Agricultural Reviews

  • Chief EditorPradeep K. Sharma

  • Print ISSN 0253-1496

  • Online ISSN 0976-0741

  • NAAS Rating 4.84

Frequency :
Quarterly (March, June, September & December)
Indexing Services :
AGRICOLA, Google Scholar, CrossRef, CAB Abstracting Journals, Chemical Abstracts, Indian Science Abstracts, EBSCO Indexing Services, Index Copernicus
Agricultural Reviews, volume 37 issue 4 (december 2016) : 257-267

Resource Conservation Technologies (RCTs)-Needs and future prospects: A review

Ramesh1*, S.C. Negi, S.S. Rana
1<p>Department of Agronomy, Forages and Grassland Management,&nbsp;Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur-176 062, India.</p>
Cite article:- Ramesh1*, Negi S.C., Rana S.S. (2016). Resource Conservation Technologies (RCTs)-Needs and future prospects: A review . Agricultural Reviews. 37(4): 257-267. doi: 10.18805/ag.v37i4.6456.

Continuous use of conventional farming practices with conventional tillage and burning crop residues has degraded the soil resource base and intensified soil degradation with concomitant decrease in crop production capacity. Further, escalating fuel, fertilizers and other input costs; necessitates the effective use of resources in agriculture. Conservation agriculture (CA) consists of four principles: (i) minimizing mechanical soil disturbance and seeding directly into untilled soil, (ii) using cover crops and/or crop residues (mainly residue retention), (iii) diversification of crops in associations, sequences and rotations and (iv) controlled traffic that lessen soil compaction. The CA technologies involving no- or minimum-tillage with direct seeding and bed planting, residue management and crop diversification have potential for improving productivity and soil quality, mainly by soil organic matter build-up. Conservation agriculture systems appear to be appealing options to achieve sustainable and intensive crop production under different agroecological environments because they use available resources efficiently and maintain soil fertility. However, there is a need for wider scale testing of these new technologies under diverse production systems, as the CA technologies are site specific and therefore appraisal of CA is important to have significant adoption. 

  1. Akbar, G., Hamilton, G., Hussain, Z. and Yasin, M. (2007). Problems and potentials of permanent raised bed cropping systems in Pakistan. Pakistan J. Water Res. 11: 11-21.

  2. Astatke, A., Jabbar, M., Mohamed, M. A. and Erkossa, T. (2002). Technical and economical performance of animal drawn implements for minimum tillage-experience on vertisols in Ethopia. Exp. Agric. 38: 185-196.

  3. Barah, B. (2009). Economic and Ecological Benefits of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Tamil Nadu. Agric. Econ. Res. Rev. 22: 209-214.

  4. Barrett, C., Moser, C., McHugh, O. and Barison, J. (2004). Better technology, better plots, or better farmers? Identifying changes in productivity and risk among Malagasy rice farmers. Amer. J. Agric. Econ. 86: 869 888.

  5. Barthes, B., Azontonde, A., Blanchart, E., Girardin, C., Villenave, C., Oliver, R. and Feller, C. (2005). Effect of a legume cover crop on carbon storage and erosion in an Ultisol under maize cultivation in southern Benin. In: [Roose E, Lal R, Feller C, Barthès B, Stewart B (eds)]. Soil Erosion and Carbon Dynamics. Advances in Soil Science. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 143–155.

  6. Baudron, F., Tittonell, P., Corbeels, M., Letourmya, P. and Giller, K. E. (2011). Comparative performance of conservation agriculture and current smallholder farming practices in semi-arid Zimbabwe. Field Crops Res. 132: 117-128.

  7. Baveye, P. C., Rangel, D., Jacobson, A. R., Laba, M., Darnault, C., Otten,W., Radukovich, R. and Camargo, F. A. O. (2011). From Dust Bowl to Dust Bowl: Soils are still very much a frontier of science. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 75: 2037-2048.

  8. Bhattacharyya, R., Das, T. K., Pramanik, P., Ganeshan, V., Saad, A. A. and Sharma, A. R. (2013b). Impacts of conservation agriculture on soil aggregation and aggregate associated N under an irrigated agroecosystem of the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Nutr. Cycl. Agroeosyst.,

  9. Bhattacharyya, R., Kundu, S., Pandey, S., Singh, K. P. and Gupta, H. S. (2008). Tillage and irrigation effects on crop yields and soil properties under rice–wheat system of the Indian Himalayas. Agric. Water Manage. 95: 993-1002.

