Cropping Pattern: The selection of crops and their varieties is to be made depending on the soil and rain fail situation in the rained areas. The photo insensitive crops and varieties with shorter duration should be chosen to escape drought of different intensities. There are wide variations, location to location in water availability periods in dryland areas. Thus depending upon water availability following are the different crops and cropping patterns to suit different climatic situations.
For rained areas:
Pearl millet, red gram, green gram, black
gram, Horse gram, groundnut
Rabi : Jowar Safflower
Cotton, sorghum, red gram, black gram,
green gram, soybean, sunflower
Kharif crops Mung /
Rabi crops Safflower
Assured rainfall zone
Stable intercropping systems for rained areas:
Scarcity zone Bajra + Tur in 2: 1 row proportion
Assured rain Sorghum + Mung / Urid in 2: 1 row proportion fall zone.
Cotton + Mung / Urid in 1: 1 row proportion
Cotton + Tur in 8: 2 row proportion
Sorghum + Tur in 2: 1 row proportion.
Tur + Mung / Urid in 1: 3 row proportion.
Grassland or pasture management:
Most of the marginal lands are not able to sustain arable crops particularly during the drought years. Such lands can be developed into dependable pastures by following soil and water conservation measures like contour trenches and contour furrows. Controlled grazing may also help in building the forage resource.
At times, native pastures are stocked with low productive and less palatable species. These pastures lack legume component, thus, making the pasture lands nutritionally deficient. Artificial renovation of such pastures is likely to provide forage of good quality as well as sufficient quantity. In rained areas, different legumes from the genera Dolichos, Leucaena, Clitoria, Cassia and Stylosanthes have been found to do well with or without grasses like Cenchrus ciliaris. But Stylosanthes has been found to be excellent in all situations with regard to persistence, nutritive value and palatability. Different grasses from the genera Dichanthium, Cenchrus, Lasiurus, Chloris, Urochloa, Panicum, and Pennisetum etc. have been observed doing well. Cenchrus ciliaris has been found to be good in most of the situations.
The pastures are easily established if they are seeded at the beginning of rainy season. Seeds of Cenchrus ciliaris @ 1.0 Kg. Stylosanthes hamata @ 4.0 Kg and Stylosanthes scabra @ 1.0 Kg per hectare may be used as seed moistures. The seed moisture may be broadcasted on a drizzling day. After that, light raking of the soil may improve germination chances considerably.
Research investigations have revealed that application of 20 – 25 Kg N increases dry matter yield of grass species considerably. Similarly, 30 – 40 Kg. of P205 gives good response of legume component. For the establishment of pasture as well as for getting increased forage production the access of livestock to pastures should be controlled so that grazing pressure could be minimized.