Effect of tillage and intercropping on crop productivity, profitability and soil fertility under tribal farming situations of India
Roul, Pravat K.
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Low crop yields due to continuous monocropping and deteriorating soil health in smallholder farm fields of tribal villages in India have led to a quest for conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS). This objective of the study was to assess the combined effect of reduced tillage, intercropping and residue management on 1) crop yield, 2) farmer’s profitability, and 3) soil physico-chemical properties. Selected treatments included an introduction of intercropping of maize with cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). Mustard (Brassica juncea L.) was grown as a post-rainy season cover crop in all the trial plots but there was no residue retention in control plots. The experiment was laid out in randomized block design with four treatments viz., T1: Conventional tillage with sole maize (CT-M) as control, T2: Conventional tillage with maize + cowpea (CT-M+C), T3: Minimum tillage with sole maize (MT-M), T4: Minimum tillage with maize + cowpea (MT-M+C). In the 2011/2012 cropping season, there was a significant interaction effect of tillage and intercropping on maize yield (P = Abstract published in the proceedings of the International Conference on Frontiers in Conservation Agriculture in South Asia and Beyond (F-CASA), Kathmandu, Nepal, 26, March 2013.