MCROF REFERE LIBRARY A projwt of Volunteers in Asia by: Ray Wijewardene s.. Published by: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture/Sri Lanka Program Dharmapala Mawatha Colombo Sri Lanka 133 7 Paper copies are $ 1.00. Available from: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture/Sri Lanka Program 133 Dharmapala Mawatha Colombo 7 Sri Lanka Reproduced by permission of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Sri Lanka Program. Reproduction of this microfiche document form is subject to the same restrictions of the original document. in any as those a. Background b. Conserving Soil, Fertility, Time c. How it is done 2 Water, Energy and a. Crops which may be grown ‘no-till’ b. Soils suitable for ‘no-till’ c. Techniques on rpllrelldrained soils Contact herbicide application Injection planting Pre-emergence herbicide application Contact-plus-preenlergent herbicides Fertilizer application Hand weeding Post emergence herbicides d. Techniques on imperfectly drained soils e. Precautions Timeliness Soils Mulch Stubble Herbicide Applicators Using the MICRON-HERB1 Using the CP-15 Mixing the Chemicals Do’s and dont’s for handling agrochemicals No-Till Planters I ITA ‘Punch’ planter I ITA’Rolling Injection Planter’ (RIP) IITA Fertilizer Applicator Herbicide Suggestions ROUNDUP PARAQUAT PRIMEXTRA GALEX & LASSO 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 G 7 7 a 9 10 11 11 12 14 15 15 15 15 15 16 Live-Mulch Systems Avenue Cropping Systems 17 18 lbckground No-till farming is as old as agriculture. It was practisad by primitive farmers who felled and burned a patch of forest, and pressed their seed into the ash-mulched soil. Any weeds were dessicated by the burn before seeding. Subsequent crops, however, were smothered byweeds blowing in from around the patch. With inadequate forest material to burn these weeds the farmer resorted to tillage - turning the soil - to bury the weeds competing with his crops. Later man evolved the plough to trcrn the soil more quickly when harnessed to a draught animal. Conserving Soil But wind and rain then eroded the bare, tilled soil. Thiswas by storms of parti,. arly acute in “ 3 trci)ics character&d high intensity and surls slo tn regenerate their eroded through fertility. LaP showed in r\l,,?~ Edthat losses erosion could be as high as 1 toat per hectare per month on tilled soils of just a gently ten-percent slope even when under a crop of maize. This erosion could be reduced by about 98% through leaving the soil untilled (i.e. ‘no-till’). 1.7 1976 Lal’s research also showed that retaining of a cover cir ‘mulch’ over the surface of the soil (not buried as with Effect of wwthev on tilled soil ploughing) on that ten-percent slope, reduced erosion losses from over 200 tonnes per hectare per year to a bare 0.2 tonnes. Water run-off was likewise reduced from 42% of the rainfall falling on bare soil to less than 2.5% on mulched soils - thus showing a remarkable increase in the ability of the soil to absorb rainfall. Conserving Fertility To cope with erosion the small-farmer in the tropics, evolved the practice of shifting his plot, thus allowing it to regain fertility under forest fallow, usually for a period of five to fifteen years. While this practice wasacceptable in earlier times, pressures of population on limited land resources now makes shifting cultivation inappropriate as cleared and burned patches are given less and less time to regenerate. There is now an acute need for a practical and viable alternative to shifting cultiv?tinn. cnq which will enable a sustained -nd permanent 3qrjcLlt Ire. Conserving Water It takes, on average, 20 tonnes of water to grow one kilogram of rice, but only about one quarter rf this is used by the plant. Most of the water is used to soften the soil for tillage and for submersion of weeds. Using minute quantities Effect of weather on no- tilled soil ‘1 -43 / - of herbicide instead of laborious tillage for weed controi has enabled qell over 50% saving in the water used for growing rice. With upland crops, such as maire, beans, etc. No-till and mulching techniques increase the capacity of the soil ta absorb and retain water, (thus) greatly diminishing the effect of drought. selective herbicide often lasts several weeks and ideally until the crcp has a good start in growth over the weeds. Special seeders (planters) have been designed to inject the seed through the herbicide-dessicated mulch and into the soil at a correct depth for good germination. Consewing Energy and Time. It is not often realised that tillage of a hectare of land just ten centimetres deep involves the physicai movement of 1300 tonnes of soil with each pass. . . a massive earth moving task involving great drudgery. No-till techniques have shown a remarkab)e reduction in this effort to less than one tenth the energy and time’used for conventional farming both in temperate agriculture’ as well as in tropical smallholder farming! These dramatic savings enable at least a five times increase in productivity of the farmer without having to use tractorpower; whilst almost eliminating the drudgery and low productivity which have hitherto been the small farmers’ lot in the developing world. A simple package of tools and techniqies has been evolved which enables the small farmer in the tropics to increase his productivity substantially. By minimising losses of soil, fertility and water, a sustained agriculture is achieved. How it is done The ‘no-till’ technique eliminates the need for tillage by controlling weeds with minute quantities of herbicide. Generally two herbicides are used; one, a total weedicide acts - like a plough - to kill all surface weed growth. But unlike the plough, it leaves all the dead organic matter as a mulch on the surface of the undisturbed soil, very much as in the forest situation. The other is a selective herbicide which is applied after the crop is sown to inhibit the emergence and growth of weed seeds still within the soil whilst selectively having no effect on the seeded crop. The activity of the Weed seeds inhibited by postemergent allowing crop to develop unhindered As with conventional tillage, farming experience and skill can be developed in the selection of herbicides (as with .tools) and in the timeliness of operations which are usually conducted much earlier in the season thzn with tillaga systems. Tools for ‘no-till’ farming are generally much lower in cost than tools for tillage farming over the same area and cover the area’in very much less time - usually taking Oria tenth as long! herbicide spray, . ‘Role of Mulching Techniques in Tropical Soil & Water Management. IITA