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University of Mumbai

Garware Institute of Career Education and Development Vidyanagari, Kalina, Santacruz (E) 400 098

CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Mr. Bhushan A. Chaudhari is a student of ABM second semester in Garware Institute of Career Education and Development .He has carried out the research work entitled, A STUDY MODERN AGRICULTURE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOLLOWED BY KRIPAMAYEE HI-TECH FARM for the duration of the academic session 2010-11. This research work has been carried out under my administration and is of sufficiently high standard to authorization its presentation for the examination leading to the Degree of Agri Business Management at G I C E D Mumbai.

(Prof. Ashok Govande) Project Guide G I C E D Mumbai

(Dr. Shirish Patil) Co-ordinator G I C E D Mumbai Mumbai


Chaudhari Bhushan Anil G I C E D ABM

Director GICED

DECLARATION

I hereby declare that this dissertation entitled A STUDY ON MODERN AGRICULTURE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOLLOWED BY KRIPAMAYEE HI-TECH FARMS . Is the outcome of my original research work and the same has not been previously submitted to any examination of this university or any other university. That study shall be liable to be rejected and / or cancelled if found otherwise.

Date: 15/7/2011 Mr.Bhushan A. Chaudhari Place:Mumbai ABM 145

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A STUDY ON MODERN AGRICULTURE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOLLOWED BY KRIPAMAYEE HI-TECH FARMS.

By BHUSHAN CHAUDHARI Summer Internship PGDABM 2010-2011

Submitted to KRIPAMAYEE HI-TECH FARM

JUNE-JULY: 2011

CENTRE FOR MANAGEMENT EDUCATION


Chaudhari Bhushan Anil G I C E D ABM

GARWARE INSTITUTE OF CAREER EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT MUMBAI Website: Mu.ac.in/garware

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I express my gratitude to Kripamayee Hi-tech Farm (Jalgaon) for allowing me to do my project work in their organisation and enable me to conduct Management practices on their farm. I express my sincere thanks to Sri.Subhash Chaudhari, Chairmen and Sri. A.R.Chaudhari, vice chairmen, Kripamayee Hi-Tech Farms for sparing their invaluable time to give their useful suggestions during my project work. I am grateful to my project director Sri. Ashok Govande and Sri. Shirish Patil, Sr. Faculty Associate for his inspiring guidance, wholehearted interest and critical evaluation of the work for the successful completion of the project work. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Sri.Rambhau Barode, Director of Garware Institute Of Career Education and Development and other faculty members. It is a pleasure to me to thank my Parents and other family members whole heartedly who extended their support in doing this project as well as the course. Finally, I would like to record my thanks to all my well wishers.

INDEX Chapter NO Content Page No

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1. INTRODUCTION

6 - 26

2. About group 3. Objectives of study 4. Proper Management Practices 5. I)Soil testing 6. II)Tillage operations 7. Iii) Bed Preparation 8. Iv)Spreading of Mulch paper 9. Seed treatment, sowing/transplanting 10. Fertigation and Drip irrigation 11. Intercultural operations 12. Use of Herbicides,Pesticides,Fungicides 13. Harvesting and post harvest operations

14. Marketing Findings and suggestions

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1. Introduction 15. Croplands offer many opportunities to impose practices that reduce net emissions of GHGs. In the past century there has been increasing concern to identify and quantify various forms of agriculture practices. The most common practice is identified with the term of conventional agriculture. In the past few decades, a move towards sustainability in agriculture has also developed, integrating ideas of socio-economic justice and conservation of resources and the environment within a farming system. This has led to the development of many responses to the conventional agriculture approach, including conservation agriculture and organic agriculture among the others in terms of natural resource and environment conservation. 16. Conservation Agriculture (CA) is an approach to managing agro-ecosystems for improved and sustained productivity, increased profits and food security while preserving and enhancing the resource base and the environment. CA is characterized by three linked principles, namely reduced/no-tillage (continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance), cover crops (permanent organic soil cover), and crop rotation (diversification of crop species grown in sequences or associations). 17. Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost (cover crops) and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms. Organic farming usually involves mechanical weed control (via cultivating or hoeing) rather than herbicidal weed control. 18. Within the same conventional agriculture is required a further distinction between intensive and extensive agriculture. Regarding the GHG emissions, the main differences concern with the intensity of use of fertilizers, pesticides and mechanization. Intensive agriculture is an agricultural production system characterized by the high inputs of capital, labour, or heavy usage of technologies such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers relative to land area. It is associated with the increasing use of agricultural mechanization, which has enabled a substantial increase in production, yet has also dramatically increased environmental pollution by increasing erosion and poisoning water with

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agricultural chemicals. Extensive agriculture (as opposed to intensive farming) is an agricultural production system that uses small inputs of labour, fertilizers, and capital, relative to the land area being farmed. In order to construct the business as usual , detailed information on each practice is required. First of all it is important to have ideas about the extent for a correct evaluation of the global net emissions.

Sustainable Agriculture: The Basics Some terms defy definition. "Sustainable agriculture" has become one of them. In such a quickly changing world, can anything be sustainable? What do we want to sustain? How can we implement such a nebulous goal? Is it too late? With the contradictions and questions has come a hard look at our present food production system and thoughtful evaluations of its future. If nothing else, the term "sustainable agriculture" has provided "talking points," a sense of direction, and an urgency, that has sparked much excitement and innovative thinking in the agricultural world. The word "sustain," from the Latin sustinere (sus-, from below and tenere, to hold), to keep in existence or maintain, implies long-term support or permanence. As it pertains to agriculture, sustainable describes farming systems that are "capable of maintaining their productivity and usefulness to society indefinitely. Such systems... must be resource-conserving, socially supportive, commercially competitive, and environmentally sound." [John Ikerd, as quoted by Richard Duesterhaus in "Sustainability s Promise," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (Jan.-Feb. 1990) 45(1): p.4. NAL Call # 56.8 J822] "Sustainable agriculture" was addressed by Congress in the 1990 "Farm Bill" [Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (FACTA), Public Law 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1603 (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1990) NAL Call # KF1692.A31 1990]. Under that law, "the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:
y y y

satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and

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Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole."

2. ABOUT KRIPAMAYEE GROUP: Kripamayee Hi-Tech Farms is a group of farmers from a village for each other welfare and conducted by farmers under the guidance of Agriculture Department and Agronomist of different nominated companies in agriculture sector. Primary aim of this group is adopt innovations in agriculture and increased yield. This group generally follows sustainable agricultural practices for their farms. Reduce as possible as labour and input cost by using machineries and new technologies. Group having Govt. Reg. Also conduct Nursery for self use and selling of seedlings of various vegetables, fruit crops, Banana Hardening etc. All farmers belongs this group are co-operative. Use Drip Irrigation System, Herbicides to reduce time required and labour cost which indirectly enhance crop yield. Having adequate market facility of New Mumbai, Surat, Delhi, Indore, Ahmadabad etc. Whole farmers involve in this group used Micro-irrigation system, fertigation, tissue culture seedlings, HTP pumps for spraying, micronutrients as per soil test report and also keep in mind avoiding soil erosion, soil and air pollution etc. Maximum operations are performed by machines like tillage, spraying, fertilizer applications etc. Fruits like Banana(50%), custard apple, lime and vegetables like Brinjal, Tomato, Chilli, Drumsticks, Bitter guard, Sponge guard, cucumber etc. Are

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certified by MOFF(Maharashtra organic food formation). A farmer having jiggery (Gul) production is certified by ECO-CERT and export to Germany. Nursery is waiting for ISO certification. Remaining details are in detail project.

3. Objectives of study: -To study overall Farm Management practices. -To study importance of soil testing. -To study Nursery management. -To attained farmer s meetings organized by Agri. Dept., Private companies technicians. -To study seed treatment, sowing/Transplanting methods. -To share experience with farmers about current market situation. -To study importance of use of pesticides. Fungicides,Herbicides,Hormones etc. -To aware a farmers about different markets for specific crops. -To study post harvest handling of produce like cleaning, grading, packaging, transporting etc. -To study cost of cultivation calculated by farmers of each crop.

Chaudhari Bhushan Anil G I C E D ABM

4. Proper Management Practicesi) Soil Testing:

In agriculture, a soil test is the analysis of a soil sample to determine nutrient content, composition and other characteristics, including contaminants. Tests are usually performed to measure the expected growth potential of a soil. A Soil test measures fertility, indicates deficiencies that need to be remedied and determines potential toxicities from excessive fertility and inhibitions from the presence of non-essential trace minerals. The test is used to mimic the function of roots to assimilate minerals. The expected rate of growth is modeled by the Law of the Maximum.

Soil sampling Labs, such State University, recommend that you take between 10-20 samples for every 40 acres (160,000 m2) of the field. Tap water or chemicals could change the composition of the soil, and may need to be tested separately. Soil characteristics can vary significantly from one spot to another, even in a small garden or field. Taking samples everywhere in the field is crucial to get the most accurate measurement of nutrients and other organisms. An example of this is along gravel roads where the soil could have more lime from the dust from the roads settling down in the soil, or an old animal feedlot where phosphorus and nitrogen counts could be higher than the rest of the field.

