Tamil Nadu

Retain soil fertility, the natural manner

Sunn hemp raised at State Seed Farm at Pongalur in Tirupur district for seed production and its popularisation for in-situ ploughing.— Photo: R. VIMAL KUMAR  

Though the raising of Sunn hemp crop, popularly known in the State as ‘sannappoo,’ ahead of the cultivation of the main agriculture crop has been scientifically proven to give immense benefits for ensuring good plant growth, the technique is not yet popular in Tirupur district.

Usually the crop is ploughed in for soil fertility.

The Department of Agriculture has decided to raise seeds on five hectares at the State Seed Farm for distribution to farmers. Seeds produced from here will be distributed through Agriculture Extension Centres in the district to the farmers at subsidised rates.

The farm is expected to produce 20 kg of seeds an acre.

The objective is to encourage farmers raise the Sunn hemp plants before the beginning of the next sowing, said Joint Director of Agriculture P. Santhanakrishnan.

According to agriculture experts, raising of Sunn hemp by adding rhizobium culture to the root nodules fixes nitrogen in the soil.

After attaining the growth of around 80 days, the Sunn hemp should be ploughed in so that the soil gets organic carbon and nitrogen.

This would be useful for farmers when they start raising the main agriculture crops. Soil would also be getting pulverised by this methodology and hence, water and air could enter easily enter to maintain the soil fertility.

The weeds infestation would get reduced too.

Mr. Santhanakrishnan said that the method of using Sunn hemp would help reduce the farmers’ dependency on artificial sources like urea significantly.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 6:45:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/retain-soil-fertility-the-natural-manner/article6790758.ece

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