Technical Bulletin 1 May 1975 ‘Soil Erosion Problems on an Alfisol in Western Nigeria and their Control’ II’TA monograph No. 1 1970 3. @tathews. J. 4. Wijewardene, ‘Energy Consumption in Agricultural Work’SPAN 18, 1, (25-26) 1975 Field Work R. ‘Energy Conserving Farming Systems for the Humid Tropics’ (47-53) AMA Spring 1980 3 Preparingfor ‘No-til a. Crops whichmay be grown by ‘no-till’ TheoretIcally, most (If noi all) arable crops can productively be grown by ‘no-till’. Tropical plantation agriculture (oilpalm, rubber, coconut, cocoa etc.) has used both the ‘no-till’ as well as the ‘Ilve-mulch’ technique (growing crops through a living mulch, which i: iisually a leguminous cover-crop) for decades with substantial longterm Improvements to the soil and ts water-hqldlng capacity. chniques for alternatlve weed con. trol have so far only been fully investigated for. 1. Maize 2. Grain-legumes 3. Rice (upland) (soya, cowpea, ground-nut, Tropical (arable) crops currently for the ‘no-till’ method inciude ke etc.) be,ng researched 1. Rice (lowland) 2. Sorghums 3. Peppers, chilli and capsicum 4. Roots and Tubers (cassava, yarns, etc.) b. Soils suitable for ‘no-till’ Generally, crops grown in well-drained soils (reddish-brown-earths, etc 1 respond best to ‘no-till’ techniques Crops grown in Imperfectly-drained soils which are lower in the soil-slope catena, do not always respond as well as when they are grown on laboriously raised-beds or on puddled, levelled Tnd drained fields. If, however, these preparations have alreao; been carrred out for an earlier crop, it is then quite simple to ,nove towards ‘no-till’ techniques. The importance of mulch cannot be over-emphasised for successful ‘no-till’ farming. On bare or totally grazed soils as in many semi-arid regions - ‘no-till’ techniques do nqt perform well. c. No-till techniques on well-drained soils Contact-herbicide application The procedure for ‘no-till’ follows traditional practices. Instead of laboriously ploughing and harrowing to control weeds, the field is initially given an overall application of a contact (total) herbicide (ideally one with systemic* action) which kills all the surface weed-growth, and leaves it as a dessicated mulch over the surface of the soil. Weed seeds are not turned under to revive when next the soil is inverted by a plough or cultivating implement. Nor is soil left bare to bake and crust as with conventional tillage, with the inevitable need for subsequent tillage to Jreak up the clods and redevelop ‘tilth’. LJ ‘Systemic’ action relates to the ability of some agro-chemicals to baabsorbad and translocated thrJ.lgh a plant frcmpoint of contact, thus being very much more effective in the11 dction. 4 Injection Planting The seed to be sown IS then ‘Injectjon planted’ through the mulch and Into the soil Special injection planters have been developed for this, to leave the surface mulch undtsturbcd except for the area over the injected seed, and through which the seed emerges Two types of Inlection planters have been developed. (11 The ‘Punch’ planter sultablc for 6 use on small farms of less than half a hectare (2) The rolling-injectionplanter (RIP) which was developed for larger farms In single or multi-row models The injection planter is designed to pierce the nlulch and open a narrow slot in the soil into which the seed is deposited and subsequently firmed over Depth of planting is also regulated Pre-emergence herbicide application Still In the soil, however, are weed seeds which would emerge with or shortly after the crop and need to be eliminated (in conventional practice) by subsequent hoeing. Such weed seeds can also germinate and develop between the time of the first (contact) seeding or planting herbicide of the cultured application and crop. Therefore, till’ farming, a selective, pre-emergent, herbicide weed seed v..hile selectively to kill germinatmg the in ‘nois applied permitting the seed of the cultured crop to emerge. The activity of the pre emergent herbicide usually persists for several weeks to enable the cultured crop to achieve a substantial start over any weeds which may subsequently emerge, and then shade them into submission. It’s usually not a good practice to give so strong an application of selective pre-emergent herbicide as to selectively sterilize the soil. This ‘, could lead to problems with the ’ ‘.: growing of subseqclent crops of other ’j species due to residual activity. In any ‘! case, 75 to 80 percent weed control is usually LII that is necessary, as the achievement of a higher standard - say 95% control - is usually at such high additional cost as to be uneconomic. In some expedient CirClJfTXtanCeS i to apply a paraquat/ GRAMOXONE) mixed with the pre-emergent herbicide. The contact herbicide kills any weeds which may have emerged since the preceeding application of, say, a total contact herbicide (such as glyphosate/ROUNDUP) as the Typical calunn of tha humid tropics wolldtaidaw- usviliy Ra;c :2tm &SE) h \ f latter takas some ten to fourteen days to be fully effective. The preemergent selective herbicide component, meanwhile, moves into the soil to constrain the emergence of any remaining weed seeds while the crop develops selectively unimpeded. Fertiliw while the seed itself is on the surface of the field, in contact with the air. Once the root system has developed (i.e. when the seedling is about 5 cm. tall,) then the seed and root zone can safely be submerged. Application ‘No-till’ systems are NOT - repeat NOT - to be considwed a: alternatives to the applick:tion of chemical fKtilisK where .\lch is recommerded for high yields. Most modern crop val ieties have been bred for response of high inputs of fertiliser. No-till techniques do however ensure that ftrtiliser when applied is not washed away by rainfall and is generally found to greatly improve the effectiveness of the applied fertiiisers, which are usually very expensive. A special fertiliser band applicator has bean developed to enable the basal fertiliser to be applied as a bard just along side the row of emerging seedlings, and also, for a later application of the top dressing (usually urea). Hand Weeding The need for hand-weeding is greatly reduced by the use of contact and pre-emergent herbicides, which are primarily intended to help the cultured crop get off to a good start ahead of the weeds. Research has shown that the first three to four weeks of a crop’s growth are the most critice: period. Subsequent, occasional rogueing of weeds by hand is beneficial to the crops which follow as it,prevents the reseeding of weeds. (“One year’s weeds, seven year’s seed!