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Sample depth is also a factor for various nutrients, and other soil components vary during the year, so sample timing may also affect results. Usually the best time when soil tests can be done is spring. Mixing soil from several locations to create an "average" (or "composite") sample is a common procedure but it must be used judiciously as it can artificially dilute quantities/concentration, and may not meet government agency requirements for sampling. Make a reference map for your filing system so you know where you took them, and how many samples you took in the field. All of these considerations affect the interpretation of test results. Storage and handling Because certain characteristics of soil change with time it is essential that soil is analyzed as soon as practical. If it cannot be tested within 24 hours of sampling soil should be frozen to reduce changes due to biological and chemical activity. Longer periods between sampling and testing may require the soil to be air dried. Properly dried soil may be stable for periods of 6 months or more. Soil testing Soil testing is often performed by commercial labs that offer an extensive array of specific tests. Choosing the test lab site is just as important as the test results. There are many soil testing labs in the United States, but finding the right one for you will take some research. It is most beneficial for the producer to find the local most lab, as the workers will have a greater knowledge and more experience working with the local soils. Tests include, but aren't limited to, major nutrients - nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), secondary nutrients - sulphur, calcium, magnesium, minor nutrients iron,manganese, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum, aluminum. Soil testing can be an easy, cost effective way to manage agronomic as well as horticultural soils. It tells key nutrient levels, as well as pH levels, so the producer can make the best choice when purchasing fertilizers and other nutrients.

Recently (2004) new prepaid mail-in kits have come to market that offer two specific benefits to small acreage farmers, urban homeowners and the lawn care industry: first is an inexpensive and quick manner to transfer soil samples directly

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to an accredited laboratory for analysis; and second, the process translates raw data findings into workable and practical nutrient management/fertilizer reports. One such kit can be viewed at Grass Roots. This particular process provides an actual 'prescription' of fertilizers that are readily available in the global market for two complete seasons. Less comprehensive do-it-yourself kits are also available, usually with tests for three important plant nutrients - nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) - and for soil acidity (pH). Do-it-yourself kits can usually be purchased at your local cooperative or through the university or private lab you choose. Often, hardware stores will have some of these tests, as well as electrical meters intended to estimate the pH, water content, and sometimes nutrient content of the soil. Prices of the tests will vary depending on where you purchase it from and also on what kind of test you want to do. Lab tests are more accurate, though both types are useful. In addition, lab tests frequently include professional interpretation of results and recommendations. Always refer to all proviso statements included in a lab report - these may outline any anomalies, exceptions and shortcomings in the sampling and/or analytical process/results. To kripamayee groups Soil Testing facilities provided by Coromandel Internationals, Vanita Agrochem, JISL and Oilseed research station Jalgaon.

ii) Tillage Operations:

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Farmers perform tillage when they prepare soil for the raising of crops. Soil tillage has three primary purposes. Prior to planting, farmers use tillage to mix compost, manure, and other fertilizers into the root zone where growing plant roots may reach it. Tillage also aids seed germination by creating a smooth, uniform soil surface for planting. After planting, farmers use tillage to control weeds between crop plants including vegetable, fruit, forest, medicinal, and farm crops. Since early agriculture, tillage has been the first step in the process that makes it possible to harvest food from plants. However, soil tillage has come under close scrutiny since soil is recognized as a natural resource that deserves protection. Agronomists (scientists who study crop production and soil management) are concerned because erosion (soil loss) from tillage is one of the most significant problems in agriculture. If left unchecked, soil erosion leads to loss of soil productivity, as well as offsite deposition of sediments and farm chemicals that pollute surface and groundwater. Early History of Tillage Soil tillage had its beginnings ten to twelve millennia ago in the Near East, as early farmers used a digging stick to loosen the soil before planting seeds. The tool evolved from digging stick to spade to triangular blade, and was made of wood, stone, and ultimately metal. One or more people likely used their bodies to pull the first wooden plows. Animals began pulling plows around 3000 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia. Jethro Tull (1674 1741), a pioneering
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British soil physicist, was the first to recognize that loosening soil helps to supply plant roots with nutrients. In North America, agricultural innovators copied European trends. Charles Newbold patented the first cast-iron plow in the late 1700s. In 1837, John Deere and Leonard Andrus began manufacturing steel plows. By the 1840s, the growing use of manufactured equipment had increased the farmers' need for cash, thus encouraging the rise of commercial farming. Agriculture, society, and economics were closely linked, as George Marsh said in an address delivered in 1847 to the Agricultural Society of Rutland County, Vermont: "Pure pastoral life, as I have said, advances man to but an humble stage of civilization, but when it is merged in agriculture, and the regular tillage of the soil commences, he is brought under the dominion of new influences, and the whole economy of domestic and social life is completely revolutionized." Marsh explained that once cultivation of soil begins, all aspects of society are affected by changes: "Hence arises the necessity of fixed habitations and store houses, and of laws which shall recognize and protect private exclusive right to determinate portions of the common earth, and sanction and regulate the right of inheritance, and the power of alienation and devise, in short the whole frame work of civil society." Horses and mules had taken over the work of draft oxen by the late 1800s. As agriculture became increasingly mechanized and commercialized, tractors became more common and replaced most draft animals by the early to mid-1900s. Until then, the size of most family farms was restricted to the land that a man could work using several horses. With the advent of the light, gasoline-powered tractor, both family and commercial farms added crop area and prospered. The Dust Bowl Tractors helped to create farm fields that stretched far westward, setting the stage for the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Open grassland in the southwestern Great Plains region of the United States was settled and farmed by homesteaders who planted row crops and grazed their cattle. Before farmers came, the region was covered by hardy grasses that held the soil in place despite long droughts and torrential rains. Tillage combined with drought left the soil exposed to wind erosion. Lightweight soil components organic matter, clay, and silt were carried great distances by the winds, while sand and heavier materials drifted against houses, fences, and barns. This drifting debris buried farm buildings and darkened the sky as far as the Atlantic coast. Over a period of ten years, millions of acres of farmland became useless, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes. The Dust Bowl gave impetus to the soil conservation movement; nevertheless, mechanization continued to spread. In 1938, Hugh Bennett and Walter Lowder-milk of the United States Soil Conservation Service wrote in the Yearbook of Agriculture: "Soil erosion is as old as farming. It began when the first heavy rain struck the first furrow turned by a crude implement of tillage in the hands of prehistoric man. It has been going on ever since, wherever man's culture of the earth has bared the soil to rain and wind."

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Conservation Tillage and Sustainable Agriculture By 1954, the number of tractors on farms exceeded the number of horses and mules for the first time. The increasing availability of agricultural chemicals in the midto late-1900s, including weed killers that did not harm crop plants, further changed crop and soil management practices. "Conservation tillage" a broad spectrum of farming methods that help to reduce soil erosion due to wind and water and help to reduce labor and fuel gained a following among farmers in the 1980s. Early methods of conservation tillage, such as no-tillage, were un sustainable since they relied heavily on chemical weed killers called herbicides. The no-tillage method worked well to control both soil erosion and weeds, while requiring less energy. However, herbicides were highly toxic to people and wildlife and their manufacture and use caused environmental pollution. Tillage reduction methods were fine-tuned to suit local conditions throughout the United States. By 1989, a far-sighted handful of new-generation farmers became interested in lowering costs, avoiding agricultural chemicals, and saving soil. They started the agricultural movement that became known as "sustainable agriculture." Low-input methods meet the needs of more farmers each year. They are promoted by a program of the United States Department of Agriculture called Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). Farmers practicing sustainable agriculture produce food and fiber while enhancing environmental quality and natural resources, make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources. Further, they integrate natural biological cycles and pest controls and sustain the economic viability of farm operations. Today's tillage practices reflect society's concern with environmental quality, and the farmer's need to reduce costs while preventing soil erosion and compaction. However, significant amounts of soil are still lost annually around the world where soil is not protected. All farmers used Tillage operations with two or three blade tractor driven tillage followed by one or two cultivators or harrowings. Add FYM before last cultivator for better incorporation of FYM in soil (FYM@ 12-13 trolly load/Ha.) Harrowing crush the plant debris of previous crops and improves soil porosity.

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iii) Seed bed Preparation:

A seedbed or seedling bed is the local soil environment in which seeds are planted. Often it comprises not only the soil but also a specially prepared cold frame, hotbed or raised bed used to grow the seedlings in a controlled environment into larger young plants before transplanting them into a garden or field. A seedling bed is used to increase the number of seeds that germinate. The soil of a seedbed needs to be loose and smoothed, without large lumps. These traits are needed so that seeds can be planted easily, and at a specific depth for best germination. Large lumps and uneven surface would tend to make the planting depth random. Many

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types of seedlings also need loose soil with minimal rocky content for best conditions to grow their roots. (For example, carrots grown in rocky soil will tend not to grow straight.) Seedbed preparation in farm fields often involves secondary tillage via harrows and cultivators. This may follow primary tillage (if any) by moldboard plows or chisel plows. No-till farmingmethods avoid tillage for seedbed preparation as well as later weed control. Seedbed preparation in gardens often involves secondary tillage via hand tools such as rakes and hoes. This may follow primary tillage (if any) by shovels, picks, or mattocks. Rotary tillers provide a powered alternative that takes care of both primary and secondary tillage. The preparation of a seedbed may include: 1. The removal of debris. Insect eggs and disease spores are often found in plant debris and so this is removed from the plot. Stones and larger debris will also physically prevent the seedlings from growing. 2. Levelling. The site will have been levelled for even drainage. 3. Breaking up the soil. Compacted soil will be broken up by digging. This allows air and water to enter, and helps the seedling penetrate the soil. Smaller seeds require a finer soil structure. The surface the soil can be broken down into a fine granular structure using a tool such as a rake. 4. Soil improvement. The soil structure may be improved by the introduction of organic matter such as compost or peat. 5. Fertilizing. The nitrate and phosphate levels of the soil can be adjusted with fertilizer. If the soil is deficient in any micro nutrients, these too can be added. The seedlings may be left to grow to adult plants in the seedbed, perhaps after thinning to remove the weaker ones, or they may be moved to a border as young plants. Seed bed preparation done by Bed Raiser tractor implement. All crops are on Raised type beds because uppermost layer of soil is most fertile due to Raised Bed remaining soil of in between rows comes on actual crop rows which increase fertile soil layer and helps to increase yield, reduce weed population and simplify Polythene Mulching.

