Dense Planting in Bt Cotton
Cotton is one of the major cash crop of the Ahmednagar district, area under cotton of the district is increasing continuously (1.27 lakh ha. 2012-13). Low yield is the major problem of cotton. Bt cotton introduced in 2003-04 but still farmers were using traditional
cultivation practices like wider planting distance, imbalance nutrient management. In Bt cotton vegetative growth is comparatively less than non Bt. Hence in order to increase the crop yield it is necessary to change the cultivation practices of the crop.In the year 2007, KVK made intervention in plant geometry of Bt cotton. Farmers were initially not ready to change the conventional planting distance (4x4ft.) KVK conducted trainings similarly conducted the on farm trail on three planting distance i.e. 4x4ft., 3x3ft., 4x2 ft.. Continuous two year trial was conducted on 20 farmers field. In order to show the results of the dense planting activities like field day, shivar pheri also organized. Simultaneously Front Line Demonstrations programme also conducted by KVK. Awareness about dense planting also creates among the farmers through trainings, promoted FLD farmers to adopt the dense planting
Average yield data of two year (2007-08, 2008-09)
Mass publicity also given through news paper, radio talk. Technology also disseminated through extension workers of state agriculture department. Trials results, FLD demonstrations
mass publicity help to encourage the farmers for change the planting distance. KVK has made continues effort through trainings and FLD for adopting the dense planting. KVK Babhaleshwar is the pioneer in intervention of dense planting technology in Bt cotton. Now about 90-95 per cent cotton growers of the district have been adopting the dense planting distance (4x2 feet). In order to make suitable mechanical intercultivation refinement made in 4x2 ft. planting distance. Now the farmers are using the planting distance 5x1.5 ft, 6x1 ft., which increases plant population and crop yield.