“Old English saying). Post emergent herbicides Sometimes (as with rice) it is expedient to apply the selective herbicide shortly after the cultured crop has emerged, and with it some weeds too. The post-emergent herbicide is then intended to kill the emerging weed selectively by contact as well as any weed-seeds still in the soil (if it also has pm-emergent activity). d. Techniques on imperfectly drained soils Rice being one of the few crops which grow h-riperfectly drained swampy conditions, still needs to germinate in association with air (i.e. under aerobic conditions) and until its roots have developed. (Rice, though adapted to marshy, anaerobic, soil conditions, is not an aquatic plant). Thus, either the rice seedling is laboriously transplanted into a paddy field after its roots have developed (thus providing it a head start of some three weeks over any weeds which might subsequently emerge) or else rice seed is broadcast onto the surface of a levelled and drained but saturated field. The emerging radicle then works its way into the moist soil, under Poor emergence of the rice seed if seeded in*s saturated soils is believed to be due to the lack of adequate oxygen in the water of warm tropical rice fields. Apparently the irrigation water is cooler, tempwate countries has much higher oxygen content and germination is not a problem if the rice seed is submerged when sown. This background knowledge is Important when sowing rice into imperfectly drained soils (low-humic-gleys or LHGs), as injection is not recommended under these conditions. When dealing with LHG soils, it is best to ensure that i) All stubble and surface weed-growth are either grazed or harvested short. At least two weeks is allowed after harvesting or grazing for the weeds (or ratoon rice) to emerge and be growing actively, before spraying the first contact, systemic (total) herbicide such as ROUNDUP. This will then ensure good contact of the herbicide with the actively growing weeds to achieve a good kill. This first herbicide appliration should take place about two weeks before the planned date for seeding. Two days before seeding, the field should be given a second herbicide application of a quick acting contact herbicide such as Paraquat to finally kill any weeds which may still have emerged. The field itself will be quite moist and level after the preceeding rice crop SO there is no need to level it again. Perhaps some of the surface drains could be revived whilst the bunds are being repaired. Pre-germinated seed is then broadcast onto the moist and weed-free field at the standard rate of about 60 to 90 kg/ha, and ten to fourteen days later an application is made of selective post-emergent herbicide to eradicate any weed seedlings which may have emerged simultaneous!y with the rice. While the procedures for ‘no-till’ farming of rice on 5 imperfectly drained soils may appear somewhat complicated, they are, in fact, qur:e easily mastered and enable very gocd crops to be grown with less than one-tenth the labaur and time involvement of conventional tiilage systems. 8. Precautions Timeliness. Timing is usually critical (‘the right operation at the right time’ is the axiom of good farming the worid over). Generally, the seeding of no-till crops occ-rrs earlier in the season than with tilled crops delayed by the time and effort of tillage. So plan: for seeding generally need to be advanced several weeks - usually be?veen twe and four weeks. such as rice or sorghum the ratoon crop emerging from a short stubble is easily controlled with an application of contact (ideally systemic) herbicide on the actively g-owing green portions of the ratoon. However. if applied on the dead vegetation or on brown stems, no chemical action takes place, and the herbicide is wasted. Always try to spray contact herbicide only onto actively growing, green material! Grass cover provides excellent mulch as long as the grass is short (and growing actrvely) when sprayed. Otherwise tot much herbicide is required to obtain coverage. A field of grass closely-mown or short-grazed to ahout 3 to 5 centimetres and then left to grow for two or three weeks provides an ideal mulch which is easily controlled by herbicide and is not too dense for the crop to emerge tt,rough. Soils Seeding (planting) needs to be undertaken into moist soils; not wet or sticky soils, Attempts to plant into wet soils will usually be frustrated by the blockages of the seeding points of the planter; and poor germination, in any case! Injection planting is best timed for when soils are just moist enough for germination, and when continued rainfall is ensured. (Otherwise should there be a lull in the weather after the first rains, the farmer may be caugnt out!) It is always preferable to seed (plant) into soils covered by a mulch as this also keeps the jaws or points of the planter clean and enables rapid, trouble-free planting. Mulch “How much mulch?” This differs with the crop. Usually a mulch cover which shows hardly any exposed soil is excellent. A thicker mulch will help smother weeds, but will also impede the emergence of the crop being seeded. When using a thick mulch of rice or wheat straw on wet fields the acids of decomposition could also impede crop emergence and growth. Therefore short stubble is preferred as a mulch on rice fields. If the stubble or straw in the field is long, a light burn is usually beneficial as erosion is neglible on levelled and bunded fields. Stubble Allied to mulch is stubble and the question is often “how long should the stubble be?” Ideally, stubble be as short as possible, and if long should bsgrazed burned before herbicide application. With ratooning 6 asked should or crops Stubble too long a. Herbicide Applicators The problem with conventional spraying systems - knap sack or tractor-mounted - is the high volume of liquid required; usual!y about 400 to 500 litres per hectare (40 to 50 gallons per acre). It is logistically impossible for the small farmrtr to carry this volume on his back, and cover half a hectare of land thoroughly (even if such a quantity of water is available near at hand). It was necessary therefore to look for alternative spraying systems which would drastically reduce the volume of iiquid carried by :’ .a farmer and still provide effective coverage. Two very appropriate herbicide applicators have emerged which reduce the volume of liquid required to about 1/lOth of that needed by conventional sprayers. 