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Zero/Minimum tillage in rice-wheat system in Nepal


Growing of rice and wheat in sequence in Nepal is common, it constitutes the major cropping system in the Terai region of Nepal. The average yields of rice rarely exceed 3 t ha-1 and wheat yields invariably remain within 1–2 t ha-1. These yields are low in comparison with other parts of south Asia where the rice-wheat system is practiced.

In general, one of the major difficulties for this system is to plant wheat in marshy or wet lands after rice, as land preparation is very difficult under such conditions. Wet and marshy lands need more time to come to good tilth and thus wheat cannot be planted in time. In this context, zero or minimum tillage practice constitutes a feasible solution with minimum disturbance to the soil by simply placing the seeds in furrows opened or scraped by the tines. Zero-tillage wheat allows for a drastic reduction in tillage intensity, resulting in significant cost savings as well as potential gains in wheat yield through earlier planting of wheat.

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