Improving nutrient use efficiency and profitability in rainfed production systems

Prevalence of yield gaps, multiple nutrient deficiencies and low nutrient use efficiencies in rainfed region helped in initiating this project. The project was aimed at establishing strategies for improving nutrient use efficiencies and enhancing productivity and profitability of farmers in the rainfed region.


The rainfed production systems in India occupies 60% of net cultivable area (85 million ha), supporting about 40% of the total food production in the country. There has been a tremendous yield gap between the potential yield and the actual realized yields under rainfed systems and multiple nutrient deficiencies coupled with low nutrient use efficiencies are some of the reasons for low yields in these regions. Read more

Year of initiation:2010
Year of completion:2012

Interpretive Summary

A study was conducted to determine the effect of balanced nutrient use and conservation tillage on productivity, profitability and nutrient use efficiency in a maize-horsegram cropping sequence. Data revealed highest maize grain (4. 7 t/ha) and stover (7. 9 t/ha) yields with the optimum nutrient treatment, followed by yields under B omission (4. 4 and 6. 9 t/ha), S omission (4. 2 and 7. 2 t/ha), while the lowest productivity was observed in the control plot (1. 3 and 3. 5 t/ha).

Improving nutrient use efficiency in rainfed areas has always been a major challenge, which could be addressed through balanced nutrition and soil moisture conservation. This project was established to study the impact of balanced nutrient use coupled with conservation tillage systems on productivity, profitability and nutrient use efficiency in maize-horsegram cropping sequence. Highest grain (4. 7 t/ha) and stover (7.

In most of the semi-arid regions of India, a single crop is grown during the rainy or post rainy season with the land remaining fallow for the rest of the period. Maize is one of the important cereal crops grown in these regions during kharif(summer) season. About 20 to 30% of the annual rainfall that occurs during the post rainy season (October to December) goes largely unutilized.

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