Selection and sowing of seeds and irrigation
Farmers have to be very particular about the seeds they sow. the seeds selected should be of good quality, which means they should be healthy, disease-free and clean. Sometimes they are treated with a fungicide before being sown, so as prevent seed-borne diseases.
Two things have to be ensured while sowing deeds.
a) That the seedlings have enough space for growth, and do not have to complete for nutrients, water and sunlight.
b) That the seeds are sown at the right depth. If they are too close to the surface they may be eaten by birds, and if they are sown too deep they may be deprived of air.
Seeds can be sown by either of the following two methods.
This is the scattering of seeds by hand. It has two is advantages. The seeds are not evenly distributed and they lie too close to the surface. This can be solved by covering them with soil, but the problem of uneven spacing remains.
Using a seed drill
This is the best method of sowing seeds. A seed drill is a funnel-shaped bowl, connected to a series of long tubes which have narrow holes. The drill is connected to a plough and releases the seeds gradually, as the plough furrows the land. The seeds get covered by soil automatically.
The seeds of some crops, like rice and onion, are not sown directly in the field. They are sown in seedbeds or nurseries. When the seedlings are big enough, they are transplanted to the field. Transplantation has two advantages. Only healthy seedling is selected, and adequate space can be left between them while planting.
Though all plants are need water, their water requirement is not the same. Rice, for example, requires more water than eat, maize and cotton. Also, the need for water I not uniform throughout the life of a plant. It decreases before flowing.
Traditionally, crops which need more water were grown in areas which receive a lot of rainfall. However, this left the farmer at the mercy of the monsoon, which I not really predictable. This is one of the reasons why irrigation, or a man-made system of supplying water to crop fields, has become an integral part fields can be irrigation by making use of surface water bodies, like rivers and lakes, or by drawing out groundwater with the help of tube wells. Water drawn from underground or surface water bodies is supplied to the fields in various ways. Some of these are as follows.
When the water from a canal or pup is allowed to run over the field, the method is called surface irrigation. Furrow irrigation is a form of surface irrigation. The crop is planted on ridges and water from a supply ditch is allowed to run through the furrows between the ridges. When the water flows through the furrows, the ridges become wet. This method is used for crops that do not require too much water.
In the case of crops witch require a lot of water, bunds are raised all around the field to confine the water within, creating a flooded basin. This too is a form of surface irrigation.
This method, developed in Israel, reduces wastage of water due to evaporation and percolation. Pipes fitted with small tubes, called emitters, are laid under the soil in the root zone of the pants. The emitters release water drop by drop into the soil around the roots.
This form of irrigation is used when the land is uneven and cannot be leveled, making surface irrigation impossible. It has the advantage of distributing water evenly. It also makes more efficient use of water than doe’s surface irrigation. A pump lifts he water to pipes running over the field. Sprinklers with rotating heads re connected to the pipes. They spray water over the crops like rainwater.