardSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
153NutmegSpicesWIP2WIP3WIP4WIP5
154PepperSpicesST (120-210 days)WIP3WIP4WIP5
155TamarindSpicesLTMSHMHN
156TurmericSpicesSTSSHSHN
157ArecanutPlantationsLT (40-60 Yrs)MSHMHN
158BetelvinePlantationsWIP2MSHMHWIP5
159CashewnutPlantationsLTMSHMHN
160CocoaPlantationsLTMSHMHY
161CoconutPlantationsLT (60-90 YearsMSHMHN
162CoffeePlantationsLT (50-70 Years)MSHMHY
163OilpalmPlantationsLT (25 Years)MSHMHN
164RubberPlantationsLT (32 Years)MSHMHN
165TeaPlantationsLT (50 YearsMSHMHY


Notes:
  • ST/MT/LT (age) stands for Short Term Crops(ST), Medium Term Crops(MT), Long Term Crops(LT), (age) stands for the economical lifetime of the crops
  • SSH/MSH stands for Single Season Harvest Crops(SSH),  Multiple Season Harvest Crops (MSH)
  • SH/MH stands for Single Harvest(SH), Multiple Harvest(MH)
  • SC (%) stands for Shade Crops.  This will help us to grow shade crops once the main crops are grown. (%) stands for percentage of shade required
  • Anything that starts with WIP* means Work In Progress. The same will be updated in a future date once the information is available

  • I have NOT considered Food Crops v/s Cash Crops, Localized, Naturalized v/s Exotic Crops, Import v/s Export Crops, Shelf Life Crops etc