1. The Micron ‘HERBI’ manufactured by: Micron Sprayers Ltd., Bromyard. Herefordshire, England HR7 4HU /% / ‘5 III. and 2. The ‘CP-15’ knapsack sprayer with VLV-50 manufactured by: Cooper Pegler Ltd., Burgess Hill, Sussex, England RH15 9LA Both these differ from conventional sprayers in that they produce an even swathe of herbicide, about 1 m in width composed of droplets within a limited size range of about 200 microns. It is the evenness of droplet size and droplet dist, ibution across the swathe that is believed to account for the ehcctiveness of the applied herbicide at the greatly reduced dilutions referred to above. In the case of the ‘HERBI’ the droplets are produced by centrifugal action when herbicide is dripped steadily on to a spinning disc. With the ‘CP-15’ sprayer a similar effect is achieved by supplying the herbicide through a specially calibrated nozzle at a regulated pressure. Uwing ths Micron - 24 woeplastrt, bdtle \ HERBI Three nozzles siLes are provided r,,) the MICRON applicator, the smallest IS blue, the medium yellow and the largest is red. For practical purposes when spraying herbicide the yellow nozzle is usA and this provides a flow of 125 ml/ minute, which at l/2 meter/seco.,; walking speed (i.e. 125 ml over 30 square meters) ,,rovides an applied volume of about 40 litres per hectare.* This is reasonable and adequate for comprehensive coverage of the ground. *i.e. The Micron ‘Herbi’ Herbicide applicator nozzle 125 1,000 x ,= 41.6 Application of herbicide using the Micron ‘Herbi’ speed over a 30 metre distance, which should be covered in exactly 1 minute. On harder surfaces, one tmds to walk faster and on softer (e.g. in wet paddy fields) one often walks very much slower. So learn to gauge the correct speed. The effective swathe width is 1 metre, so lay out ropes 1 metre apart in the field to be sprayed and walk with the head of the applicator at the correct 20 cm height over this rope. After the first ‘no-till’ crop is established - which will be at plant-spacings of even ,ractions of a metre, we use the line of stubble as the spraying lint. For example, with rice seeded 6 rows to a metre (1.e. at 15 cm between rows) one would need to walk down every 6th row to achieve the i metre swathe width. Detail of the spray action of the Micron Herbi atomizer During jprav’hg the head containing the spinning disc should be held horizontally about 20 centimetres (see illustration) abov: the crop or mulch so that the spray falls even ly over the surface as one walks over%. vilalking speed is critical, so time yourself to achieve the required l/2 meter/second speed, by gauging your walking Lid .I' ~-c.'.,~//'/:ijjjjii'i,ij,~~~j)),),l I ' .'!. j .. .,:,. :,: : .._ :; ,, ;.':: :,..,'. .' . .: ,..j, ..: :;.,..',_I :' : :',: :_,' :' .:.,.,,.. I .,:.',..,.;.;: :. ,' '.. :, ,' . _' : _'.. ._:,.. __ .' :.;.',. ,.;,.:.T/. ,.....I..' , .'...,' -.: I ,.,:, : .,. '. .:;....: .,':.::'.:.: _; ,_.. ; : .'.I_. :. : _'.t;..:,E&$&i&&@pi~f &&,ca! ,.' .( : ,: ,',~...,~.'~~ib~tec~~~--%PpFax~~~iZlnn~; ., .. . '.'.,: ..;;. '..:,,'..,'. ., _, '_.:_. ,,.I..L .' : ... ,:, Using the Cooper-pegler “CP-15” The CP-15 sprayer is one of the few knapsack sprayers which is fitted with a pressure regulator to regulate the pressure to 1 bar (about 14lbs per square inch) in the ‘L’ or lowpressure setting and about 3 bars (40 Ibs per square inch) in The CP- 15 Knapsack Sprayer the ‘H’ or hrgh-pressure setting. The ‘L’ low-pressure, setting is used for herbicide spraying and in conjunction with the VLV-50 (Floodjet-type) nozzle provides a flow rate of 250 ml/minute over an effective swathe width of 1 metre. fur a coverage of about 40 litres per hectare,* when walking at ! metre per second. Guide ropes 1 rn apart should be layed out on the field in the same way as with the ‘Kerbi’. (The ‘H’ setting which produces a much finer droplet sizr, beino used effectively for insecticide spraying). 10000 -L -41.6 The flat swathe of the spray is clearly visible, and the correct width is obtatned by holding the nozzle at 50 cm over the field or vegetation to be covered. A chain or werghted cord 50 cm long, is :Jften huiTg from lust behind the nozzle so that it tOuCheS the field stubble, thus ensuring the correct heigh? is n(aintained. As the CP--15 knapsack sprayer is fitted with a pressklre regulator, the uperation of the regulatrng valve can be heard, and it is only necessary to pump the handle occasionally say, once In 4 to 6 paces aii3 verv . gently - to keep up this pressure. There is thus very little effort required to operate this very precise sprayer. Mixing of the chemical (product’) in the correct ratio with water for even coverage Let US sav, for instance that the required product applrcation rate is 2.5 litres per hectare. Then srnce the total volume of liquid applied by both the Herbi and CP-15 is 40 litres per hectare, 37.5 litres of water must be mixed with 2.5 litres of product? to achieve the required dilution for spraying one hectare of iand (i.e. a dilution of 15 1) Sirnilarly if the recommended product application rate IS 5 litres per hectare then 35 litres of water must be added (i.e. 7 1) and so on. The spray pa t-fern of the CP- 15 Herbicide spraying with the CP- 15 Knapsack Sprayer Hovtever, since the Herbi is supplied with a bottle of 2.5 litrrs capacity and the “CP-15” with a tank of 15 litres capacity, marked in 5 litre graduations (i.e. 5, 10 and 15 litre marks) it is necessary to mix only enough herbicideas is require0 at any one time. The table below shows the amount of product that must be measured out into the container of the sprayer, and then diluted to the mark with water, at various recommended product application rates and for different contamer volumes. ~~;~~~I, 5 ,o--,5 /’ pp!icati;r Container Volume-litres ‘CP-15’ 1 60 mls 125 mls 250 mls 375 mls 1.25 1.50 75 mls 150 mls 300 mls 450 mls 90 mls 155 mls 370 mls 2 125 mls 250 mls 600 mls 555 mls -750 mls 2.25 150 mls 300 mls 600 mls 900 mls 3 190 mls 375 mls 250 mls 750 mls 1000 mls 1125mls 500 mls ~---. 300 mls 600 mls 1200 mls 1600 mls 4 - 5 L Top Container Measured Product Volume Droplet pattern (life size) of Micron Herbi sprayer ;-*.. “) . * - 6, .-#I #’ . . j ;*. . . *. -.. . . ’ .*I i ‘, I.. q).’ ‘.‘. . ’ ,:-, .p l . .. -a. a; ‘b E 2 8 i i . mls A . ..I :, l * .*.* k.*..‘*m 9. _ Precautions All pesticides including care and respect. DO : DO : DO : DO : DO : DON’T : DON’T : for handling pesticides herbicides should be treated . ,*. .i' .-. , ‘,. with Wash your hands and any other contaminated parts of your body with soap and water after using pesticides. Wash out your herbicide applicator carefully with clean water and soap after use. Mix only the amount of herbicide that is required for Immediate use. Only store pesticides in the clearly marked container supplied by manufacturer, out of reach of children and farm animals. Keep pesticide away from contact with food or drinking water supplies. Pour excess pesticide into streams, ponds, rivers or other water. Use empty pesticide containers for other purposes until they are thoroughly washed. several times, with soap and water and no further smell remains. Droplet pattern (life size) of CP- 15 sprayer : . 