  10. Bhattacharyya, R., Pandey, S. C., Bisht, J. K., Bhatt, J. C., Gupta, H. S., Tuti, M. D., Mahanta, D., Mina, B. L., Singh, R. D., Chandra, S., Srivastva, A. K. and Kundu, S. (2013a). Tillage and irrigation effects on soil aggregation and carbon pools in the Indian subHimalayas. Agron. J. 105: 101-112.

  11. Bhattacharyya, R., Tuti, M. D., Bisht, J. K., Bhatt, J. C. and Gupta, H. S. (2012b). Conservation tillage and fertilization impacts on soil aggregation and carbon pools in the Indian Himalayas under an irrigated rice–wheat rotation. Soil Sci. 177: 218–228.

  12. Bhattacharyya, R., Tuti, M.D., Kundu, S., Bisht, J.K. and Bhatt, J.C. (2012a). Conservation tillage impacts on soil aggregation and carbon pools in a sandy clay loam soil of the Indian Himalayas. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 76: 617–627.

  13. Blanchart, E., Villenave, C., Viallatoux, A., Barthes, B., Girardin, C., Azontonde, A. and Feller, C. (2006). Long-term effect of a legume cover crop (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis) on the communities of soil macrofauna and nematofauna, under maize cultivation, in southern Benin. Eur. J. Soil Biol. 42:136-144.

  14. Burrough, P. A. and McDonnell, R. A. (1998). Principles of Geographic Information Systems. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp 10-16.

  15. Calegari, A. (2001). Cover crop management. In Garcia Torres L, Benites J, Martínez Vilela A (eds) “Conservation Agriculture, a worldwide challenge”. First World Congress on conservation agriculture proceedings, Madrid, 1–    5 October, vol 1, pp 85–92.

  16. Calegari, A. (2006). Plantas de cobertura. In: Casao-Junior R, Siqueira R, Mehta YR, Passini JJ (eds) Sistema plantio direto com qual-idade. Instituto Agronomico do Parana (IAPAR), Londrina, pp 55-73.

  17. Choudhury, B. U., Bouman, B. A. M. and Singh, A. K. (2007). Yield and water productivity of rice–wheat on raised beds at New Delhi, India. Field Crops Res. 100: 229-239.

  18. Derpsch, R. and Friedrich, T. (2009). Global overview of Conservation Agriculture adoption. Invited Paper, 4th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture: Innovations for Improving Efficiency, Equity and Environment. 4-7 February 2009, New Delhi, ICAR. ( 

  19. Earl, R., Wheeler, P. N., Blackmore, B. S. and Godwin, R. J. (1996). Precision farming- the management of variability. Land-wards, J. Inst. Agric. Eng. 51: 18-23.

  20. Erenstein, O. (2011). Livelihood assets as a multidimensional inverse proxy for poverty: a district level analysis of the Indo-Gangetic Plains. J. Hum. Dev Cap. 2: 283-302. 

  21. FAO. (2010). Conservation Agriculture Spreads Further Aûeld crops/ agp-in-action/en/.

  22. Foresight. (2011). The Future of Food and Farming. Final Project Report. The Government Office for Science, London.

  23. Fowler, R. and Rockstrom, J. (2001). Conservation tillage for sustainable agriculture: an agrarian revolution gathers momentum in Africa. Soil Till. Res. 61: 93-107.

  24. Gathala, M., Ladha, J. K., Balyan, V., Saharawat, Y. S., Kumar, V. and Sharma, P. K. (2011b). Effect of tillage and crop establishment methods on physical properties of a medium-textured soil under 7-year rice–wheat rotation. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 75: 1-12. 

  25. Gathala, M., Ladha, J. K., Balyan, V., Saharawat, Y. S., Kumar, V., Sharma, P. K., Sharma, S. and Pathak, H. (2011a). Tillage and crop establishment affects sustainability of South Asian rice–wheat system. Amer. Soc. Agron. J. 103: 1-10. 

