PRODUCTIVITY OF ARABLE CROPS AND PASTURE GRASSES IN ASSOCIATION OF MULTI-PURPOSE TREE SPECIES IN HOT ARID REGION OF RAJASTHAN
K. C. SHARMA
Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute,
Arid Region Campus,
Bikaner- 334 006, Rajasthan, India
(Received : 07 March 2014; Accepted : 20 May 2015)
The field experiment was conducted during 2008 to 2010 at Bikaner to find out an efficient agri-silviculture or silvi-pastoral model for cultivable wastelands of arid tropics of India. Three multi-purpose tree species viz., khejri (Prosopis cineraria), ardu (Ailanthus excelsa) and rohida (Tecomella undulata) suitable for arid tropics were planted in July 2008 and annual grain legumes viz., clusterbean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba), and mothbean (Vigna aconitifolia) in kharif 2009 and 2010, while pasture grasses viz., sewan (Lasiurus sindicus) and anjan (Cenchrus ciliaris) grasses once in July 2009. Results indicated that tree species had no adverse effect on growth and grain/fodder yields of crops and grasses in both the years. Similarly, annual crops/grasses did not exerted any significant effect on the growth attributes of any tree species. Among grain crops and grasses, clusterbean recorded higher grain (0.82 and 0.91 t/ha) and straw (1.97 and 2.47 t/ha) yields over mothbean. Whereas, sewan grass out-yielded anjan grass with green fodder yield of 12.1 and 16.7 t/ha, and dry matter yield of 4.68 and 6.02 t/ha during 2009 and 2010, respectively. Computation of clusterbean equivalent yields (CEY) showed that CEY recorded with clusterbean (1.31 t/ha) and mothbean (1.28 q/ha) were statistically at par but significantly higher over both grass species. Slight higher values of net returns and B:C ratio were observed with khejri plantation (Rs. 11,697 and 1.78) compared to other tree species, while among crops clusterbean gave maximum values of net returns Rs. 16,837 and B:C ratio 2.05. Organic carbon (%) and available N, P & K contents of soil were substantially improved under all treatments in comparison to initial soil fertility status. Thus, study suggests that growing of clusterbean or mothbean with any multi-purpose tree species viz., khejri, ardu and rohida plantation holds promise to provide higher and economical grain productivity with improved fertility status of soil under agri-silviculture system in arid tropics of Rajasthan.
Key words:Arable crops, Pasture grasses, multi-propose tree sprcies, agri-silvi, pastoral system