500 mls up to mark with clean water! Fcr example, if one is Jsilrg the CP- 15 spra$i;ar and wishes !o spray a quarter of a hectare, then the to.dl volume of fiq)Jid to be applied would be 40 x l/4 litre = 10 litres. If the recommended product application rate is 3 litres per hectare, then to find the correct amount of product that has to be measured out read down the lefthand side of the table to find the volume row corresponding to 3 litres of product* per hectare i.e. the sixth row down. Vow read across the row to find the column corresponding to an applicator container volume of 10 litres, i.e. the third column in the square where the row and column meet is a figure of 750 mls. Thic then is the amount of product that must be measured into the “CP-15”. tank and which should then be topped up to the 10 litre mark with clear8 water. . Y E No-Till Planters The IITA automat&feed ‘Punch’ p!anter Specially designed fcr very low-cost Construction, Yet capable of accuratedeeding, the ‘Punch’ pIante+ was developed from the early Anerican design (circa 1900) of hand-fed ‘Jab’ planter. Working Drawings are available. See inside back cover. . The IITA automatic-feed ‘Punch ‘planter The correct ‘slide’ must be selected for the seed being planted The slide with the 15 mm diameter hole is used lor large seeds, such as maize (corn), while the slide with the 10 mm diameter hole is preferred for smaller seeds such as race and cowpea. With maize, one seed per ‘hill’ isusual, while cowpea and rice are often seeded using two and 5 to 8 seeds per hill, respectively. The compactor pad, attached to the swivelling ‘jaw-arm’ about 25 cm from the jaws. This is intended to provide accurate spacing of 25 cm between ‘hills’. is Fill the hopper half-full with seed. Then lift the planter off the ;,.nl+nd to check its operation. On raising the compactor pad, the jaw arm should open smoothly to drop the seed, while the slide moves In to the hopper simultaneously to collect a metered quantity of seed. When the pad is reieased no ingress the laws shotrId close very sxurely, (permitting ot ~011)while the s++de is simultaneously extracted from the hot,per to expos,’ the n.atered seed in the hole, which then fall Into the closed jaws, ready for the next operation. Ii1 use It IS best the first season to lay a ropealong the lines to be planted. This WIII not be required thereafter as the lines of stubble WIII be clearly visible and enable one to maintatn accllrately spaced rows. The operator walks backwards with the line to hisright. This is curiously enough, easier than planting while walhing forwards, and ?;,preciably faster! The ‘punch-planting’ operation is in three stages - all three blended into one smooth cycle. Stage 1 The operator has his back to tne line to be planted and punches the point of the planter into the soil, through the mulch, at an angle of about 20 degrees to the vertical, and as far as the depth - plate will permit (the depth of seedingcan thus be regulated). The seed IS already within the I~WS. Stage 2 The planter is levered forward, the law still in the . soil, so that the compactor now presses onto the soil or mulch and causes the jaws to open and deposit the seed in the soil. The jaws open no further than is permitted by the stopper block. Stage 3 Further levering of the planter forward hinges the planter about the compactor-pad and the laws are thus extracted in the open position. Raising one arm further releases the tension on the spring which closes the jaws after the planter comes out of the soil. If the jaws close while in the soil, they invariably pinch a large chunk of soil which clogs the planter Stage 1 but also taking a short step backwards and aiming repeat the compactor-pad at the preceding, open, hole with seed The laws then Insert Into the so11approximately 25 cm from the ares e~!~rlg hole, bvhlle the compartor r)ad presses down. when ine :~lanrcr ‘s levered forward, over and to ( ornpac t so!1 over .Yo seed. . A little practice enables one to do this in a smooth circular movement of the arm, at the rate of about one ‘punch’ per second or an average of 3600 ‘hills’ per hour. Planting maize at a stand of 30,000 to 40,000 ‘hills’ per hectare, takes about P 10 hours. Always listen for the sound of the seed dropping Into the jaws as the planter comes out of the soil. Should you not hear this, then check the metering slide which may be blocked. The IITA ‘Rolling-injection-Planter’ - RIP This was designed to achieve an appreciably higher rate of injection planting, than the one hill-per-second rate achi abie with the ‘Punch’ planter, and is better suited to farmer with more than l/2 a hectare of land. The IITA ‘Rolling-Inject/on-Planter’ Single row model - RIP This three-row planter may also be used as a two-row planter - either the centre planter is removed or left without seed in its hopper. The plant spacing will then be 15 cm x 30 cm as required for soya or cowpea, and to provide an overall plant-population of 220,000 ‘hills’ per hectare. This tion is sometimes also recommended for highllering varieties of rice. The single-row model can conveniently be transported to the field with its compactor-wheel swivelled forward, and pushed, wheel-barrow style. The multi-row planter, being heavier for penetration, equipped with a pair of wheels for transport only. are removed when reaching the field. The RIP is available as a single-row model for planting of crops such as maize. cow peas, etc. at relatively wide interrow spacings, and achieves a sustained planting speed of 3 ‘hills’ per second or over 10,060 hills per hour. Maize can therefore be planted in about 3% hours per hectare (that is about 35,000 hills). The RIP is also available as a multi-row model (ideally three rows planted simultaneously) but which can also be converted, quickly for planting onerow or two-rows. The three planter-units are ‘ganged’ 15 cm apart to expedite the close row planting of small-grain-cereals such as rice, wheat, oats, etc. As the in-row spacing for which the planter is designed is 15 cm, this provides an overall planting distance of 15 cm x 15 cm for a population of 440,000 hills per hectare such as is now recommended for rice. Place foot 011 i press wheel and lower the plan?ing f disc ( Transporting the single row model to the field The single-row planter is conveniently pushed