  26. Gathala, M. K., Ladha, J. K., Saharawat, Y. S., Kumar, V., Kumar, V. and Sharma, P. K. (2011). Effect of tillage and crop establishment methods on physical properties of a medium-textured soil under a seven-year rice–wheat rotation. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 75: 1851-1862.

  27. Giller, K. E., Witter, E., Corbeels, M. and Tittonell, P. (2009). Conservation agriculture and smallholder farming in Africa: the heretics’ view. Field Crops Res. 114: 23-34.

  28. Govaerts, B., Verhulst, N., Castellanos-Navarrete, A., Sayre, K. D., Dixon, J. and Dendoo-ven, L. (2009). Conservation agriculture and soil carbon sequestration: between myth and farmer reality. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 28: 97-122. 

  29. Govaerts, B., Sayre, K. D., Lichter, K., Dendooven, L. and Deckers, J. (2007). Inûuence of permanent raised bed planting and residue management on physical and chemical soil quality in rain fed maize/wheat systems. Plant Soil 291: 39-54.

  30. Gupta Raj, K. and Sayre, K. D. (2007). Conservation agriculture in South Asia. J. Agric. Sci. 145: 207-214.

  31. Gupta, R. (2003). Agenda notes 12th Regional Co-ordination Committee Meeting of Rice–wheat Consortium for Indo-    Gangetic Plains. February 7-9, Islamabad, Pakistan, pp. 39-50.

  32. Gupta, R. K., Hobbs, P. R., Salim, M., Malik, R. K., Verma, M. R., Pokharel, T. P., Thakur, T. C. and Tripathy, J. (2000). Research and extension issues for farm-level impact on the productivity of the rice–wheat systems in the Indo-    Gangetic Plains of India and Pakistan. Rice–wheat Consortium Travelling Seminar Report Series 1. Rice– wheat Facilitation Unit, IARI, New Delhi, India, pp. 26.

  33. Gupta, R. K., Naresh, R. K., Hobbs, P. R., Jiaguo, J. and Ladha, J. K. (2003). Sustainability of post-green revolution agriculture: the rice–wheat cropping systems of the Indo-Gangetic Plains and China. In: [Ladha, J.K., Hill, J., Gupta, R.K., Duxbury, J., Buresh, R.J. (Eds.)], Improving the Productivity and Sustainability of Rice–wheat Systems: Issues and Impact. ASA Special Publication 65. ASA, Madison, WI, USA Chapter 1, pp. 1-25. 

  34. Gupta, V., Rai, P. K. and Risam, K. S. (2012). Integrated Crop-Livestock Farming Systems: A Strategy for Resource Conservation and Environmental Sustainability. Indian Res. J. Ext. Edu. 2(Special Issue): 49-54.

  35. Hartwig, N. L. and Ammon, H. U. (2002). Cover crops and living mulches. Weed Science 50: 688-699.

  36. Hobbs, P. R., Sayre, K. and Gupta, R. (2008). The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. Biol. 363: 543-555.

  37. Humphreys, E., Kukal, S. S., Christen, E. W., Hira, G. S., Singh B., Yadav, S. and Sharma, R. K. (2010). Halting the groundwater decline in North West India —which crop technologies will be winners? Adv. Agron. 109: 155-217.

  38. Humphreys, E., Meisner, C., Gupta, R., Timsina, J., Beecher, H.G., Lu, T.Y., Singh, Y., Gill, M.A., Masih, I., Guo, Z.J. and Thompson, J.A. (2005). Water savings in rice–wheat systems. Plant Prod. Sci. 8: 242-258.

  39. IIFSR. 2015. Vision 2050. Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research. 

  40. Jat, M. L., Saharawat Y. S. and Gupta, R. (2011). Conservation agriculture in cereal systems of south Asia: Nutrient management perspectives. Kar. J. Agric. Sci. 24: 100-105.

  41. Jat, M. L., Gathala, M. K., Ladha, J. K., Saharawat, Y. S., Jat, A. S., Kumar, V., Sharma, S. K., Kumar, V. and Gupta, R. K. (2009). Evaluation of precision land levelling and double zero tillage systems in the rice–wheat rotation: water use, productivity, proûtability and soil physical properties. Soil Till. Res. 105: 112-121.

