How to do proper management of straw?
How to do proper management of straw?

Straw is the only agricultural by-product, which is available in abundance to the farmers cultivating paddy.

The country produces about 500 to 550 million tonnes of crop residues annually, which mainly includes rice and wheat residues. Paddy contributes 34 percent and wheat 22 percent of the total crop residue produced in India.
At the time of initial growth of the crop, about 40 percent nitrogen, 30 to 35 percent phosphorus, 80 to 85 percent potassium and 40 to 50 percent sulphur are available from paddy residue present in the soil.

If any residue management strategy can be successful during this time frame, it is to mix the residue into the soil. With this, these residues will decompose in the soil over time and act as fertilizer.

Paddy straw is collected and burned by farmers while it can be used as animal feed. Burning of paddy residue in the fields pollutes the atmosphere. In this way sulphur, nitrogen, carbon dioxide are emitted, which is not good for the atmosphere and human beings.

In order to increase the use of paddy straw, especially low cost industries should be promoted, such as - making cardboard, making compost, making manure for mushroom production etc.
Paddy straw can be used for laying under livestock. In this way, it can be used for making manure by mixing it with cow dung and urine.

To maintain the proper level of fossil material in the land, it should be our effort that crop residue should be used in large quantity. Paddy straw/stubble can be used as mulch in the crop.
Adding rice straw to the soil allows most of the nutrients to reach the soil and promotes the soil's ability to conserve nutrients.

Preparation of manure from straw –

Instead of burning the stubble, manure can be prepared in the field itself. Immediately after the harvest of the crop, plough the field & then spray urea 20 to 30 kg by dissolving it in water at the rate of per acre. Use Azotobacter for strong stalk.

Additional two to three ploughings are required to mix the crop residue in the soil. Use rotavator or harrow to reduce the size of crop residue/straw. Irrigate after mixing paddy straw in soil and use urea manure. By doing this, the crop residue will soon rot and get mixed in the soil.

Author: Gopal Bhardwaj
Specialist in Horticulture