forward along the planting row, while the multi-row planter is drawn, backwards, as pulling requires less effort. Both, the single-row and multi (3) row, planters were originally designed for an in-row spacing of 25 cm but more recent research suggested better overall weed control with the closer spacing of 15 cm. Seed metering The planters are provided with a seed-metering any of four sizes of seed. No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 15 mm diameter, 4 mm long-gramed rice 10 mm diameter, 4 mm length rice and cowpea 7.5 mm diameter, 4 mm cow pea 5.0 mm diameter, 3 mm reel suited to deep, for maize and deep, for medium deep-for grain mung-bean, deep, for smaller seed. Select the end of the metering reel which has the metering hole required, and ensure this is located in the hopper The single row planter in planting Then one row of holes or another is covereo by the band to blank off the size of hole within the hopper which is not required. After the planter is assembled, adjust the setting of the rubber flaps so as just to touch the metering reel. This ensures that any surplus seed is gently brushed off by the flaps within the hopper so that only the metered seed passes under The II TA ‘Rolling-Injection-Planter’ For the the ing tail of the RIP nting mechanism Planting Half fill each hopper wrth seed. roughly the same quantity. This a few rowsof planting, whether the hoppers is equal. If not, the adjustment. All hoppers will enable the seeding rubber flaps - RIP Multjow madd the return run, position the planter on the other side of rope, also 7 to 8 ems from it. This ensures continuity of 15 cm between-row spacing; 2 runs (i.e. 6 rows) covera planting width of one metre. Speed of planting should be between l/2 and 1’ metre per second, too fast a speed sometimes results in seed being thrown out of the planter should have you to see after rate through all may need Line up the planter alongside the planting row (ropes should preferably have been laid first, at 1 metre spacings) and push the single-row-planter - or pull the multi-row-planter. Yeeping the nearest planting disc about 7 to 8 ems from the rope. .d-,y*- - ,&a3 t.. .$ 15d i. 1 j . . . . . 1 . . . suhbtpanhng~ fwm Precautions 1. DO NOT use the planter to inject seed into wet soils! Not only will germination be very poor, but the seeds will tend to stick around the jaws, and work their way in, thus causing blockages. 2 DO watch the flow of seed coming under the rubber flapsand trickling through the funnel into the jaws. Stop and check if the flow in any planter stops. Ideally the soil should be just moist after the first rains. Exhu+esWdJ/etikm when Yurnmng+ha R/P Planting with the Multi-Row planter tD prave& so501 I I)om bkkmg +he. ..-.._ pfawtl~g .~dws . . . . . . ..--. . . . . . . . . . . . -. . - . . . . . . _ . _ . . . . . . . . - . . . . . . - . - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - --- l. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - . . . . I . . . I lm& betwt?n rvlx.s . 3. DO Try to ensure that you are slanting through Fertilizer Applicator This tool has been developed to, very quickly, dibble an accurately metered band of fertilizer beside a row of seedlings or plants. 4. DO Watch the jaws as they rotate to ensure they are clean and not clogged. The basal application can be banded a few days after emergence, and so has to be deposited, on the mulch, about 5 cm away from the line of plants. The operator should walk with the line of plants to his left. Likewise when applying a top-dressing of urea. at least 2 ems of mulch. This helps wipa the injector-jaws as they go in and out of the soil and er,sure that no lumps of soil work their way into the jaws. 5. DO Check depth of planting, as rice prefers very shallow planting (no more than 1 cm deep). Maize can cope with deeper planting. even to 5 ems depth, as their seedlings are much stronger than the delicate rice seedling. It may be necessary to remove the compactor wheels when planting rice, to ensure better emergence of the seedling. On harder soils it may be necessary to weight the planter with a heavy sack laid on the weight tray. 6. DO ROT ii;:9 the planter with the injector jaws in the soil. Raise the handle to lift the planters out of the soil and with their weight carried by the compactor wheels before turning. This is much easier. If one turns the planter with the jaws in the soil. soil is collected which clogs the jaws. As the metering of flow is related to the number of revolutions made by the wheel, it is not very sensitive to speed. Fertilizer can thus be applied, very quickly and accurately, at a brisk walking pace. Fertilizers vary in consistency. Thus the applicator should be calibrated before use. A cup is suspended below the outlet spout and the quantity of fertilizer flowing into it when the applicator is propelled over, 10 metres can be measured and the metering slide adjusted until the required rate is obtained. The following The Weight Tray has Two Functions I. As a load carrier when transporting the planter to the field. Sprayer, chemicals, fertilizer, seed can all be carrid to the field on the tray as the planter is pulled (or pushed) to the field. 2. For extra weight when injecting seed into heavy soils. formula and examples will help calculate this: When: rate required in kilograms per Q = Application hectare (kll/ha) s = Inter-row piant spacing in metros Rate of flow required in grammes per metre R= (g/m) Then: R= QxlOOOxSorQxS 10600 Example: 50 kg/ha if Q= s = 0.75 m R= 50 x 0.75 10 10 = 3.75 gm/metre When calibrating, propel the applicator for 10 metres. The quantity of fertilizer flowing into the cup should be adjusted on the metering plate to be as near as possible to 37.5 grammes In the field this rate of application will be maintained as lony as the consistency of the fertilizer does not vary. Precaution3 ALWAYS wash the applicator, throughly, and immediately after use. ALWAYS apply some oil on theaxle. helical coil to prevent bearings, and onto the these parts rusting. 7he planter with weight tray loaded Basal appliw tion of fertiliz Sliding i/d -------- --- 4 Technigues for HerbicideUsage Herbicide Suggestions include these in future These suggestions are provisional and represent some of the herbicides, in sequence and in combination, which have been tested in the field and found to work satisfactorily. There are several variations above, and with experience duce the herbicide required the magnitude of his weed is managing it. It also helps these herbicides. There are many other excellent herbicides which we have not yet got around to evaluating. When we do, we will supplements. from the basic recommendations these will enable farmers to reconsiderably. Much depends on problem and how effectively he to understand the action of Herbicide suggestions for use with three crops (Rice, Maize, Grain-legumes) Pre-planting operation Early PrelPost pianting Evapeac I MAIZE ROUNDUP @ 3 I/ha applied 8 - 12 days before seeding ROUNDUP @ 3I/ha applied 8 - 12 days before seeding ROUNDUP @ 3 I/ha applied 8 - 12 days before seeding followed followed followed by PARAQUAT @ 2 I/ha applied 1 - 2 days before seeding followed Late Postplanting GRAIN-LEGUMES RICE by - . by -.