Tuesday, June 4, 2013



An orientation programme on "Soybean Cultivation" was organized by the Pulses Section of the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics (PBG) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today. The scientists and the extension specialists from the PAU and various Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), located across the state, participated in the programme. Besides, Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research; Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education; Dr G.K. Ghumber, Head, PBG, and the additional directors, and faculty of various departments of the PAU attended the programme.

In his remarks, the Chief Guest Dr S.K. Srivastava, Director, Directorate of Soybean Research (DSR), Indore, divulged that during their meeting with S. Prakash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, and Dr S. Ayyappan, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, thrust was laid on promoting the crop diversification in the state. Observing that soybean can be a good substitute for the rice crop, he emphasized on conducting timely front line demonstrations on soybean to illustrate that the crop has a good scope in Punjab.

Dr Gosal observed, "Due to the assured minimum support price (MSP) of rice, other crops were left behind. But over the years, we now have good high-yielding soybean varieties alongwith their agronomic and plant protection practices." Stating that the Punjab government has been making concerted efforts to reduce the area under paddy crop, he added that the shift to the alternative crops like maize, cotton, vegetables, and pulses like soybean would definitely promote crop diversification in the state.

Earlier, Dr Gill, while welcoming the dignitaries and the participating scientists, appreciated the informative presentations made by the Principal scientists from DSR, Indore. He called upon the KVK scientists to carry out farm operations as per the advice of the agriculture experts. Dr Gill told that the Package of Practices for Soybean, jointly prepared by the PAU and DSR, will be provided to the KVK scientists for the timely technical guidance.

Dr S.D. Billore, Principal Scientist (Agronomy), DSR, Indore, pointed out that poor plant population, mono-varietal cultivation, and delayed sowing are some of the reasons for the low productivity of soybean. He shared useful tips for the successful cultivation of soybean with focus on seed rate and seed treatment, time and method of sowing, weed and water management, fertilizer application, and harvesting and threshing.

Dr A. N. Sharma, Principal Scientist (Entomology), DSR, Indore, said that the PAU has got an extra-ordinary honour for the farmers and that even Punjab farmers are receptive and take up the farm technologies enthusiastically. Speaking on the integrated pest management (IPM) strategies in soybean, he observed that the lack of awareness and incentives, farmers' economic status, and limited area under IPM are some of the limitations in the adoption of IPM technology. To reduce insect infestation, he suggested few measures like deep summer ploughing, selection of proper variety, proper seed rate and spacing, balanced nutrition, and use of light traps.

Dr Ghumber proposed the vote of thanks.
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