  42. Kahlown, M. A., Azam, M. and Kemper, W. D. (2006). Soil management strategies for rice-wheat rotations in Pakistan’s Punjab. J. Soil water Cons. 61: 40-44.

  43. Khan, S., Khan, M. A. and Latif, N. (2010). Energy requirements and economic analysis of wheat, rice and barley production in Australia. Soil Env. 29: 61-68.

  44. Knowler, D., Bradshaw, B. and Gordon, D. (2001). The Economics of Conservation Agriculture. Natural Resources Management and Environment Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Y2781E/Y2781E00.HTM)

  45. Kukal, S. S., Humphreys, E., Singh, Y., Timsina, J. and Thaman, S. (2005). Performance of raised beds in rice–wheat systems of northwestern India. In: [Roth, C.H., Fischer, R.A., Meisner, C.A. (Eds.)], Evaluation and Performance of Permanent Raised Bed Cropping Systems in Asia, Australia and Mexico. ACIAR Proceedings No. 121, pp. 26-40. 

  46. Ladha, J. K., Kumar, V., Alam, M. M., Sharma, S., Gathala, M. K., Chandna, P., Saharawat, Y. S. and Balasubramanian, V. (2009). Integrating crop and resource management technologies for enhanced productivity, profiability and sustainability of the rice–wheat system in South Asia. In: Ladha, J.K., et al. (Eds.), Integrated Crop and Resource Management in the Rice–Wheat System of South Asia. IRRI, Los Ba˜nos, the Philippines, pp. 69-108.

  47. Lal, R. (1997). Residue management, conservation tillage and soil restoration for mitigating greenhouse effect by CO2 enrichment. Soil Till. Res. 43: 81-107.

  48. Lal, R. (2004). Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science 304: 1623-1627.

  49. Liaghat, S., and Balasundram S. K. (2010) A Review: The Role of Remote Sensing in Precision Agriculture. Amer. J. Agric. Bio. Sci. 5: 50-55.

  50. Lichter, K., Govaerts, B., Six, J., Sayre, K.D., Deckers, J. and Dendooven, L. (2008). Aggregation and C and N contents of soil organic matter fractions in the permanent raised-bed planting system in the Highlands of Central Mexico. Plant Soil 305: 237-252.

  51. Limon-Ortega, A., Sayre, K. D., Drijber, R. A. and Francis, C. A. (2002). Soil attributes in a furrow-irrigated bed planting system in northwest Mexico. Soil Till. Res. 63: 123-132.

  52. Luo, Z., Wang, E. and Sun, O. J. (2010). Can no-tillage stimulate carbon sequestration in agricultural soils? A meta-    analysis of paired experiments. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 39: 224-231.

  53. Malik, R. K., Yadav, A., Singh, S., Malik, R. S., Balyan, R. S., Banga, R. S., Sardana, P. K., Jaipal, S., Hobbs, P. R., Gill, G., Singh, S., Gupta, R. K. and Bellinder, R. (2002). Herbicide Resistance Management and Evolution of Zero-tillage - A Success Story. Research Bulletin, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India, p. 43. 

  54. McIntyre, B. D., Herren, H. R., Wakhungu, J. and Watson, R. T. (2009). Agriculture at a crossroads global report. International assessment of agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development (IAASTD), Washington. 

  55. Montgomery, D. R. 2007. Soil erosion and agricultural sustainability. PNAS 104: 13268-13272

  56. Naresh, R. K., Singh, S. P. and Chauhan, P. (2012). Influence of conservation agriculture: permanent raised bed planting and residue management on soil quality and crop productivity in maize-wheat in western Uttar Pradesh. Int. J. Life Sci. Biotech. Pharm. Res. 1: 27-34.

  57. Nchimuthu, G., Velu, V., Malarvizhi, P., Ramasamy, S. and Gurusamy, L. (2007). Standardisation of leaf colour chart based nitrogen management in direct wet seededrice(Oryza sativa L.). J. Agron. 6: 338-343.

  58. Pandey, D., Agrawal, M. and Bohra, J. S. (2012). Greenhouse gas emissions from rice crop with different tillage permutations in rice–wheat system. Agric. Eco. Env. 159: 133-144.

