Effect of Conservation Agriculture and Residue Management on Yield and Economics of Cotton – Maize Cropping System
Field experiments were conducted at Cotton Research Station, Srivilliputtur,during 2017-18 and 2018-19 to study the effect of conservation agricultureand residue management practices on yield and economics of cotton(September to January) – maize (February to June) cropping system underirrigated conditions. The experiments were carried out in a RandomizedBlock Design with three replications. The treatments consisted of control(T1 - Conventional tillage + No residue management), Zero tillage (ZT) + Noresidue management (T2), ZT with 50 % residue management (T3), ZT with100 % residue management (T4), Permanent Bed System (PBS) + ZT + Noresidue management (T5), PBS + ZT + 50 % residue management (T6), PBS+ ZT + 100 % residue management (T7). The results revealed that thoughthe conventional tillage without residue incorporation recorded higher yieldsof cotton and maize in both the years of study, this was on par with thatof zero tillage with 100% and 50% residue management and significantlysuperior to other treatments. The conventional tillage without residueincorporation also registered the highest cotton equivalent yield (3584 and4046 kg.ha-1 during the first and second year of study, respectively) whichwere followed by ZT with 100 % residue management (3514 and 3924 kg/ha in the first and the second year) and ZT with 50 % residue management( 3481 and 3841 kg/ha in first and second year) and PBS + ZT + 100 %residue management (3413 and 3770 kg/ha in first and second year) inmaize - cotton cropping system. The labour requirement was minimized by 20laborers/crop/ha under ZT than conventional tillage. Adoption of ZT and PBSin the cotton – maize cropping system reduced the total cost of cultivationby Rs. 12,000/ha/year and Rs.15,500/ha/year, respectively. Though thehigher gross income was associated with conventional tillage without residueapplication, higher net income and BC ratio were registered by zero tillagewith residue application. Thus, it is concluded from the study that zero tillageunder cotton - maize cropping system was technically feasible, which wascomparable with conventional tillage without residue application on yieldbesides higher economic benefits and lesser labor use.
Key words : Cotton, zero tillage, stubble management, seed cotton yield, economics