Tuesday, March 1, 2011



On the second day of four-day Indo-US workshop on 'Precision agricultural techniques and technologies (PATT) 2011, organized in collaboration with Colorado State University, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and India Science and Technology Partnership (INSTP), which is currently underway at PAU, three technical sessions took place, today. The event was inaugurated by Ms. Holly Higgins, Minister Counselor, Agricultural Affairs, US Embassy, New Delhi, last evening.

The technical sessions were chaired by Dr Raj Khosla, Professor, Colorado State University (CSU), USA, Dr Dwayne Westfall, Professor, CSU and Dr Jaskaran S.Mahal, Senior Research Engineer-cum-Head, Farm Machinery and Power Engineering, PAU. Speakers from American Society of Agronomy, North Dakota State University, CSU, University of Minnesota, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Indian Agricultural Research Institute and PAU, held deliberations wherein they shared precision agricultural practices in North America, precision nutrient and water management techniques and technologies for enhancing food production. The emphasis was laid on the need-based application of inputs for harnessing there optimum benefit.

An expert speaking on 'site specific and need-based fertilizer nitrogen applications to cereal crops – a need of the time,' dwelt on fertilizer N in India with focus on consumption, production and imports, changes in soil N content by applying fertilizer N in long-term experiments on rice-wheat / rice-rice cropping system in India, fertilizer N management in wheat, rice and fertilizer N consumption in developing and developed countries of the world. Referring to congruence between N supply and demand, the expert stressed on the immediate need to use scientific and technological advances for enhancing input use efficiencies. Throwing light on the methods to improve timing and rate of N fertilizer in balance with N demand and N supply- he referred to 'non-destructive measurement of crop N status - chlorophyll meter, leaf colour charts (LCC), remote sensing (NDVI) adding that the chlorophyll meter and LCC can be used to manage fertilizer N through real-time N management i.e. by applying N early and applying N when LCC reading is below critical value.

Another technical speaker from CSU delved on 'irrigation water management in water scarce environments.' Stating that the demand for water exceeds the available supply, the expert shed light on the drivers of scarcity which were: population growth, economic development, drought, environmental water needs and aquifer depletion. New technology, new water supplies and water reallocation were the tools to address water scarcity. Farm scale profitability depends on careful management of inputs and valuation of water, said the expert. Sharing his views on water measurement and accounting, he added that improving water use efficiency depends on understanding water application, use and loss.

Dr. P.P.S. Lubana, Dean College of Agricultural Engineering & Technology said that the delegates were taken to the local agricultural equipment industry. Interacting with the representative of the industry, the queries of the participants pertaining to precision agriculture were responded. There is a programme for showing the delegates to School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Electron Microscopy and Nano Science Laboratory and the Museum of Social History of Punjab, he said.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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