Friday, January 11, 2013

Deweeding via Rotavator

Monsoons in 2012 were highly deficient in Tamil Nadu and a few districts in the state were declared drought hit. In Sivaganga, there were a few showers in August and September. The next 2 months which typically receives more rain, went dry.

The first week of 2013 witnessed continuous drizzling for a couple of days. With the soil moist, we put the mini tractor Rotavator to work to incorporate the weeds into the soil that had accumulated since the last deweeding.

Following are a few photos and recent videos of us deweeding Mango acerages at Savera Farms.


The 'aligners' proved to be helpful to operate close to our Alphonso saplings without casualties. After initial oversight by the farm hands, the operator was able to confidently plough close to the plants and speed up the operation.






The organic (bio-mass) replenishment is among the best ways to revive the land. As an added incentive, we noticed a flock of white-herons have started frequenting our plots for worms, even in days when we don't plough!





















Reliable performance and speed of operation are significant advantages for mechanized deweeding in this manner. It is important to setup a regular schedule to deweed plantation crops, especially in the early phases. Training the labour force and maintenance of equipment have not been intensive so the rewards of Rotavating far outweigh the costs.

12 comments:

  1. Nice work! How long does it take you to cover an acre? Do you drive the tractor too and would you call it easy if you do?

    It would be nice if you added a concrete pot or small tank on the outreaches of your farm with suitable roosting/fruit trees to attract and serve the birds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes about 2-3 hrs per acre..I have not tried it yet..SST attracts a lot of birds. It is amazing to see how many new species have emerged since we started planting. Maybe I will put a post on the different type of birds we have here, some of you can help us identify. Thanks for the suggestions!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the pics and video, however do not you think that you are exposing your soil to sunlight that is basically drying up your soil and all the useful insects/earth worms are being eaten by birds ?

    This ultimately lead to making your land less fertile?

    Instead I think cutting the grasses and spreading at the same place would have done better job.

    Thanks
    Sheo Narayan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheo,
      You have raised some interesting points. I was told by the Jain experts to incorporate weeds into the soil when possible. I will forward this to them, let us see what is their response.
      Yes, we have used a brush cutter in the smaller plots where tractor could not go through. Lots of mulch generated for our mango plants. The only drawback of brush cutter is it is very time consuming. Post coming soon!

      Delete
    2. As you can guess from the date of my reply, its been a while since I returned to techie2aggie blog.

      Sheo, I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, you have it all wrong. Rotavating incorporates chopped weeds into the soil...fertilizing in the process. Cutting grass in place, with a brush cutter or manual labor, is way too time consuming and expensive. And, where did you get the idea that all insects are good for the farm?

      Delete
  3. Hi Kaustubh

    What has been your experience with the Mini Tractors. I am in the market for the purchase of a mini tractor. We have the option of purchasing the Mahindra Yuvraj 215 Mini Tractor [15 BHP] or Mitsubishi VST Tractor [18 BHP], through the TN Govt's subsidy scheme. We intend to use the tractor for the following applications within our plantation, which predominantly comprises of Amla, Mango & Drumstick

    1. Dozing Operation [with a front loader attachment for leveling works]
    2. Tilling
    3. Weeding
    4. Spraying
    5. Load haulage
    6. Generator to power bore wells

    Based on your experience, I will be interested in your views on the

    1. The effectiveness of the mini tractor in carrying out dozing, tilling, weeding & spraying operations
    2. Comparison between Mahindra vs Mitsubishi Mini Tractor
    3. Economics of running the mini tractor

    Thanks


    KRISHNAN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Krishnan,
      I do not much about Yuvraj. Mitsubishi mini tractor is not powerful enough for dozing. I would not recommend it for first time breaking of soil. Rotavator works well under moist condition. I am satisfied with the tractor mounted sprayer as well. It is good for a medium load like transporting saplings, manure, hardware, bushes, cement etc. I have not used the PTO to power borewells, but I suspect it will not be powerful enough.

      Delete
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