- PARAQUAT @ 2 I/ha mixed with either PRIMEXTRA @ 3I/ha or GALEX @ 2-3 I/ha 6 2-3 I/ha or LASSO applied 1 to 2 days after seeding PARAQUAT @ 2 I/ha mixed with either 8 2-3 I/ha GALEX @ 2-3 I/ha or LASSO applied immediately or 1 day after seeding Not necessary Not necessary by either RILOFF-H @ 1.0 I/ha applied 10 days after seeding or MACHETE @ 1.5 I/ha applied 5 days after seeding or PROPANI L-M @ 5 I/ha applied 20 days after seeding ROUNDUP is a contact, systemic herbicide which ne& to beapplird to actively growing foliage so that it is absorbed and translocated through the plant. Nearly all plants are killed by ROUNDUP, action first being visible in about 7 days and taking up to 15 days for total kill. In higher doses of 5 - 8 I/ha it is also effective in translocating through, and achieving a permanent kill on ‘Imperata’ and similar rhizomatous, perennial grasses. Weeds must not be cut back or disturbed for at least 7 days after spraying. Do not mix any other chemicals with ROUNDUP. This soon destroys its effectiveness. ROUNDUP is thus best applied by itself and is usually recommended for use at high rates of 5 to 8 litres per hectare in 400 to 500 litres of water per hectare. Applied CDA or VLV,and at low dilutions with, say, 40 litres per hectare of water, trials have shown that applicaticln rates of ROUNDUP can be halved; hence the suggestion in this brochure to use only 3 litres per hectare of this rather expensive herbicide. However, as there is always some weed seed which emerges during the two-weeks or so in which the ROUNDUP is taking effect, it is always advisable to also apply a quick acting contact herbicide such as PARAQUAT at a low-rate of 2 litres per hectare within a day or two of the planting. PARAQUAT is also a contact herbicide but not very systemic. It dessicates nearly all weeds very promptly (within a day or two) and especially quickly in bright sunlight. As it is not very systemic in action it has little reserves in points such as the grasses. kding effect on a plant which has substantial it’s roots and protected growing If one crop is to be planted very quickly after another and there are negligible perennial weeds, (only very little weed growth after harvest), it is often possible to dispense with the pre-plant-application of ROUNDUP and instead apply only the preemergent herbicide (GALEX, PR IMEXTRA, etc.) mixed with PARAQUA I_ at higher rates, say, 3 to 4 litres per hectare. The PARAQUAT kills the light surface weeds by contact action while the preemergent herbicide goes into the upper layers of the soil to prevent the emergence of weed seeds. PRIMEXTRA is a pre-emergent herbicide containing atrazine - the latter being a very effective selective herbicide when growing maize. LASSO and GALEX are also preemergent herbicides which spread into the upper layers of the soil to prevent the emergence of weed seeds other than the grain-legumes which they do not effect. LASSO, GALEX and PRIMEXTRA can all be mixed with PARAQUAT in the spray tank before application, and can thus be applied,together - each to serve it specific functions - so saving the necessity for duplicating the spraying operation. Some herbicide formulations can be mixed; c$hers can not as they are incompatible. An example of the latter is ROUNDUP. 15 l!Icmomicsof No-till 8 COSTS FOR WEED CONTROL Apart from the better wead control achieved by the ‘notill’ techniques, they are also very cost effective, even when compared with buffalo-tillage or tractor-tillage. The following table presents contract rates for tractor and buffalo tillage in Sri-Lanka during early 1980 compared with costs for ‘no-till’ operations. The differences were more marked by the end of 1966 as both animal-tillage as weli as tractor-tilrsge rates had escalated alarmingly1 . 5 Similar cost comparisons tropical countries. could be expected IN SRI-LANKA (1979/80 Season) Cultivation VBTSM~ ‘zero-tillage’ 0sts tractors buffalo A Pre-plantinal Seeding w&l ‘no-till’ control 262 206 165 132 65 65 - - - 53 151 - 151 - 75 40 SL. Rs.643 554 544 165 - First ploughing Spray ‘Roundup’ (3 I/ha) Second ploughing Levelling Spray ‘Paraquat’ (2 I/ha) (usually with preemergent) Bunds cleaning and plastering CDAIVLV Spraying charges* in other in SL Wacre) Sub-total 376 - 8 Post-planting weed control Apart from its apparent cost effectiveness, research trials over the past several years have established the amount of energy and ?ime conserved through adoption of the ‘no-till’ techniques. Hand-weedincr (manual) Spray RI tiF-H or MACHETE (1.5 I/ha) or 3-4 DPA + MCPA (4 I/ha) (1 I/ha) For example, the traditional manual (slash, burn and till) methods of ‘cultivating’ an upland plot of maize and cowpea, seeding and weeding it, takes on average some 500 man-hours per hectare to raise the crops to maturity. Farmed ‘no-till’ the man-hours are reduced to between 30 and 50 per hectare - less than onetenth - without recourse to ‘tractorisation’. Yields are also higher, with better weed control, particularly when the crops are young and sensitive. Total costs - A. C. D. Seeding (maize and cowpea) a. Manual planting (low population) b. Planting; - RIP (Rotary Injection Planter) (25 x 75 = 53,000 stand/ha) Pest control a. Manual weeding, - once 2 b. CDA spray (preemergent-herbicide) c. CDA spray (cowpea) insecticide, -thrice Fertilizer application: a. Manual dibbling along rows b. Using IITA fertilizer band applicator 3 Totals: 16 SL. Rs. 898 - or 719 71 637 costs @ 4m-hr/ac + costs for sprayer and batteris Conv. No-till 4 4 Second Season Man-hrslha No-till Conv. Notes Field Preparation: a. Burning b. Clearing, slashing c. Manual tillage 81 ridging d. CDA Spray, (contact-herbicide) 8. - 93 and Conventionally tilled Only. Fashola, Nigeria (1978) First Season Man-h&ha Field Operation - Note: To the costs for tractor and buffalo tillage on irrigated lards must be added the real cost for irrigation at betwwn SL Rs. 300 to 500 par acre-foot of water. The cost of irrigation water for weed control, apart from that required for crop-growth, is in the order of a furtha Rs, 1000 per acre. ’ Spraying Comparison of Man-power Requirements for “No-Till” Fields Over Two Succassive Seasons Using Hand-Tools 165 76 85 132 127 -t--F- a 6 L 35 131 25 25 a -I a a. Man-hrs per hectare 33 b. Yields maitelcowpea 1 1121 1 820 kg/ha’ 1. Two additional men ware employed to lay ropes for lining up the piarting rows during the first seasor’ only. The line of stubble provided ample lining for the second and subsequent saasons planting. 