Tray nursery seedling machine, a new hope for farmers

Tray nursery seedling machine, a new hope for farmers

Tray nursery seedling machine, introduced by the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga, is emerging as a new ray of hope for farmers burdened with labour cost and heavy expenditure.

Vice-chancellor Dr C Vasudevappa said the university, in association with Zonal Agricultural Research Centre at Brahmavar, is aiming to cover at least 200 acres of the farm fields in the next 30 days with tray nursery seedling machine.

The centre has two machines. One machine can meet the requirement of 90 to 100 acres of agricultural land. Healthy germination of paddy saplings can be seen within 18-20 days in the trays filled with one inch mixture of soil, manure and seeds, he added.

In-charge officer Shankar said the machine would begin with filling the trays with the mixture of mud and FYM (farm yard manure) fertiliser in the first layer, followed by a layer of paddy seeds (MO4, MO13, JM) and another layer of soil mixed with FYM fertilizers.

The total length of the mixture should not exceed one inch to support better germination. In the initial stage, the expenditure would not exceed more than Rs 4,000 and the tray would ensure minimum of 71 seedlings.The seedlings will be available for the transplantation within the 18-20 days following the process.

Nearly 150-160 grams of seeds are required per tray. Eighty trays would cover up one  acre of farm land. At present, each tray is priced at Rs 30 at the zonal research centre. Around 600 trays can be planted easily in one hour.

In traditional farming method’s manual system six or seven hours are required for transplantation of the same number of trays. The total expenses would be around Rs 8,000 in comparison with the traditional farming, wherein the farmer would end up spending nearly Rs 24,000, he added.

The researchers in the university are of the opinion that the yield would be 15-20 percent extra as the seedlings would be planted uniformly. The machine cost varies from company to company and Kubota Company offers the machine at Rs 2.85 lakh.

Prof Vasudevappa said paddy was cultived in 100 acres of land and this year, the target has been enhanced to 200 acres of land.

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