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iv) Polythene Mulching (Agro-Textile):

Plastic mulch is a product used, in a similar fashion to mulch, to suppress weeds and conserve water in crop production and landscaping. Certain plastic mulches also act as a barrier to keep methyl bromide, both a powerful fumigant and ozone depleter, in the soil. Crops grow through slits or holes in thin plastic sheeting. Plastic mulch is often used in conjunction with drip irrigation. Some research has been done using different colors of mulch to affect crop growth. This method is predominant in large-scale vegetable growing, with millions of acres cultivated under plastic mulch worldwide each year. Disposal of plastic mulch is cited as an environmental problem; however, technologies exist to provide for the recycling of used/disposed plastic mulch into viable plastic resins for re-use in the plastics manufacturing industry. History The idea of using polyethylene film as mulch in plant production saw its beginnings in the mid 1950 s. Dr. Emery M. Emmert of the University of Kentucky was one of the first to recognize the benefits of using LDPE (low density polyethylene) and HDPE (high density polyethylene) film as mulch in vegetable production. His work in this area was done at

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theUniversity of Kentucky. Dr. Emmert also wrote on other topics such as the use of plastic for greenhouses instead of glass and plastic in field high tunnels. Today Dr. Emmert is considered the father of plastic greenhouses . He was jokingly also called the plastic surgeon due to his use of plastic instead of glass for greenhouses and his use of clear and black plastic as mulch in vegetable production. Approximately, 2,500 square miles (6,500 km2) of agricultural land utilize polyethylene mulch and similar row covers for crop production in the world. Benefits The use of plastic mulches along with the use of drip irrigation has many benefits such as: Earlier planting dates The use of plastic mulch alters soil temperature. Dark mulches and clear mulches applied to the soil intercept sunlight warming the soil allowing earlier planting as well as encouraging faster growth early in the growing season. White mulch reflects heat from the sun effectively reducing soil temperature. This reduction in temperature may help establish plants in mid-summer when cooler soil might be required. Soil moisture retention Plastic mulches reduce the amount of water lost from the soil due to evaporation. This means less water will be needed for irrigation. Plastic mulches also aid in evenly distributing moisture to the soil which reduces plant stress. Weed management Plastic mulches prevent sunlight from reaching the soil which can inhibit most annual and perennial weeds. Clear plastics do not prevent weed growth. Holes in the mulch for plants tend to be the only pathway for weeds to grow. Reduction in the leaching of fertilizer The use of drip irrigation in conjunction with plastic mulch allows one to reduce leaching of fertilizers. Using drip irrigation eliminates the use of flood and furrow irrigation that applies large quantities of water to the soil which in turn tends to leach nitrogen and other nutrients to depths below the root zone. Drip irrigation applies lower amounts of water with fertilizers injected and thus these fertilizers are applied to the root zone as needed. This also reduces the amount of fertilizer needed for adequate plant growth when compared to broadcast fertilization.

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Improved crop quality Plastic mulches keep ripening fruits off of the soil. This reduced contact with the soil decreases fruit rot as well as keeps the fruit and vegetables clean. This is beneficial for the production of strawberries, for example. Reduction in soil compaction The plastic mulch covering the soil decreases the crusting effect of rain and sunlight. The reduction in weed quantity means a decreased need for mechanical cultivation. Weed control between beds of plastic can be done using directly applied herbicides and through mechanical means. The soil underneath the plastic mulch stays loose and well aerated. This increases the amount of oxygen in the soil and aids in microbial activity. Reduction in root damage The use of plastic mulch creates a practically weed free area around the plant, removing the need for cultivation except between the rows of plastic. Root damage associated with cultivation is therefore eliminated. Due to these factors, the use of plastic mulch can lead to an improvement in the overall growth of the plant. Disadvantages There are a few disadvantages to using plastic mulches in crop production as well. Cost The benefits from using plastic mulch come at a higher cost than planting in bare soil. These costs include equipment, the plastic film used as the mulch, transplanters designed for plastic beds, and additional labor during installation and removal of mulch films. Specialized Mulch Application equipment must be used to install plastic mulch beds into a field. These machines shape the soil and apply the plastic to the prepared soil. Transplanters designed for plastic mulch can be used to plant the desired crop. Hand transplanting is an option but this is rather inefficient. The removal of plastic mulch also contributes to a higher cost through additional labor and equipment needed. Specialized designed undercutting equipment can be used to remove the plastic from the field after harvest. Disposal Although biodegradable plastic mulches exist, non-biodegradable plastics are more widespread. These non-biodegradable plastic mulches must be removed from the field and disposed of properly. Motes and McCraw of Oklahoma State University state that approximately 8 hours of labor is required to remove 1-acre (4,000 m2) of plastic mulch.

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There is one company, Crain Associates, Inc. that specializes in the building of plants designed to recycle agricultural film and other hard to clean plastics. Application The use of plastic mulch requires a unique application process to insure proper placement of the plastic film. This application process begins with the preparing the field the same way one would for a flat seed bed. The bed must be free of large soil clods and organic residue. A machine called a plastic layer or a bed shaper is pulled over the field creating a row of plastic mulch covering a planting bed. These beds can be a flat bed which simply means the surface of the plastic mulch is level with the inter-row soil surface. Machines that form raised beds create a plastic surface higher than the inter-row soil surface. The basic concept of the plastic bed shaper is a shaping box which creates the bed that is then covered by plastic via a roller and two coulters that cover the edges of the plastic film to hold the plastic the soil s surface. These plastic layers also place the drip irrigation line under the plastic while the machine lays the plastic. It is somewhat important that the plastic is rather tight. This becomes important in the planting process. Planting Planting also requires specialized planting equipment. The most common planting equipment is a waterwheel type transplanter. The waterwheel transplanter utilizes a rotating drum or drums with spikes at set intervals. The drum or drums have a water supply that continuously fills the drum with water. The transplanter rolls the spiked drum over the bed of plastic. As the drum presses a spike into the plastic a hole is punched a water flows into the punched hole. A rider on the transplanter can then place a plant in the hole. These drums can have multiple rows and varied intervals to create the desired spacing for that particular crop.

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v) Seed Treatment, Sowing/Transplanting:

Seed treatment refers to the application of fungicide, insecticide, or a combination of both, to seeds so as to disinfect and disinfect them from seed-borne or soil-borne pathogenic organisms and storage insects. It also refers to the subjecting of seeds to solar energy exposure, immersion in conditioned water, etc. The seed treatment is done to achieve the following benefits. Benefits of Seed Treatment: 1) Prevents spread of plant diseases 2) Protects seed from seed rot and seedling blights 3) Improves germination 4) Provides protection from storage insects 5) Controls soil insects. Types of Seed Treatment: 1) Seed disinfection: Seed disinfection refers to the eradication of fungal spores that have become established within the seed coat, or i more deep-seated tissues. For effective control, the fungicidal treatment must actually penetrate the seed in order to kill the fungus that is present.

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2) Seed disinfestation: Seed disinfestation refers to the destruction of surface-borne organisms that have contaminated the seed surface but not infected the seed surface. Chemical dips, soaks, fungicides applied as dust, slurry or liquid have been found successful. 3) Seed Protection: The purpose of seed protection is to protect the seed and young seedling from organisms in the soil which might otherwise cause decay of the seed before germination. Conditions under which seed must be treated 1) Injured Seeds: Any break in the seed coat of a seed affords an excellent opportunity for fungi to enter the seed and either kill it, or awaken the seedling that will be produced from it. Seeds suffer mechanical injury during combining and threshing operations, or from being dropped from excessive heights. They may also be injured by weather or improper storage. 2) Diseased seed: Seed may be infected by disease organisms even at the time of harvest, or may become infected during processing, if processed on contaminated machinery or if stored in contaminated containers or warehouses. 3) Undesirable soil conditions: Seeds are sometimes planted under unfavourable soil conditions such as cold and damp soils, or extremely dry soils. Such unfavourable soil conditions may be favourable to the growth and development of certain fungi spores enabling them to attack and damage the seeds. 4) Disease-free seed: Seeds are invariably infected, by disease organisms ranging from no economic consequence to severe economic consequences. Seed treatment provides a good insurance against diseases, soil-borne organisms and thus affords protection to weak seeds enabling them to germinate and produce seedlings. Equipments used for Seed Treatment: 1) Slurry Treaters 2) Direct Treaters 3) Home-made drum mixer 4) Grain auger 5) Shovel Precautions in Seed Treatment:

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Most products used in the treatment of seeds are harmful to humans, but they can also be harmful to seeds. Extreme care is required to ensure that treated seed is never used as human or animal food. To minimise this possibility, treated seed should be clearly labelled as being dangerous, if consumed. The temptation to use unsold treated seed for human or animal feed can be avoided if care is taken to treat only the quantity for which sales are assured. Care must also be taken to treat seed at the correct dosage rate; applying too much or too little material can be as damaging as never treating at all. Seed with a very high moisture content is very susceptible to injury when treated with some of the concentrated liquid products. If the seeds are to be treated with bacterial cultures also, the order in which seed treatments should be done shall be as follows i) fungicide ii) bacterial cultures. The first step in growing from seeds is to determine if they should be started inside or direct sown outside. Some seeds are best planted directly into the garden, while others really should be started indoors. Most seeds can be started inside, even those which require a cold treatment first can be"tricked" to germinate inside. Direct seeding with many annuals is a matter of choice. To determine whether you should start seeds indoors or out consider the growing season in your area. If it is shorter than the time the plant needs to produce flowers or vegetables then you should start indoors. Generally seeds of a manageable size are sown directly outdoors. Really small seeds need the extra attention sowing indoors in a controlled environment provides. Some gardeners start seedlings indoors to extend the harvest. Many vegetables and flowers will produce much earlier if started indoors. You will lose more seedlings to the elements, insects and bad weather when direct seeding. Growing Medium When starting seeds indoors, always use a soilless, pre-mixed growing medium. Such mixes are generally made up of peat, perlite and vermiculite along with some nutrients. These mixes are for the most part free from disease, insects and weed seeds. We also recommend you can spray your seeds or growing medium with a fungicide product such as "No-Damp" to prevent "Damping Off" disease on your seedlings. Damping off is a disease caused by several different fungi that rot the seeds during germination or kill the seedlings after emergence. Sowing Seeds We provide sowing instructions with all our seed varieties. Some large seeds can be seeded directly into the pot where they will grow until transplanting outdoors. For most small seeds it is best to simply scatter the seed thinly over the surface of the soil and then cover with an appropriate amount of soil. Some seeds only need to be

