Sowing Of Seed – Sowing Time, Depth of Sowing, Spacing and Plant Population
Sowing Time: It is the non monetary inputs which greatly influence the crop growth & yield. Therefore, sowing of crop should be done at recommended dates. Any fluctuation in optimum sowing time results in drastic yield reduction. E.g. Wheat.
Depth of Sowing: It is also non-monetary input which decides plant stand in the field. It influences the germination & emergence of seed. Sowing should be done at recommended depth. These vary with the kind of seed and its size. Bigger seeds may be sown at a greater depth while small sized seeds at shallow. Seed should be dropped in the moist zone. In Kharif, sowing should be shallow and in Rabi deeper except pre-sowing irrigation.
Spacing and Plant Population: Spacing between the row and within the plants decides the plant stand/plant population per/unit area. Optimum plant population results in normal crop growth & thereby yields. One can manipulate the R/R & P/P distance but care should be taken for maintaining the optimum plant population as per the recommendations. E.g.: Jowar & Bajara 1.37 – 1.5 lakh (45 x 15cm), cotton (irrigated) 12000 (90 – 120 x 60 – 0 cm), sugarcane 5000 (1 M R/R with 25000 sets.), Groundnut (bunch) 2 – 2.5 lakh (30 x 15 cm). A dense population results in competition for nutrients, moisture & light and thereby suppressed growth while less population results in low yield /unit area.
Yield of a crop is the result of final plant population which depends on the no. of viable seeds, germination % and survival rates. An establishment of optimum plant population is essential to get maximum yield. Yield/plant decreases gradually as plant population/unit are is increased. However, the yield/unit area is increased due to efficient utilization of growth factors. Optimum plant population depends on plant size, elasticity, foraging area, nature of the plant, capacity to reach optimum leaf area at an early date & seed rate used.