SURESH KUMAR*, R. K. ARYA, NARENDER SINGH AND SATPAL
Directorate of Research, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, 125004 (Haryana), India
Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar (Haryana), 125004, India
CCSHAU, Regional Research Station, Karnal, 132001 (Haryana), India
*(e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Received : 2 June 2021; Accepted : 28 June 2021)
A field experiment was conducted at Ram Dhan Singh Seed Farm, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar (Haryana) to evaluate the response of zero-till rainfed maize to super absorbent polymer and mulching in maize-wheat cropping system under semi-arid conditions. The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design with combination of two levels of tillage practice (conventional and zero tillage) and two levels of mulch application (without mulching and mulching @ 4 tonnes/ha) in main plots and 3 levels of hydrogel (No hydrogel, hydrogel @ 2.5 kg/ha, hydrogel @ 5.0 kg/ha) in sub-plots with three replications. The soil of the experimental field low in available nitrogen, medium available P and high in available K. Among the tillage practices, zero till sown maize crop recorded higher grain yield (5466 kg/ha), water use efficiency (23.5 kg/ha-mm) and benefit cost ratio (3.98) as compared to the maize crop sown after conventional tillage. Among the mulching levels, mulching @ 4 t/ha in maize crop recorded higher grain yield (5058 kg/ha), water use efficiency (21.7 kg/ha-mm) and benefit cost ratio (3.02) as compared to the maize crop without mulching. Among the hydrogel levels, the maximum grain yield (4921 kg/ha), was produced by application of hydrogel @ 5.0 kg/ha, which was significantly superior to no hydrogel, but statistically at par to hydrogel @ 2.5 kg/ha. Net returns was achieved maximum with application hydrogel @ 2.5 kg/ha, but the benefit cost ratio decreased with hydrogel application. Maximum grain yield (5546 kg/ha) was obtained in zero tillage with mulch/residue retention @ 4 t/ha.The grain yield of succeeding wheat was not influenced markedly by the tillage practices, mulching and hydrogel application in maize. System maize equivalent followed the trend as per grain yield of maize.
Key words:Rainfed, maize, zero tillage, hydrogel, mulch, residue, water-use efficiency