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left on the soil surface and not covered. After germination the tiny seedlings can be separated and transplanted into larger containers. Soil Temperature Most seeds require a warm soil temperature to initiate germination. Generally, seeds germinate best at a soil temperature of 64-72 F (18-22 C). Keeping the temperature within this range can be hard, especially for seeds which take several days or even weeks to germinate. Air temperature is generally warmer that the soil temperature, and is not sufficient enough to warm the soil. Bottom heat from specially designed mats or cables are ideal but you can also place your containers on top of the fridge, or radiator, etc. Soil Moisture When sowing seeds inside, soil moisture is equally as important as temperature. Seeds need water to help soften the seed coat and stimulate the root development. If your soil is allowed to dry, the germination will be delayed or, in most cases, ended. To keep the soil moist, mix the growing medium with water, enough so that if a handful is squeezed, a small amount of water will run out. After mixing, sow your seeds according to directions and then cover the containers with clear plastic. We really like those "mini-greenhouse" units that come with clear domes and holding trays. You can also use sealed bags or plastic wrap to keep your medium from drying out. If your medium begins to dry out too fast, use a water bottle which will provide a fine mist or watering can with a gentle nozzle, as to not disturb the seeds. After germination, be sure to remove the plastic and place plants under grow lights or in another bright light location. Lighting Lighting for your seedlings is extremely important. Without sufficient light, your young plants will become tall or "leggy", which will make them weak and easy to break. Ideally, you should use adjustable fluorescent lights when growing plants indoors. Have your light suspended from the ceiling, or use a table top or shelf style of lighting stand to hang over the seedlings. Your lights and the plants must be only 3-4" from the lights at all times for proper growth. You should keep your lights on for about 16 hours a day - we recommend you use an automatic timer to turn on and off your lights. If you don't have lights, you should grow in a bright south facing window. Water Watering young seedlings can be a tricky job as you do not want your medium to dry out but you don't want it too wet either. Usually when the top " of the soil appears dry, you should water. Use a mister or a fine stream watering can to water seedlings. We recommend that whenever possible to water your seedlings from below to help to prevent "Damping Off" disease. To water from below, place your containers in a tray filled with water until the soil becomes moist (not soggy) and then remove. Feeding Feeding your seedlings is important, especially if you have them in cell packs for an
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extended period before transplanting. You should start fertilizing young seedlings with a mild or small dose of a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 or 15-30-15. Which ever fertilizer you use, be sure to dilute to half the strength for the first few feedings and then gradually work up to full strength. You should feed plants at least once a week. Transplanting Outside Now that you have nice healthy seedlings it is time to transplant to your garden. The most common mistake by beginner gardeners is to rush this process. Before planting your tending seedlings outside you must subject them to a "hardening off" period. Inside grown plants must be gradually exposed to outside conditions or they are likely to be stunted or die before they adapt to their"harsh" environment. The process of "hardening off" requires approximately two weeks but this can vary depending on the method you prefer to use. A couple of weeks out from your planned transplant date you should reduce the amount of water the seedlings get. Let the soil become a bit dry-looking between watering. At least a week out from transplant time, start exposing the plants to outside conditions. You want that first exposure to be numbered in hours. Put them out in a shady, protected place for a few hours (say, mid-morning to early afternoon). If you live in cold climate you may want to have a shaded cold frame available. After a couple of days of short exposure, you should be able to leave the seedlings out for the day, still in the shade. Each day, nudge them closer to a spot that gets full sun, or uncover more of the cold frame. Within a few days leave your seedlings fully exposed to the elements, day and night. Only then should you transplant to the garden. Plant Hardiness Zones Plant Hardiness Zone Maps are often referenced when determining if a specific plant variety will successfully grow in your area. The lower the zone number a plant has, the hardier the plant. The zone number is a general guide to hardiness. Many other factors affect how well a plant will thrive, such as snow cover, freeze-thaw cycles and strong winds. Often there are micro-climates within zones and even within your own garden. To find out which zone you live in, please click appropriate link below. We recommend you only use the maps as reference and you should also check with your local agriculture department or other gardeners to see what grows best in your zone. Plant Hardiness Zones of USA Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada Seed Germination The following data is provided by Thompson & Morgan Successful Seed Raising Guide. This guide is out of print. A seed is an embryo plant and contains within itself virtually all the materials and energy to start off a new plant. To get the most from one's seeds it is needful to

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understand a little about their needs, so that just the right conditions can be given for successful growth. One of the most usual causes of failures with seed is sowing too deeply; a seed has only enough food within itself for a limited period of growth and a tiny seed sown too deeply soon expends that energy and dies before it can reach the surface. Our seed guide therefore states the optimum depth at which each type of seed should be sown. Another common cause is watering. Seeds need a supply of moisture and air in the soil around them. Keeping the soil too wet drives out the air and the seed quickly rots, whereas insufficient water causes the tender seedling to dry out and die. We can thoroughly recommend the Polythene bag method (No. 11) which helps to overcome this problem. Watering of containers of very small seeds should always be done from below, allowing the water to creep up until the surface glistens. Most seeds will of course only germinate between certain temperatures. Too low and the seed takes up water but cannot germinate and therefore rots, too high and growth within the seed is prevented. Fortunately most seeds are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures but it is wise to try to maintain a steady, not fluctuating temperature, at around the figure we have recommended in our guide. Once several of the seeds start to germinate the temperatures can be reduced by about 5 degrees F and ventilation and light should be given. Some perennials and tree and shrub seeds can be very slow and erratic in germination. This may sometimes be due to seed dormancy, a condition which prevents the seed from germinating even when it is perfectly healthy and all conditions for germination are at optimum. The natural method is to sow the seeds out of doors somewhere where they will be sheltered from extremes of climate, predators, etc. and leave them until they emerge, which may be two or three seasons later. Dormancy, however, can be broken artificially and our section Nos. 12-16 deals with this. HINTS ON SEED RAISING 1. Strelitzia and similar Do not chip or mark the seedcoat at all but merely remove the orange tuft and soak for up to 2 hours, or even overnight. Sow the seeds in moist sand, pressing them into the sand until only a small part of the black seed is visible and grow in a temperature of 75 degrees F in the dark and ensure that the sand always remains moist. From 7 days onwards inspect the container once a week and as soon as any bulges, roots or shoots are seen remove the germinated seed and pot up in a compost of half peat and half sand. We find that Strelitzias often produce a root without a shoot and we have also found that the young shoots and roots are susceptible to fungal attack. Therefore as soon as possible pot up and provide light and fresh air. Germination can start within 7 days and carry on for 6 months or more.

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vi) Fertilizer Application & Drip Irrigation:

Fig. All filtration and fertigation implements. The Drip Store provides the most economical method of applying fertilizer through the irrigation system by utilizing fertilizer injectors that operate without any external power supply. this method called fertigation. Fertigation use soluble fertilizer that flow directly towards the plant root zone through the drip system, drip emitters or micro sprinkler system. A liquid fertilizer solution or soluble fertilizer is injected into the system at the desired rate. The Drip Store s line of applicators can be attached to the faucet (hose bib) or to PVC pipe to feed the plants through a sprinkler or drip system. The dilution rate is completely adjustable, so the user can feed in minutes on the fast setting or months on the slow setting every time the system is turned on. The mixing ratio is constant even with changes in the flow rate or water pressure and with flow as low as 2.5 gallons per hour and 5 pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure. Fertilizer Applicators

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Fertilizer Applicator Accessories Soluble Fertilizer Fertilizer is generally available in dry, soluble, suspension or solution forms. The Drip Store offers dry and soluble formulas. When using soluble material, only water-soluble compounds should be used; the dry water-soluble fertilizer must be dissolved into the water before it can be injected. Solution forms of fertilizer come completely dissolved. Fertilizer solutions are available in many different blends. Note: Some solutions may require dilution with water in order to provide an adequate volume for uniform distribution thru your irrigation system. Fertigation is the application of fertilizer or other water soluble product through the irrigation system using one of many methods of injection system available. Fertigation is the application of fertilizers, soil amendments, or other water soluble products through an irrigation system. Chemigation, a related and sometimes interchangeable term, is the application of chemicals through an irrigation system. Chemigation is considered to be a more restrictive and controlled process due to the potential nature of the products being delivered pesticides, herbicides, fungicides - to cause harm to humans, animals, and the environment. Therefore chemigation is generally more regulated than fertigation. Usage Fertigation is used extensively in commercial agriculture and horticulture and is starting to be used in general landscape applications as dispenser units become more reliable and easy to use. Fertigation is used to spoon feed additional nutrients or correct nutrient deficiencies detected in plant tissue analysis Usually practiced with high value crops such as vegetables, turf, fruit trees, and ornamentals Injection during middle one-third or the middle one-half of the irrigation recommended for fertigation using micro propagation Water supply for fertigation kept separate from domestic water supply to avoid contamination

