For the first time in Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh, the farmers will be able to apply site-specific precise crop management practices with special emphasis on nutrient management in their fields in a cropping system mode, thanks to computer- and mobile phone-based decision support tool called Crop Manager.
Under the umbrella of Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), a workshop on development of Crop Manager- a decision support tool for rice-wheat cropping systems in EUP and Bihar was organized by CSISA Central Bihar hub at Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Research Complex for Eastern Region (ICAR-RCER), Patna on 20th August. Scientists from ICAR-RCER, Bihar Agricultural University (BAU), Sabour, Bihar, KVK Jamui, KVK Bhojpur, and CSISA EUP and Bihar hub participated. Dr. Roland Buresh, Principal Scientist from IRRI, Philippines conducted this workshop with the objectives of (1) identifying information needed to develop Crop Manager for rice-wheat systems and (2) developing action plan with time lines. Dr. Buresh in his presentation explained the principles of site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) and how they are used in Crop Manager. He also gave examples how Crop Manager is more effective, precise and site-specific in calculating nutrient recommendations than based on soil test values.He also explained how easy it is for farmers to get recommendations with this tool for their fields after answering few simple questions. With the help of this tool, farmers will be able to get recommendations for their fields on their mobile phone via SMS. This tool would provide actionable guidelines on precise fertilizer management and crop management practices to farmers through computer and smart phone. Farmers will get advice on the optimal timing, amount, and type of fertilizer to apply to their crops to maximize productivity and profit to a tune of US $ 100/ha/crop, and reduce waste, Dr. Buresh suggested.
Dr. B. P. Bhatt, Director, ICAR-RCER, Patna, Dr. Andrew McDonald, India Country Coordinator, CSISA, Dr. R. K. Malik, Hub Manager, CIMMYT-CSISA, Bihar, Ms. Cynthia Mathys, Project Manager, CIMMYT-CSISA, Kathmandu, Ms. Rowena L Castillo, Asst. Scientist, IRRI, Philippines, Dr. Virender Kumar, Cropping Systems Agronomist, CIMMYT-CSISA, Patna and Dr. Raj Kumar Jat, Cropping Systems Agronomist CIMMYT-BISA, Pusa, Bihar also attended the workshop.