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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Daincha - Green manure

In the detailed soil report, we found that organic matter and NPK levels are low since our farm has not been cultivated in a long time.
We decided to sow daincha seeds in the pits to increase the nutrient levels. Daincha essentially fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil. We also broadcasted the seeds in about 5 acres of plot where we intend to do some short-term inter-cropping. Results were fantastic, given that we started the activity in the peak of summer and watered it 3-4 times only.
Daincha typically grows to about 2 ft after which it is harvested - it can be either incorporated into the soil with a rotavator (to increase the organic matter) or can be cut and used as animal fodder.
Other alternatives include cowpea, sunhemp and grams. Cost of 1Kg daincha is Rs 35 and we used a handful per pit.

Seeds sprout on day 3.

Day 10

At the time of planting, we will add FYM and other farm inputs on top of daincha.

Flowering took place in 45 days.

Case in point: Plants grow better when FYM is applied..compare the height of the plants on the right (near FYM) to the ones on left.