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Change of fertilizer program during the growing season in order to adjust for fruit, flower, and root development. Commonly Used Nutrients most plant nutrients can be applied through irrigation systems Nitrogen is most commonly used nutrient Other nutrients include nitrate, ammonium, urea, phosphate and potassium. Determining which nutrient is used A soil fertility analysis is used to determine which of the more stable nutrients should be used Advantages Benefits of fertigation over traditional broadcast or drop fertilizing methods include:
   

Increased nutrient absorption by plants Reduction in fertilizer and chemicals needed Reduced leaching to the water table and, Reduction in water usage due to the plant's resulting increased root mass being able to trap and hold water

Application of nutrients at the precise time they are needed and at the rate they are utilized Disadvantages


Concentration of solution decreases as fertilizer dissolves, leading to poor nutrient placement Results in pressure loss in main irrigation line Limited capacity Use of chemical fertilizers of low-sustainability, instead of organic fertilizers. Dependent on water supply not being restricted by drought rationing. Controls Because of the potential risk in contaminating the potable (drinking) water supply, a backflow prevention device is required for most fertigation systems. Backflow requirements vary greatly so it is very important to understand the proper level of

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backflow prevention required by law. In the United States the minimum backflow protection is usually determined by state regulation but each city or town may increase the level of protection required. Methods Used in Fertigation Drip irrigation which reduces per water and nutrient application rates relative to sprinklers Sprinkler systems increase leaf and fruit quality. Other methods of application include lateral move, traveler gun, and solid set systems All systems should be placed on a raised and/or sealed platform, not in direct contact with earth Fitted with chemical spill trays Continuous application- fertilizer is supplied at a constant rate Three stage applicationirrigation starts without fertilizers and then the later in process fertilizers are applied Proportional application-injection rate is proportional to water discharge rate Quantitative application-nutrient solution is applied in a calculated amount to each irrigation block To determine the injection rate for the particular fertilizer being used use the formula: Maximum injection rate = (5 x Q x L) / (f X 60). - Q = irrigation pump discharge in liters per second - L = fertilizer tank volume in liters - F = amount of fertilizer in grams System Design Fertigation assists distribution of fertilizers for farmers. The simplest type of fertigation system consists of a tank with a pump, distribution pipes, capilaries and dripper pen. What should be considered Water quality Soil type Nutrient consumption (daily) Appropriate nutrient materials

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Possible Strategies to be used Injecting for short time periods at the beginning, middle, and end of irrigation cycle Injecting during middle 50% of the irrigation cycle Continuous irrigation Postering index Imex

Drip Irrigation: Usage of plastic emitter in drip irrigation was developed in Israel by Simcha Blass and his son Yeshayahu. Instead of releasing water through tiny holes, blocked easily by tiny particles, water was released through larger and longer passageways by using velocity to slow water inside a plastic emitter. The first experimental system of this type was established in 1959 when Blass partnered with Kibbutz Hatzerim to create an irrigation company called Netafim. Together they developed and patented the first practical surface drip irrigation emitter. This method was very successful and subsequently spread to Australia, North America, and South America by the late 1960s.[citation needed] In the United States, in the early 1960s, the first drip tape, called Dew Hose, was developed by Richard Chapin of Chapin Watermatics (first system established during 1964)[1]. Beginning in 1989, Jain irrigation helped pioneer effective water-management through drip irrigation in India[2]. Jain irrigation also introduced the `Integrated System Approach , OneStop-Shop for Farmers, `Infrastructure Status to Drip Irrigation & Farm as Industry. The latest developments in the field involve even further reduction in drip rates being delivered and less tendency to clog. In Pakistan it has been promoted by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the Agriculture Development Bank as well as successive governments.[citation
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Modern drip irrigation has arguably become the world's most valued innovation in agriculture since the invention of the impact sprinkler in the 1930s, which offered the first practical alternative to surface irrigation. Drip irrigation may also use devices called micro-spray heads, which spray water in a small area, instead of dripping emitters. These are generally used on tree and vine crops with wider root zones. Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) uses permanently or temporarily buried dripperline or drip tape located at or below the plant roots. It is becoming popular for row crop irrigation, especially in areas where water supplies are limited or recycled water is used for irrigation. Careful study of

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all the relevant factors like land topography, soil, water, crop and agro-climatic conditions are needed to determine the most suitable drip irrigation system and components to be used in a specific installation. Components and operation

Drip Irrigation System Layout and its parts Components (listed in order from water source)
 

Pump or pressurized water source Water Filter(s) - Filtration Systems: Sand Separator like Hydro-Cyclone, Screen filters, Media Filters Fertigation Systems (Venturi injector) and Chemigation Equipment (optional) Backwash Controller (Backflow Preventer) Pressure Control Valve (Pressure Regulator) Main Line (larger diameter Pipe and Pipe Fittings) Hand-operated, electronic, or hydraulic Control Valves and Safety Valves Smaller diameter polytube (often referred to as "laterals") Poly fittings and Accessories (to make connections) Emitting Devices at plants (ex. Emitter or Drippers, micro spray heads, inline drippers, trickle rings) Note that in Drip irrigation systems Pump and valves may be manually or automatically operated by a controller.

       

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Most large drip irrigation systems employ some type of filter to prevent clogging of the small emitter flow path by small waterborne particles. New technologies are now being offered that minimize clogging. Some residential systems are installed without additional filters since potable water is already filtered at the water treatment plant. Virtually all drip irrigation equipment manufacturers recommend that filters be employed and generally will not honor warranties unless this is done. Last line filters just before the final delivery pipe are strongly recommended in addition to any other filtration system due to fine particle settlement and accidental insertion of particles in the intermediate lines. Drip and subsurface drip irrigation is used almost exclusively when using recycled municipal waste water. Regulations typically do not permit spraying water through the air that has not been fully treated to potable water standards. Because of the way the water is applied in a drip system, traditional surface applications of timed-release fertilizer are sometimes ineffective, so drip systems often mix liquid fertilizer with the irrigation water. This is called fertigation; fertigation and chemigation (application of pesticides and other chemicals to periodically clean out the system, such as chlorine orsulfuric acid) use chemical injectors such as diaphragm pumps, piston pumps, or venturi pumps. The chemicals may be added constantly whenever the system is irrigating or at intervals. Fertilizer savings of up to 95% are being reported from recent university field tests using drip fertigation and slow water delivery as compared to timedrelease and irrigation by micro spray heads.

Through a buried plastic bottle If properly designed, installed, and managed, drip irrigation may help achieve water conservation by reducing evaporation and deep drainagewhen compared to other types of irrigation such as flood or overhead sprinklers since water can be more precisely applied to the plant roots. In addition, drip can eliminate many diseases that are spread through

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water contact with the foliage. Finally, in regions where water supplies are severely limited, there may be no actual water savings, but rather simply an increase in production while using the same amount of water as before. In very arid regions or on sandy soils, the preferred method is to apply the irrigation water as slowly as possible. Pulsed irrigation is sometimes used to decrease the amount of water delivered to the plant at any one time, thus reducing runoff or deep percolation. Pulsed systems are typically expensive and require extensive maintenance. Therefore, the latest efforts by emitter manufacturers are focused toward developing new technologies that deliver irrigation water at ultra-low flow rates, i.e. less than 1.0 liter per hour. Slow and even delivery further improves water use efficiency without incurring the expense and complexity of pulsed delivery equipment. Drip irrigation is used by farms, commercial greenhouses, and residential gardeners. Drip irrigation is adopted extensively in areas of acute water scarcity and especially for crops such as coconuts, containerized landscape trees, grapes, bananas, ber, brinjal, citrus, strawberries, sugarcane, cotton, maize, and tomatoes. [edit]Drip Irrigation for Garden Drip irrigation for garden available in drip kits are increasingly popular for the homeowner and consist of a timer, hose and emitter. Hoses that are 4 mm in diameter are used to irrigate flower pots. Advantage and disadvantages

Banana plants with drip irrigation in Maharashtra, India The advantages of drip irrigation are:


Minimized fertilizer/nutrient loss due to localized application and reduced leaching.

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High water application efficiency. Levelling of the field not necessary. Ability to irrigate irregular shaped fields. Allows safe use of recycled water. Moisture within the root zone can be maintained at field capacity. Soil type plays less important role in frequency of irrigation. Minimized soil erosion. Highly uniform distribution of water i.e., controlled by output of each nozzle. Lower labour cost. Variation in supply can be regulated by regulating the valves and drippers. Fertigation can easily be included with minimal waste of fertilizers. Foliage remains dry thus reducing the risk of disease. Usually operated at lower pressure than other types of pressurised irrigation, reducing energy costs.

The disadvantages of drip irrigation are:


 

Expense. Initial cost can be more than overhead systems. Waste. The sun can affect the tubes used for drip irrigation, shortening their usable life. Longevity is variable. Clogging. If the water is not properly filtered and the equipment not properly maintained, it can result in clogging. Drip irrigation might be unsatisfactory if herbicides or top dressed fertilizers need sprinkler irrigation for activation. Drip tape causes extra cleanup costs after harvest. You'll need to plan for drip tape winding, disposal, recycling or reuse. Waste of water, time & harvest, if not installed properly. These systems require careful study of all the relevant factors like land topography, soil, water, crop and agro-climatic conditions, and suitability of drip irrigation system and its components. Germination Problems. In lighter soils subsurface drip may be unable to wet the soil surface for germination. Requires careful consideration of the installation depth. Salinity. Most drip systems are designed for high efficiency, meaning little or no leaching fraction. Without sufficient leaching, salts applied with the irrigation water may build up in the root zone, usually at the edge of the wetting pattern. On the other

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hand, drip irrigation avoids the high capillary potential of traditional surface-applied irrigation, which can draw salt deposits up from deposits below. Emitting Pipe A Emitting Pipe is a type of drip irrigation tubing with emitters pre-installed at the factory with specific distance & flow per hour as per crop distance. Emitter

Horticulture drip emitter in a Pot An emitter is also called a dripper and is used to transfer water from a pipe or tube to the area that is to be irrigated. Typical emitter flow rates are from 0.16 to 4.0 US gallons per hour (0.6 to 16 L/h). In many emitters, flow will vary with pressure, while some emitters are pressure compensating. These emitters employ silicone diaphragms or other means to allow them to maintain a near-constant flow over a range of pressures, for example from 10 to 50 psi (70 to 350 kPa).

