Pulses in Rice-fallows for improved resource use efficiency
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Rajkumar Singh, Chandrashekhar Biradar, Mukunda Behera, Nigamananda Swain, Ashutosh Sarker, Apurba Dash, Surajit Ghosh. (6/10/2018). Pulses in Rice-fallows for improved resource use efficiency.
Resource use efficiency, especially water resources have become a norm for sustainable and efficient agricultural production systems in the dry areas. While the productivity of few dominant crops has been a major driver than functional systems resulted in system inefficiency over the long term. The production follows function and functional agricultural systems are vastly more productive and sustainable than dysfunctional systems. Therefore, diversified agroecosystems are found to be more productive, resource-use efficient, and help bridging the yield as well nutritional gaps per acre while resilient to extreme climate events. Such diversification requires a paradigm shift in the crop rotation, sequence and intensification for better resource efficiency. One of the opportunities lies in the potential use of the rice-fallows rotation for growing pulses to improve water productivity. However, often lack of the adequate and updated information on the crop follow rations, its dynamics, soil type and moisture status, productivity dynamics, etc. led to poor intervention at the ground level. With recent advances in harnessing the power of big-data analytics couple with Geoinformatics and access to real-time remote sensing provided a unique capability for quantifying suitable matrix for intensification with pulse crops such as lentil, green gram, grasspea, pea and chickpea in the rice-fallows rotations. The dynamics of the rice fallows has been mapped using multi-source satellite data (MODIS, Landsat, Sentinel, WorldView, SMOS), UAVs/drones and in-situ observations. The hotspots (priority areas) were delineated with respect to multi-year crop fallow dynamics such a start and end dates, length of the fallows, biophysical parameters for specific pulse crops and varieties. The high-resolution farm typology was built along with soil moisture regimes and suitable points for rainwater harvesting have been drawn for providing supplemental irrigation during the dry season. Resultant analytics may able to empower a holistic perspective to fine tune decisions and actions for efficient use of water resources towards higher cropping intensity in mono-cropped areas. Such intervention contributes to human, animal and soil health improvement, and to overall resilient livelihoods of the people of dryland production systems.