Agriculture department has started a state-wide campaign to motivate farmers to take to inter-cropping pattern of crops.
The system is prevalent in many advanced agricultural economies in the world and has been known to help improve productivity.
State's famous agriculture experts are approaching farmers to direct educate them about the method. A workshop in this regard was held at Government Seed Farm (GSF) in Raunta village, 43 km from district headquarter on Saturday.
The workshop titled 'Wheat-farming through bed-plantation method' was attended by more than 150 progressive wheat farmers and several extension officers. The bed-planting (inter-cropping) technique was on display at the GSF.
An agriculture expert at the seminar said: "Bed planting increase the efficiency of fertiliser use, besides saving water. Crop yield is known to increase by 4%. In crop grown using this weed, there is greater possibility of mechanical weed control. Dependence on herbicides is also reduced. Farmers can get an additional mentha crop."
Farmer can get Rs. 25,000, additional income from mentha crop without affecting the yield of the main crop. "Mentha can also be grown as an intercrop in wheat, sugarcane, sunflower and onion.
Two rows of mentha are planted between four rows of bed sown wheat crop, 100-kg mentha suckers are sufficient for an acre," experts said.
"Mentha is propagated from suckers and do not plant sprouted suckers, as most of such suckers die. Before planting, the suckers should be washed and dipped into 0.1% Baviston 50 WP solution for 5-10 minutes. January-end is the best time to sow Mentha as an intercrop in wheat. It is widely used in food, flavourings, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. Permeating daily life, products containing mentha include confectioneries, perfumes, mouth fresheners, cough drops, tobacco goods, medicated oils, tooth pastes, analgesic balms, lotions, shampoos, chewing gums, candies, and alcoholic beverages," said agriculture development officer Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar
Progressive farmers discussing Raunta village
Mangal Singh Sandhu, state director of Punjab agriculture department
What is bed-plantation (inter-cropping)
Intercropping: Growing of two or more crops simultaneously on the same piece of land (field). There is a crop intensification in both time and space dimensions. There is intercrop competition during all or part of crop growth.