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vii) Intercultural operations:

A tractor mounted cultivator designed at Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore can be used for intercultural operations like loosening soil, harrowing, and weeding. The tynes are fixed in two lanes just back of each rear tyre of tractor. The width of each lane is 53 cm. An adjustment is necessary in the position of tractor s wheels. The rear wheels of tractor is fixed in reverse position, thereby increasing the inter-wheel space from 102 cm to 144 cm. With 144 cm inter-wheel space, the tractor can easily pass through sugarcane planted at 90 cm spacing. To maintain weed free crop, intercultural operations are carried out 3 times i.e.at 45-50, 65-70 and 95-100 days after planting. The cultivator can be operated without damage to the crop up to 100-120 days after planting. It has an out turn of 1.5 acre / hour. Another tractor mounted, peg-type cultivator suitable for inter-culture and weeding in sugarcane planted at 70 cm.It has tynes in 3 lanes. In one pass of a tractor 3 rows is harrowed and weeded. This cultivator can be operated by any tractor and without changing the tractor s rear wheel position at 60 cm row spacing. The out turn of the cultivator is 2 acre /hr.

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The two or threerow ridger for providing earthing up to the standing crop designed at SBI Coimbatore is also useful. To use the two-row ridger in sugarcane planted at 90 cm space, the position of tractor s rear wheels is changed reverse. The three row ridger can be used at 75 cm interrow spacing without changing tractor s wheel position.

viii) Use of Pesticides, Fungicides and Herbicides: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has defined the term of pesticide as:
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any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying or controlling any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances which may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids or other pests in or on their bodies. The term includes substances intended for use as a plant growth regulator, defoliant, desiccant or agent for thinning fruit or preventing the premature fall of fruit. Also used as substances applied to crops either before or after harvest to protect the commodity from deterioration during storage and transport. Type of Pesticide Target Pest Group

Algicides or Algaecides

Algae

Avicides

Birds

Bactericides

Bacteria

Fungicides

Fungi and Oomycetes

Insecticides

Insects

Miticides or Acaricides

Mites

Molluscicides

Snails

Nematicides

Nematodes

Rodenticides

Rodents

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Virucides

Viruses

Subclasses of pesticides include: herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, pediculicides, and biocides. Pesticides can be classified by target organism, chemical structure, and physical state. Pesticides can also be classed as inorganic, synthetic, or biologicals (biopesticides), although the distinction can sometimes blur. Biopesticides include microbial pesticides and biochemical pesticides. Plantderived pesticides, or "botanicals", have been developing quickly. These include thepyrethroids, rotenoids, nicotinoids, and a fourth group that includes strychnine and scilliroside. Many pesticides can be grouped into chemical families. Prominent insecticide families include organochlorines, organophosphates, and carbamates. Organochlorine hydrocarbons (e.g. DDT) could be separated into dichlorodiphenylethanes, cyclodiene compounds, and other related compounds. They operate by disrupting the sodium/potassium balance of the nerve fiber, forcing the nerve to transmit continuously. Their toxicities vary greatly, but they have been phased out because of their persistence and potential to bioaccumulate. Organophosphate and carbamates largely replaced organochlorines. Both operate through inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, allowing acetylcholine to transfer nerve impulses indefinitely and causing a variety of symptoms such as weakness or paralysis. Organophosphates are quite toxic to vertebrates, and have in some cases been replaced by less toxic carbamates. Thiocarbamate and dithiocarbamates are subclasses of carbamates. Prominent families of herbicides include pheoxy and benzoic acid herbicides (e.g. 2,4D), triazines (e.g. atrazine), ureas (e.g. diuron), and Chloroacetanilides (e.g. alachlor). Phenoxy compounds tend to selectively kill broadleaved weeds rather than grasses. The phenoxy and benzoic acid herbicides function similar to plant growth hormones, and grow cells without normal cell division, crushing the plants nutrient transport system. Triazines interfere with photsynthesis.Many commonly used pesticides are not included in these families, including glyphosate. Pesticides can be classified based upon their biological mechanism function or application method. Most pesticides work by poisoning pests.A systemic pesticide moves inside a plant following absorption by the plant. With insecticides and most
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fungicides, this movement is usually upward (through the xylem) and outward. Increased efficiency may be a result. Systemic insecticides, which poison pollen and nectar in the flowers, may kill bees and other needed pollinators. In 2009, the development of a new class of fungicides called paldoxins was announced. These work by taking advantage of natural defense chemicals released by plants called phytoalexins, which fungi then detoxify using enzymes. The paldoxins inhibit the fungi's detoxification enzymes. They are believed to be safer and greener. Uses Pesticides are used to control organisms considered harmful. For example, they are used to kill mosquitoes that can transmit potentially deadly diseases like west nile virus, yellow fever, and malaria. They can also kill bees, wasps or ants that can cause allergic reactions. Insecticides can protect animals from illnesses that can be caused by parasites such asfleas. Pesticides can prevent sickness in humans that could be caused by moldy food or diseased produce. Herbicides can be used to clear roadside weeds, trees and brush. They can also kill invasive weeds that may cause environmental damage. Herbicides are commonly applied in ponds and lakes to control algae and plants such as water grasses that can interfere with activities like swimming and fishing and cause the water to look or smell unpleasant.Uncontrolled pests such as termites and mould can damage structures such as houses Pesticides are used in grocery stores and food storage facilities to manage rodents and insects that infest food such as grain. Each use of a pesticide carries some associated risk. Proper pesticide use decreases these associated risks to a level deemed acceptable by pesticide regulatory agencies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Canada. Pesticides can save farmers' money by preventing crop losses to insects and other pests; in the U.S., farmers get an estimated fourfold return on money they spend on pesticides.One study found that not using pesticides reduced crop yields by about 10%. Another study, conducted in 1999, found that a ban on pesticides in the United States may result in a rise of food prices, loss of jobs, and an increase in world hunger. DDT, sprayed on the walls of houses, is an organochloride that has been used to fight malaria since the 1950s. Recent policy statements by the World Health Organization have given stronger support to this approach.[16] Dr. Arata Kochi, WHO's malaria chief, said, "One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house

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spraying, the most effective is DDT." However, since then, an October 2007 study has linked breast cancer from exposure to DDT prior to puberty.Poisoning may also occur due to use of DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons by entering the human food chain when animal tissues are affected. Symptoms include nervous excitement, tremors, convulsions or death. Scientists estimate that DDT and other chemicals in the organophosphate class of pesticides have saved 7 million human lives since 1945 by preventing the transmission of diseases such as malaria, bubonic plague, sleeping sickness, and typhus. However, DDT use is not always effective, as resistance to DDT was identified in Africa as early as 1955, and by 1972 nineteen species of mosquito worldwide were resistant to DDT. A study for the World Health Organization in 2000 from Vietnam established that non-DDT malaria controls were significantly more effective than DDT use. The ecological effect of DDT on organisms is an example of bioaccumulation. Amounts In 2006 and 2008,the world used approximately 5.2 billion pounds of pesticides with herbicides constituting the majority of the world pesticide use at 40% followed by insecticides and fungicides with totals of 17% and 10% respectively. The U.S. in 2006 and 2007, used approximately 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides accounting for 22% of the world total. For conventional pesticides which are used in the agricultural sector as well in industry, commercial, governmental and the home & garden sectors, the U.S. used at total of 857 million pounds, with the agricultural sector accounting for 80% of the conventional pesticide use total. Pesticides are also found in majority of U.S. households with 78 million out of the 105.5 million households indicating that they use some form of pesticide. Currently,there are more than 1,055 active ingredients registered as pesticides, which are put together to produce over 16,000 pesticide products that are being marketed in the United States Costs On the cost side of pesticide use there can be a cost to the environment and human health, as well as the cost of the development and research of new pesticides. Health effects Main articles: Health effects of pesticides and Pesticide poisoning Pesticides may cause acute and delayed health effects in those who are exposed. Pesticide exposure can cause a variety of adverse health effects. These effects can range from simple irritation of the skin and eyes to more severe effects such as
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affecting the nervous system, mimicking hormones causing reproductive problems, and also causing cancer. A 2007 systematic review found that "most studies on nonHodgkin lymphoma and leukemia showed positive associations with pesticide exposure" and thus concluded that cosmetic use of pesticides should be decreased. Strong evidence also exists for other negative outcomes from pesticide exposure including neurological, birth defects, fetal death, andneurodevelopmental disorder. The American Medical Association recommends limiting exposure to pesticides and using safer alternatives: "Particular uncertainty exists regarding the long-term effects of low-dose pesticide exposures. Current surveillance systems are inadequate to characterize potential exposure problems related either to pesticide usage or pesticiderelated illnesses Considering these data gaps, it is prudent to limit pesticide exposures and to use the least toxic chemical pesticide or non-chemical alternative." The World Health Organization and the UN Environment Programme estimate that each year, 3 million workers in agriculture in the developing world experience severe poisoning from pesticides, about 18,000 of whom die. According to one study, as many as 25 million workers in developing countries may suffer mild pesticide poisoning yearly. One study found pesticide self-poisoning the method of choice in one third of suicides worldwide, and recommended, among other things, more restrictions on the types of pesticides that are most harmful to humans. Environmental effect Main article: Environmental effects of pesticides Pesticide use raises a number of environmental concerns. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, including non-target species, air, water and soil. Pesticide drift occurs when pesticides suspended in the air as particles are carried by wind to other areas, potentially contaminating them. Pesticides are one of the causes of water pollution, and some pesticides are persistent organic pollutants and contribute to soil contamination. In addition, pesticide use reduces biodiversity, reduces nitrogen fixation, contributes to pollinator decline, destroys habitat (especially for birds), and threatensendangered species. Pests can develop a resistance to the pesticide (pesticide resistance), necessitating a

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new pesticide. Alternatively a greater dose of the pesticide can be used to counteract the resistance, although this will cause a worsening of the ambient pollution problem.

