Rotavator, an agriculture equipment, may be very useful for farmers to add to and maintain the depleting nutrient value in the soil, but as it requires a high-powered tractor and is a bit costly, many farmers are still not using it extensively.
Rotavator can easily plough residuals of other crops, that can be used as green manure to increase fertility of the soil.
A misconception, that it hardens the soil and forms hard layer leading to decrease in the yield of crops, is also preventing farmers to go in for it.
“Rotavator is very useful as it can easily be driven by tractors of 45 hp or onward. It is very useful to maintain and add to the depleting nutrient value in the soil because farmers can plough the green manure by it very easily and effectively,” said Bhupesh Joshi, deputy project director, agriculture technology management agency (ATMA), Faridkot.
“Earlier, farmers used to burn the residual of most of the crops as they found it difficult to prepare the fields for the next crop, but with the help of the rotavator, they can mix it into the soil with only one ploughing. It is also helpful to preserve moisture content in the soil and minimise seepage,” Joshi added.
“Rotavator is also economical in view of the rising prices of fuel. Preparing fields with green manure, ploughing many kinds of residuals of vegetable crops and pulses with the help of disks cost too much as it requires two to four ploughings for the preparation of fields for the next crop. But, rotavator can solve this problem by cutting short the expenses on repeated ploughings,” says Gurpreet Singh, a farmer from Faridkot village.
“To some extent, the continuous use of rotavator leads to the formation of a hard layer at a depth of 6 inches of soil as it presses the soil during ploughing. But, it is not a problem as the hard layer can be broken by the sub-soiler. The ploughing by sub-soiler, which is usually recommended after three-year gaps, leads to seepage of water and further increase yields of crops,” said Beant Singh, chief agriculture officer, Muktsar.
“Many people have been coming forward for some years now to get the lands ploughed by the rotavator by hiring it from us. I am always busy ploughing green manure before paddy and basmati season and after some other crops. People even find it very useful to get the fodder crops sown by with only one single operation by the rotavator. Besides, it is being hired by many farmers to prepare and level the fields, which were used as paddy nursery,” said Bohar Singh, a tractor operator to run rotavator given on rent by the multipurpose agriculture society Devi Wala, a Faridkot village.
“It has no negative impact on the yield of the crop. It is rather increased as all the leftover, ploughed in fields, leads to enrichment of nutrients besides cut in cost,” said Bhupesh Joshi.
The government reportedly offers about 50% subsidy on its purchase.