After a tumultuous demand for alternatives to stubble-burning, the departments seem to have come into action. Officials are visiting the farmers, who gave up stubble-burning and adopted alternative methods on their own, to see the viability of the methods. The agriculture development department highlighted a new instrument made by New Gurdeep Combines, which is fixed at the back of a harvester combine. It trims the stubble into small pieces and spreads it evenly in the field.
Nabha sub-divisional magistrate Jashanpreet Kaur Gill visited a farm to witness the technique at village, Ghanudki. Nabha agriculture development officer Jupinder Singh said that a farmer loses 21 kg nitrogen, 5 kg phosphorous, 50 kg potash, 60 kg sulphur, 0.7 kg iron, 0.75 kg manganese, 0.75 kg zinc and 400 kg of carbon per acre by burning stubble.
Two farmers Bir Dalvinder and Ravi, who were present on the occasion, said that direct sowing of wheat through happy seeding has helped them retain moisture and nutrients in the soil.
The new harvester instrument, that spreads stubble in the field, helps to restore the organic matter. After that, direct sowing is done preferably using happy seeder.
Bir Dalvinder said that he had harvested 1 quintal extra yield per acre for two years by direct sowing without burning stubble. Ravi said that even potatoes could be sown after spreading the trimmed stubble in the fields.
The experimenting farmers claimed that since the soil gets the organic matter from the stubble, the need of fertilisers and manures also decreased in their fields. Moreover, the above process of paddy harvesting has saved them around `2,000 per acre in the next crop, claimed the farmers. A lot of time is also saved as the sowing is done within hours after harvesting.
Under trainee assistant commissioner Sandeep Kumar also visited the farm on the directions of Patiala deputy commissioner. The owners of the agro firm said that the farmers are demanding alternatives to stubble-burning, which motivated them to build such an instrument. “Farmers are realising that stubble-burning is depleting environment for future generations,” said Soni from New Gurdeep Combines, Bhadson. It costs only `200 per acre extra while harvesting, but a lot of fuel is saved in sowing, ultimately bringing down the cost of production of the next crop, he added.
The officers appealed to propagate the method and also assured to bring it up with the government to provide support. Kisan union leaders and other farmers were also present during the demonstration.