Monsoon had just set in when we became the title owners of our farm. Rains had triggered lot of farm activity around us and we were not willing to be left behind. So we hired a tractor, offered customary prayer and started our agriculture career with supposedly easy crop of millet & pulses.
We did not have much of beginners luck.
By next monsoon we were a lot wiser and chose groundnut which is largely a rainfed crop. In our region it is sown after the first summer showers to ride the south west Monsoon. At first it seemed like we will be lifelong dependent on knowledgeable for guidance as were did not posses the tribal knowledge. Then we learnt about Package of Practices or POP, which are comprehensive guidelines created by experts. A POP has cropping methods, advise on climate conditions, input schedule, potential pest issues and much more for a given crop. Adhering to POP is a sure way to achieve predictable outcomes. To account for environment variations, each region has a specific variant.
We followed TNAU package of practice for our groundnut crop and produced juiciest groundnuts. When we harvested each plant had about 80 pods as shown below.
Our neighbors also bought the same seeds and planted at the same time but went about doing the way they have always done. Both crops were harvested under near similar conditions look at the difference in the pods.
Our neighbors went with the age old practices and skipped seed treatment which costed them dearly. Seed treatment is a process of coating the seeds before sowing with helpful microbes. We coated our seeds with three microbes Rhizobium -nitrogen-fixing micro organism, Trichoderma Veridi - fungi that improves the immunity of the plants and finally Phosphobacteria or PSB to helps the plants absorb phosphates.
Seed treatment provides the young saplings all the needed protection & nutrition as they establish this could be seen analogous to Immunization of children that we all are familiar with. More details of seed treatment is here in this video .
With the groundnut crop our outlook in the neighborhood has changed from over enthusiastic gardeners to ace cultivators thanks to POP.