Planting Methods for Winter Crops in NW Syria
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J. A. Harvey. (1/7/1980). Planting Methods for Winter Crops in NW Syria. Aleppo, Syrian Arab Republic: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
This paper reviews the planting methods used for winter crops in northwest Syria. The information presented and discussed was collected from interviews in NW Syrian villages and from discussions with Government officials and machinery manufacturers. The first section reviews the status of broadcasting the methods used for covering the seed, the seed rates used, and the different plant establishments (plants/m2) obtained on broadcast fields of three soil types in seven villages. The second section highlights the use of seed drills in Syria, the history of their development, and their present status – some 2087 were in use in Syria in 1977. The cultivations required for drilling are described, as are the different methods of fertilizer application. Seed rates for drilling are compared to broadcast rates, and the plant establishments on adjacent plots on farmers’ fields are compared for drill vs broadcast methods. It appears that farmers, by using the drill, are aiming for higher plant populations. Yields of cereal crops in NW Syria have generally increased with the introduction of drilling, although this increase is associated with other factors such as fertilizer and new high-yielding varieties. Seed drills are still limited to distinct areas of Syria and are mainly centered on the larger farms, where in some cases they have been used for many years. However, they are being used increasingly on smaller farms through contract hire. In the final section, the factors affecting the adoption of drilling in Syria are discussed. These include the availability of tractors, local land conditions which are often difficult, and the availability of machinery for hire. An increase in drilling in Syria is predicted, but it is assumed that drilling is “just around the corner”. This applies to countries in the Near East and North Africa other than Syria. It is suggested that simple alternatives to the conventional drill could be studied by ICARDA. The effects of banding fertilizers particularly phosphates could also be particularly important.
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