Benefits There are two levels of benefits for pesticide use, primary and secondary. Primary benefits are direct gains from the use of pesticides and secondary benefits are effects that are more long-term. Primary benefits 1. Controlling pests and plant disease vectors
  

Improved crop/livestock yields Improved crop/livestock quality Invasive species controlled

2. Controlling human/livestock disease vectors and nuisance organisms


  

Human lives saved and suffering reduced Animal lives saved and suffering reduced Diseases contained geographically

3. Prevent of control organisms that harm other human activities and structures
 

Drivers view unobstructed Tree/brush/leaf hazards prevented

 Wooden structures protected Secondary benefits

1. Community benefits
  

Farm and agribusiness revenues Nutrition and health improved Food safety and security

2. National benefits
 

Workforce productivity increased Increased export revenues

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National agriculture economy

3. Global benefits
 

Assured safe and diverse food supply Less greenhouse gas

 Reduced civil unrest Monetary

For every dollar (Rs.1) that is spent on pesticides for crops yields four dollars (Rs.4) in crops saved. This means based on the amount of money spent per year on pesticides,Rs.10 billion, that there is an additional Rs.40 billion savings in crop that would be lost due to damage by insects and weeds. Generally speaking, farmers benefit from having an increase crop yield and from being able to grow a variety of crops throughout the year. Consumers of agricultural products also benefit from being able to afford the vast quantities of produce available year round.The general public also benefits from the use of pesticides for the control of insect-borne diseases and illnesses, such as malaria. The use of pesticides creates a large job market, which provides jobs for all of the people who work within the industry. Alternatives Alternatives to pesticides are available and include methods of cultivation, use of biological pest controls (such as pheromones and microbial pesticides), genetic engineering, and methods of interfering with insect breeding. Application of composted yard waste has also been used as a way of controlling pests.These methods are becoming increasingly popular and often are safer than traditional chemical pesticides. In addition, EPA is registering reduced-risk conventional pesticides in increasing numbers. Cultivation practices include polyculture (growing multiple types of plants), crop rotation, planting crops in areas where the pests that damage them do not live, timing planting according to when pests will be least problematic, and use of trap crops that attract pests away from the real crop. In the U.S., farmers have had success controlling insects by spraying with hot water at a cost that is about the same as pesticide spraying. Release of other organisms that fight the pest is another example of an alternative to pesticide use. These organisms can include natural predators or parasites of the pests. Biological pesticides based on entomopathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses cause disease in the pest species can also be used.

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Interfering with insects' reproduction can be accomplished by sterilizing males of the target species and releasing them, so that they mate with females but do not produce offspring.This technique was first used on the screwworm fly in 1958 and has since been used with the medfly, the tsetse fly,[41] and the gypsy moth. However, this can be a costly, time consuming approach that only works on some types of insects. Another alternative to pesticides is the thermal treatment of soil through steam. Soil steaming kills pest and increases soil health. citation needed. In India, traditional pest control methods include using Panchakavya, the "mixture of five products." The method has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity due in part to use by the organic farming community. Push pull strategy The term "push-pull" was established in 1987 as an approach for integrated pest management (IPM). This strategy uses a mixture of behavior-modifying stimuli to manipulate the distribution and abundance of insects. "Push" means the insects are repelled or deterred away from whatever resource that is being protected. "Pull" means that certain stimuli (semiochemical stimuli, pheromones, food additives, visual stimuli, genetically altered plants, etc.) are used to attract pests to trap crops where they will be killed There are numerous different components involved in order to implement a Push-Pull Strategy in IPM. Many case studies testing the effectiveness of the push-pull approach have been done across the world. The most successful push-pull strategy was developed in Africa for subsistence farming. Another successful case study was performed on the control of Helicoverpa in cotton crops in Australia. In Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, push-pull strategies were successfully used in the controlling of Sitona lineatus in bean fields. Plus many more cases where this strategy was more beneficial than simply using pesticides on their crops. Some advantages of using the push-pull method are less use of chemical or biological materials and better protection against insect habituation to this control method. Some disadvantages of the push-pull strategy is that if there is a lack of appropriate knowledge of behavioral and chemical ecology of the host-pest interactions then this method becomes unreliable. Furthermore, because the push-pull method is not a very popular method of IPM operational and registration costs are higher.

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ix) Harvesting: The harvesting time is different as per crops all crops are at Forcing season so harvesting period of Banana is from 11months-13months,cotton from 6months9months,lime total mrug and ambia season, custard apple in oct.-Nov. Papaya Nov.-Apr. Vegetables from 50-70 days from transplanting etc. x) Grading, Packaging:

Food packaging is packaging for food. It requires protection, tampering resistance, and special physical, chemical, or biological needs. It also shows the product that is labeled to show any nutrition information on the food being consumed.

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Functions of food packaging Packaging has several objectives:[1]




Physical protection - The food enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, shock, vibration, compression, temperature, etc. Barrier protection - A barrier from oxygen, water vapor, dust, etc., is often required. Permeation is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccants or Oxygen absorbers to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function.

Containment or agglomeration - Small items are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. powders, and granular materials need containment. Information transmission - Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product. Some types of information are required by governments.

Marketing - The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package design has been an important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications and graphic design are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display.

Security - Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages can be made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage: Some package constructions are more resistant to pilferage and some have pilfer indicating seals. Packages may include authentication seals to help indicate that the package and contents are not counterfeit. Packages also can include anti-theft devices, such as dyepacks, RFID tags, or electronic article surveillance tags, that can be activated or detected by devices at exit points and require specialized tools to deactivate. Using packaging in this way is a means of retail loss prevention.

Convenience - Packages can have features which add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, and reuse. Portion control - Single serving packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more

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suitable size for individual households. It also aids the control of inventory: selling sealed one-liter-bottles of milk, rather than having people bring their own bottles to fill themselves. Food packaging types The above materials are fashioned into different types of food packages and containers such as: Packaging type Type of container

Food examples

Aseptic processing

Primary

Liquid whole eggs

Plastic trays

Primary

Portion of fish

Bags

Primary

Potato chips

Boxes

Secondary

Box of Cola

Cans

Primary

Can of Tomato soup.

Cartons

Primary

Carton of eggs

Flexible packaging

Primary

Bagged salad

Pallets

Tertiary

A series of boxes on a single pallet used to transport from the manufacturing plant to a distribution center.

Wrappers

Tertiary

Used to wrap the boxes on the pallet for transport.

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Primary packaging is the main package that holds the food that is being processed. Secondary packaging combines the primary packages into one box being made. Tertiary packaging combines all of the secondary packages into one pallet. There are also special containers that combine different technologies for maximum durability:


Bags-In-Boxes (used for soft drink syrup, other liquid products, and meat products)

 Wine box (used for wine) Packaging machines

A choice of packaging machinery includes technical capabilities, labor requirements, worker safety, maintainability, serviceability, reliability, ability to integrate into the packaging line, capital cost, floorspace, flexibility (change-over, materials, etc.), energy usage, quality of outgoing packages, qualifications (for food, phamaceuticals, etc.), throughput, efficiency, productivity, ergonomics, etc. Packaging machines may be of the following general types:
                

Blister, Skin and Vacuum Packaging Machines Capping, Over-Capping, Lidding, Closing, Seaming and Sealing Machines Cartoning machines Case and Tray Forming, Packing, Unpacking, Closing and Sealing Machines Check weighing machines Cleaning, Sterilizing, Cooling and Drying Machines Conveying, Accumulating and Related Machines Feeding, Orienting, Placing and Related Machines Filling Machines: handling liquid and powdered products Package Filling and Closing Machines Form, Fill and Seal Machines Inspecting, Detecting and Checkweighing Machines Palletizing, Depalletizing, Pallet Unitizing and Related Machines Product Identification: labelling, marking, etc. Wrapping Machines Converting Machines Other speciality machinery

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Reducing Food Packaging Reduced packaging and sustainable packaging are becoming more frequent. The motivations can be government regulations, consumer pressure, retailer pressure, and cost control. (Reduced packaging often saves packaging costs.)[2] In the UK, A Local Government Association survey produced by the British Market Research Bureau, compared a range of outlets to buy 29 common food items, found that small local retailers and market traders "produced less packaging and more that could be recycled than the larger supermarkets." Trends in food packaging Main article: Active packaging Numerous reports industry associations agree that use of smart indicators will increase. There are a number of different indicators with different benefits for food producers, consumers and retailers.[4] Temperature Recorders Temperature recorders are used to monitor products shipped in a cold chain and to help validate the cold chain. Digital temperature data loggers measure and record the temperature history of food shipments. They sometimes have temperatures displayed on the indicator or have other output (lights, etc): The data from a shipment can be downloaded (cable, RFID, etc) to a computer for further analysis. These help identify if there has been temperature abuse of products and can help determine the remaining shelf life. They can also help determine the time of temperature extremes during shipment so corrective measures can be taken. Time-Temperature Indicators Time-Temperature Indicators integrate the time and temperature experienced by the indicator and adjacent foods. Some use chemical reactions that result in a color change while others use the migration of a dye through a filter media. To the degree that these physical changes in the indicator match the degradation rate of the food, the indicator can help indicate probable food degradation. RFID Radio Frequency Identification is applied to food packages for supply chain control and has shown a significant benefit in allowing food producers and retailers create full real time visibility of their supply chain.