2. Occasional manual spot weeding was ijndertaken on no-till plots to eradicate re sistant waeds. 3. The fer:iliser-bandapplicator was used for basal application on both maize and cowpaa, and for topdressing, also on maim. 4. Yields ohtainsd by the farmer from conventionally tilled plots had to be approximated. 5. Crops grown were maize and cowpaa, planted on sepsrate fields. whit h tiei ,,r,i~s <, ,/dl,iai,lr: the non.~ rr~t,l,~ny season To c onserve soll, wd?f!r and fertlllty is ( If??rty ftindarrlc!ntal But to strive further towards r~ yr.llny and reyeneratlny natural Two ierrritir ;y::c.ns such systems, rrlr~st I)resently be belny the next by ~~rr,rj~ir I of the sv514rr1 rJ .r r ‘2 goal researt.hed. already show prornlse Live-Mulch Systems The lrnportance of growing leyllrntnous c.over r.rops in the ~011s under plantation r-ro;rs ~oionut, rilbber. 011 :Jalrn IS well established The extension of this prar.tlce Into arable tarrnlng IS r~~lrreritiy t,elng lnvesttydteu drld already shoba great potent lal ~ri5i~.d~~y, the Interilion IS LO rebldce d COmpiexlty ot weeds Wllh onf! d t‘jst yrowiny. eas~iy (ontrolled perennldl I,Y~,I~IW tihc h will CJIJI~C ly smother other wtqds whlie ‘qirr:dciIry rdC;idly !J::‘I the surfai e Thdt s(jch cover i.rops c,rlstltlrtt: ;I YWV rat,, 1 ri’>tordtlve for eroded, and depleted of c OulitrWS VIII) IS ~~lre~r~ly well e,.tdhlished !rl a nrirriber I ‘118y ,+rf: i~l~~~ +,C~s~l~ urltrolled sith herbrc:des such as fiOUNOilP, PARAOUAT, or 2.4-D However, the concept hds [~ri~yr655r!ii to tF#e retenrton of this perennial cover crop ds a yt~ rncirld fer?tl,ty regenerator and so11 cover. while ~1111defray $t ds a I~I~IIC h for arable crops, by spraying It llyhtly wlrh d plant-growth regulator (PGA! This olits It Into dorrrlanc-y for about two or three months whllc arable crops (3Jc.h as rrldlJe, Okra, sorghurrl, etc 1 dre 13~0 tlon~ planted through the mulch to grow In the humus-rli h SOII. without appreciable iompetitlon front the cover r:rops for ferti!,ty or mols:ure After the crops have been harvested the leguminous !-over crops shake oft their dorrriancy ,and continue to develop normally with their so11 regenerating function Among the Izover c raps Investtgated PUERARIA CEN TROSEMA ARACHIS STYLOSANTHLJS PSOPHOCARPUS PsophoLarpus high-protein has ihe addrt;onal bean (wrnged-&an) in this role Leguminous cover plant (winged bean) recovers from PGR and climbs harvested crop (maize) so fdr dre 1avanii.a pribescens prostrata humIlls palustr 1s & tetraganalnhIJs advantage ot producing for human consumption. a Injection pbhtihg through live mulch Research continues towards identifying varieties cover crops which best fulfil the range of criteria in such covers, which are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 6. 7. of such desirable Perennial (for year round growth) Non-photo sensitive (for year round productivity) Drought resistant Weed suppressing (by their aggressive spread) Food crop providing (e.g. the winged-bean) Soil regenerative and protective PGR-regulated in dormahcy when required Research is likewise current into a range of suitable PGRs which will exterrd the need for simple hand tools for ‘ne till’ farming. Avmua Cropping !Systems The technique of ‘avenuecropping’ was developed from traditional forest regenerating practices and begins with the planting of rows of quick-growing leguminous trees (such as Leucaena leucocephela and Gliricidia Sp.) spaced about 0.5 metres apart within rows and about 2.0 metres apart between rows. At the beginning of the rains and the arable cropping season, the rows of trees are lopped at about half-metre above ground level and all the light twigs and leafy material laid as a mulch in the avenues. The more woody material is stacked separately as valuable firewood. The crops to be grown are then injection-planted through the mulch m the avenues - sometimes preceded by a light spray of mixed contact and selective herbicide if weeds are abundant, (usually they are not, as the dense shade under the profusely growing leguminous trees during the ‘off’ or dry season successfully smothers nearly all weed growth). The crops grow vigorously throuyh the mulch-covered soil and so do the rows of tree crops, the latter causing I ittle (if any) interference to the arable crops growing alongside. These are then harvested while the leguminous trees cow tinue to develop. raising fertility from the sub-soil regions Zm --- F’- .#9,’ (1 i2G-Y I I---- zm---r Avenue of Leucaena - before lopping and planting crop, notice denseMade which i;estricrs weed growth into which their roots have penetrated, with the next cropping season. again Tf’iese new fertility-regenerating farming systems and the si npte tools used with them are potentially the most exciting innovation in tropical agriculture of recent years. They have particular application for the small farmer who, otherwise faces the spectre of reduced productivity with the escalation in prices, of inorganic chemical fertilisers, and the logistics (200 to 300 kilogams per hectare) of using them. \ The Avenues prior ro injection planting 18 to be recycled Leafy urraimaal lad 6% MLdLh bktwt%w &mutes height Avenue cropping with maize and Leuceana Dedicated to: Ernest Abeyratne and Rattan-La1 who pioneered the importance of minimum tillage and of mulch in tropical farming. Written by: Designed & illustrated by: Editorial advice from: Typed by: Working Drawingr by: Ray Wijewardene Andrew Crane Tony Moody Victor Perera Navasero, Wickramasinghe and Rajapakse Compiled by: I.I.T.A. - Sri-Lanka Program, Colombo Supported by: Ludwig Ebner and Gustav Muller of CIBA-GEIGY AG, Basel. V.I.T.A. (Volunteers for International Technical Assistance) Washington. G.A.T.E. (German Agency for Technical Assistance) and G.T.Z., Eschborn. Sri-Lanka Ministry of Agriculture Many small farmers in West-Africa and Sri-Lanka who now farm ‘no-till’. Additional copies priced at S’L-Rs. 25 or U.S. S 1 or St. fO.50 plus postage. Dra [email protected] of planters and fertiliserapplicator. per set; S’L-Rs. 50 or U.S. S2or St f l.OOplus postage (printing costs only). IITA - Sri-Lanka Program, 133, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri-Lanka.