Actual challenges: Developing a low cost no-till wheat seeding technologies for heavy residues - the happy seeder

H.S. Sidhu, Yadvinder Singh, Manpreet Singh, John Blackwell, Harmanjit Singh, Rajinder Pal Singh, H.S. Dhaliwal, Ajaib Singh

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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Abstract

Machine weight, load on the tractorand choking of machine under heavy stubble load were the major constraints in machine operation. To address theseproblems, the work was initiated on modifying row spacing, blade geometry, blade tip speed, machine weight and rotorsize/curvature. This might help to reduce the power requirement of the present Happy Seeder machine without adverselyaffecting machine performance. Our objective was to develop new prototype of Happy Seeder which will work efficientlywith 35 hp tractors mostly available with farmers in the region. Replicated field experiments were conducted at 3locations during 2007-08 to study the effect of row spacing [20 cm (control), 30 cm and 20-40-20 cm) in wheat followingrice. The row to row spacing of 30 cm out yielded the other two spacings by 10% compared to other two row spacings.A light weight prototype of Happy Seeder with 30% more tip speed of modified rotor blades, 40% more windowopening for easy loose straw movement and 19% less weight has been developed having row to row spacing 26.7 cm.The detailed field evaluation of the prototype will be carried out for analysing the interactive effect of variety, date ofsowing and row spacing on wheat yield during 2008-09. A very dedicated and committed extension efforts & futurestrategies are also required to popularize this eco-friendly technology for sustainable agriculture.Rice-wheat is the most popular cropping system followed on around 13.5 m ha area in the South Asia extendingacross the Indo-Gangetic alluvial plains. In north-western India, combine harvesting of rice and wheat is now a commonpractice leaving large amount of crop residues in the fields. Rice straw has no economic uses and remains unutilized.14Abstracts of Invited PapersSession 1.5To vacate fields for the timely sowing of wheat, majority of the rice straw is burnt in situ by the farmers in Punjab as itis a rapid and cheap option. Scientists are looking at alternative uses for rice stubble or new practices that are'economically viable and acceptable' to the farming community. Recently, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana incollaboration with ACIAR has developed a new machine called 'Happy Seeder'. The Happy Seeder cuts, lifts andmanages the standing stubble & loose straw, retaining it as surface mulch and sows wheat in a single operational passof the field.It is encouraging to note that in about 200 ha area in India and Pakistan, wheat has been successfully sown usingHappy Seeder during 2007-08 producing 5-10% more yield (with 50-60% less operational costs) compared toconventional sown wheat. Additional advantages like less weed growth, water saving, improved soil health andenvironment quality were also noted under the use of Happy Seeder technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture
Subtitle of host publicationInnovations for improving efficiency, equity and environment
Pages167-170
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventWorld Congress on Conservation Agriculture (WCCA) - New Dehli, India, India
Duration: 04 Feb 200907 Feb 2009

Conference

ConferenceWorld Congress on Conservation Agriculture (WCCA)
CountryIndia
Period04/02/0907/02/09

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    Sidhu, H. S., Singh, Y., Singh, M., Blackwell, J., Singh, H., Singh, R. P., Dhaliwal, H. S., & Singh, A. (2009). Actual challenges: Developing a low cost no-till wheat seeding technologies for heavy residues - the happy seeder. In 4th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture: Innovations for improving efficiency, equity and environment (pp. 167-170)