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Biodegradable Packaging Plastic packaging being used is usually non-biodegradable due to possible interactions with the food. Also, biodegradable polymers often require special composting conditions to properly degrade. Normal sealed landfill conditions do not promote biodegradation. Biodegradable plastics includes biodegradable films and coatings synthesized from organic materials and microbial polymers. A biodegradable product has a unique characteristic in which microbes such as bacteria, fungi and algae can decompose the rugged polymer structure.

Marketing of Products:

Importance and Objectives of Agricultural Marketing in India Inadequacies of Present Marketing System Improvement of Agricultural Marketing System Cooperative Marketing in India Warehousing in India Scientific Marketing of Farm Products

Preface The term agricultural marketing is composed of two words -agriculture and marketing. Agriculture, in the broadest sense means activities aimed at the use of natural resources for human welfare, and marketing connotes a series of activities involved in moving the goods from the point of production to the point of consumption. Specification, the subject of agricultural marketing includes marketing functions, agencies, channels, efficiency and
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cost, price spread and market integration, producers surplus etc. The agricultural marketing system is a link between the farm and the non-farm sectors. Introduction In India Agriculture was practiced formerly on a subsistence basis; the villages were self sufficient, people exchanged their goods, and services within the village on a barter basis. With the development of means of transport and storage facilities, agriculture has become commercial in character, the farmer grows those crops that fetch a better price. Marketing of agricultural produce is considered as an integral part of agriculture, since an agriculturist is encouraged to make more investment and to increase production. Thus there is an increasing awareness that it is not enough to produce a crop or animal product; it must be marketed as well. Agricultural marketing involves in its simplest form the buying and selling of agricultural produce. This definition of agricultural marketing may be accepted in olden days, when the village economy was more or less self-sufficient, when the marketing of agricultural produce presented no difficulty, as the farmer sold his produce directly to the consumer on a cash or barter basis. But, in modem times, marketing of agricultural produce is different from that of olden days. In modem marketing, agricultural produce has to undergo a series of transfers or exchanges from one hand to another before it finally reaches the consumer. The National Commission on Agriculture, defined agricultural marketing as a process which starts with a decision to produce a saleable farm commodity and it involves all aspects of market structure of system, both functional and institutional, based on technical and economic considerations and includes pre and post- harvest operations, assembling, grading, storage, transportation and distribution. The Indian council of Agricultural Research defined involvement of three important functions, namely (a) assembling (concentration) (b) preparation for consumption (processing) and (c) distribution. II. Importance and Objectives of Agriculture Marketing The farmer has realized the importance of adopting new techniques of production and is making efforts for more income and higher standards of living. As a consequence, the cropping pattern is no longer dictated by what he needs for his own personal consumption but what is responsive to the market in terms of prices received by him. While the trade is

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very organised the farmers are not Farmer is not conversant with the complexities of the marketing system which is becoming more and more complicated. The cultivator is handicapped by several disabilities as a seller. He sells his produce at an unfavorable place, time and price. The objectives of an efficient marketing system are: 1. to enable the primary producers to get the best possible returns, 2. to provide facilities for lifting all produce, the farmers are willing, to sell at an incentive price, 3. to reduce the price difference between the primary producer and ultimate consumer, and 4. to make available all products of farm origin to consumers at reasonable price without impairing on the quality of the produce. III. Facilities Needed for Agricultural Marketing In order to have best advantage in marketing of his agricultural produce the farmer should enjoy certain basic facilities. 1. He should have proper facilities for storing his goods. 2. He should have holding capacity, in the sense, that he should be able to wait for times when he could get better prices for his produce and not dispose of his stocks immediately after the harvest when the prices are very low. 3. He should have adequate and cheap transport facilities which could enable him to take his surplus produce to the mandi rather than dispose it of in the village itself to the village money-lender-cum-merchant at low prices.

4. He should have clear information regarding the market conditions as well as about the ruling prices, otherwise may be cheated. There should be organized and regulated markets where the farmer will not be cheated by the -dalals- and -arhatiyas-. 5. The number of intermediaries should be as small as possible, so that the middleman's profits are reduced. This increases! the returns to the farmers. Scientific Marketing of Farm Products

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The tendency among the farmers to market their produce has been increasing. Production is complete only when the produce is marketed at a price remunerative to the farmer. Increasing specialization in production of higher marketable/ marketed surplus of the produce and alternative channels of marketing have increased the importance of the marketing activity for the farmers. However, marketing activity should be guided by certain basic principles which are briefly explained. The farmers can gain more if they follow the following principles of scientific marketing. 1. Always bring the produce for sale after cleaning it Impurities, when present, lower the price offered by the traders-buyers in the market. The fall in price is more than the extent of impurity present in the produce would warrant. Clean produce attracts more buyers. 2. Sell different qualities of products separately The produce of different varieties should be marketed separately. It has been observed that when different varieties of products are marketed separately, the farmers get a higher price because of the buyers preference for specific varieties. 3. Sell the produce after grading it Graded produce is sold off quickly. The additional income generated by the adoption of grading and standardization is more than the cost incurred in the process of grading and standardization. This shows that there is an incentive for the farmers for the production of good quality products.

4. Keep abreast of market information Price information helps him to take decisions about when and where to sell the produce, so that a better price may be obtained. 5. Carry bags/packs of standard weights Farmers should weigh their produce and fill each bag with a fixed quantity. Majority of the farmers do not weigh their produce before taking it for sale and suffer loss by way of a possible malpractice in weighing, or they may have to make excess payments in transit (octroi, transport costs, etc.).

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6. Avoid immediate post-harvest sales The prices of the produce touch the lowest level in the peak marketing season. Farmers can get better prices by availing of warehouses facilities existing in their areas. Farmers can meet their cash needs by pledging the warehouse receipt to nationalized banks. 7. Patronize co-operative marketing societies Farmers can get better prices by sales through a cooperative and marketing society and can avoid the possibility of being cheated. The cost of marketing particularly the transportation cost for farmers having a small quantity of marketable surplus, is minimized, for transportation is arranged co-operatively by the society and the profit earned by the society is shared among its members. 8. Sell the produce in regulated markets The farmers should take their produce for sale to the nearly regulated markets rather than sell them in village or unregulated markets. In regulated markets marketing charges are on very few items. They get the sales slips in the regulated markets, which show the quantity of the produce marketed and the amount of charges deducted from the values of the produce. Sales slips protect farmers against the malpractices of deliberate erroneous accounting or unauthorized deductions.

Cooperative Marketing System in India Though the above measures have improved the system of agricultural marketing to some extent, a major part of the benefits has been derived by large farmers, who have adequate marketable surplus. However, the small and marginal farmers continue to sell a major part of their produce to moneylenders to meet their credit needs and these moneylenders offer them very low prices. Therefore it is essential to form cooperatives of the small and marginal farmers to enable them to obtain fair prices
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for their produce. The advantages that co-operative marketing can confer on the farmer are multifarious, some of which are listed below. 1. Increases bargaining strength of the fanners Many of the defects of the present agricultural marketing system arise because often one ignorant and illiterate farmer (as an individual) has to face well-organised mass of clever intermediaries. If the farmers join hands and for a co-operative, naturally they will be less prone to exploitation and malpractices. Instead of marketing their produce separately, they will market it together through one agency. 2. Direct dealing with final buyers In cases, the co-operatives can altogether skip the intermediaries and enter into direct relations with the final buyers. This practice will eliminate exploiters and ensure fair prices to both the producers and the consumers.

More on Agricultural Marketing Importance and Objectives of Agricultural Marketing in India Facilities Needed for Agricultural Marketing Inadequacies of Present Marketing System Characteristics of Agricultural Products Methods of Sale and Marketing Agencies Agricultural Marketing in India Improvement of Agricultural Marketing System Cooperative Marketing in India Warehousing in India

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Ideal Marketing System Scientific Marketing of Farm Products 3. Provision of credit The marketing co-operative societies provide credit to the farmers to save them from the necessity of selling their produce immediately after harvesting. This ensures better returns to the farmers. 4. Easier and cheaper transport Bulk transport of agricultural produce by the societies is often easier and cheaper. Sometimes the societies have their own means of transport. This further reduces cost and botheration of transporting produce to the market. 5. Storage facilities The co-operative marketing societies generally have storage facilities. Thus the farmers can wait for better prices. Also there is no danger to their crop yield from rains, rodents and thefts.

6. Grading and standardization This task can be done more easily for a co-operative agency than for an individual farmer. For this purpose, they can seek assistance from the government or can even evolve their own grading arrangements. 7. Market intelligence The co-operatives can arrange to obtain data on market prices, demand and supply and other related information from the markets on a regular basis and can plan their activities accordingly. 8. Influencing marketing prices While previously the market prices were determined by the intermediaries and merchants and the helpless farmers were mere spectators force to accept, whatever was offered to them, the co-operative societies have changed the entire complexion of the game. Wherever strong marketing co-operative are operative, they have bargained for and have achieved, better prices for their agricultural produce.
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9. Provision of inputs and consumer goods The co-operative marketing societies can easily arrange for bulk purchase of agricultural inputs, like seeds, manures fertilizers etc. and consumer goods at relatively lower price and can then distribute them to the members. 10. Processing of agricultural produce The co-operative societies can undertake processing activities like crushing seeds, ginning 'and pressing of cotton, etc.

In addition to all these advantages, the co-operative marketing system can arouse the spirit of self-confidence and collective action in the farmers without which the programme of agricultural development, howsoever well conceived and implemented, holds no promise to success.