A team of senior management personnel of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) led by Swapan K Dutta, DDG (Crop Science), ICAR and accompanied by K C Bansal, Director, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources; Indu Sharma, Director, Directorate of Wheat Research; O P Yadav, Director, Directorate of Maize Research; Devendra Kumar, Director (Finance), ICAR; P S Chahal, Deputy Director (Research),PAU; and several scientists of DMR and PAU visited BISA, Ludhiana on November 15, 2014.
The basic purpose of the visit was to see the progress of infrastructure development at BISA and see the new research initiatives at the BISA farm. H S Sidhu, Sr. Research Engineer, BISA welcomed the visitors and explained the major research and development activities being carried out at BISA, Ladhowal. M L Jat, Senior Cropping Systems Agronomist and South Asia Coordinator for CIMMYT- CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), explained to the visitors that with the recent focus on the importance of conservation agriculture (CA), more strategic research on component technologies for precision input management (water, nutrient, adapted genotypes, weed, smart mechanization, etc.) for layering with key elements of CA is critical and hence, the research focus at BISA was on these lines.
The team saw and discussed the recent advances in water management research in maize and wheat based cropping systems being undertaken at the BISA farm such as subsurface drip rice-wheat cropping system trial, where one can produce rice with a saving of 60% irrigation water and achieve a yield equalling to that of puddled transplanted rice. The team also visited the trial on maize-wheat cropping system with subsurface irrigation and layering of different conservation agriculture technologies to develop packages and recommendation for this technology. Jat described the previous work on subsurface drip in maize-wheat cropping system and shared BISA’s experiences and results. “We can produce higher yields in maize-wheat cropping system with a saving of 50% or more water and nitrogen thus increasing N use efficiency”, he said.
A live demonstration of a newly developed tractor operated slitting machine for subsurface drip laying was given to the visitors. The team also visited wheat genotypes evaluation for early seeding in conservation agriculture and evaluation of maize for abiotic stress and cold tolerance. The team was also told about the ongoing work on genomic selection for wheat.