  59. Pandey, S., and Velasco, L. (2005). Trends in crop establishment methods in Asia and research issues. In “Rice Is Life: Scientific Perspectives for the 21st Century” (K. Toriyama, K. L. Heong, and B. Hardy, Eds.). International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Philippines and Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Tsukuba, Japan. pp. 178-181.

  60. Pandey, S., Byerlee, D., Dawe, D., Dobermann, A., Mohanty, S., Rozelle, S. and Hardy, B. (2010). Rice in the Global Economy: Strategic Research and Policy Issues for Food Security. International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos.

  61. Pannell, D. J. (1995). Economic aspects of legume management and legume research in dryland farming systems of southern Australia. Agri. Sys. 49: 217-236.

  62. PDFSR. (2011). Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research. Annual Report 2011-12.

  63. Picard, D., Ghiloufi, M., Saulas, P. and de Tourdonnet, S. (2010). Does under-sowing winter wheat with a cover crop increase competition for resources and is it compatible with high yield? Field Crops Res. 115: 9-18

  64. Prasad, R. and Power, J. F. (1997). Soil fertility management for sustainable agriculture. New York, USA, Lewis Publishers. pp. 356. 

  65. Rao. (2014). Rice Knowledge Management Portal.

  66. Rusinamhodzi, L., Corbeels, M., van Wijk, M. T., Rufino, M. C., Nyamangara, J. and Giller, K. E. (2011). A meta-analysis of long-term effects of conservation agriculture on maize grain yield under rain-fed conditions. Agro. Sust. Dev. 31: 657-673.

  67. Saharawat, Y. S., Singh, B., Malik, R. K., Ladha, J. K., Gathala, M., Jat, M. L. and Kumar, V. (2010). Evaluation of alternative tillage and crop establishment methods in a rice–wheat rotation in North Western IGP. Field Crops Res. 116: 260-267.

  68. Santhi, P. K., Ponnuswamy, K. and Kempuchetty, N. (1998). A labour saving technique in direct-sown and transplanted rice. Int. Rice Res. Notes 23: 35-36. 

  69. Saxena, A. (2008). Effect of mustard residues on weed population, soil moisture and cluster bean productivity. Annals Arid Zone 47: 25-32. 

  70. Schmerler, J. and Basten, M. (1999). Cost/Benefit Analysis of Introducing Site-Specific Management on a Commercial Farm. In: Precision Agriculture 99, The Second 28European Conference on Precision Agriculture 11-15th July 1999 , (Stafford JV ed), Odense, Denmark. pp. 959-967.

  71. Scopel, E., Triomphe, B., Ribeiro, M. F. dos S., Seguy L., Denardin, J. E. and Kochhann, R. A. (2004). Direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems (DMC) in Latin America. In: “New directions for a diverse planet”. Proceedings of the 4th International Crop Science Congress, 26 Sept.-1 Oct. 2004, Brisbane, Australia.

  72. Seguy, L., Bouzinac, S., Scopel, E. and Ribeiro, M. F. S. (2003). New concepts for sustainable management of cultivated soils through direct seeding mulch based cropping systems: the CIRAD experience, partner-ship and networks. In: “Producing in harmony with nature”. II World Congress on Sustainable Agriculture Proceedings, Iguacu, Brazil, 10-15th August.

  73. Senthilkumar, K., Bindraban, P., Thiyagarajan, T., De Ridder, N. and Giller, K. (2008). Modified rice cultivation in Tamil Nadu, India: Yield gains and farmers’ (lack of) acceptance. Agric. Syst. 98: 82-94.

  74. Singh, A. K., Choudhury, B. U. and Bouman, B. A. M. (2002). Effects of rice establishment methods on crop performance, water use, and mineral nitrogen. In: [Bouman, B.A.M., Hengsdijk, H., Hardy, B., Bindraban, B., Toung, T.P., Ladha, J.K. (Eds.)], Proceedings of the International Workshop on Water-wise Rice Production, Los Banos, Philippines. IRRI, Los Banos, Philippines, pp. 237-246. 

  75. Stoop, W. (2011). The scientific case of the system of rice intensification and its relevance for sustainable crop intensification. Int. J. Agric. Sust. 9: 443-445.

  76. Stoop, W., Uphoff, N. and Kassam, A. (2002). A review of agricultural research issues raised by the system of rice intensification (SRI) from Madagascar: opportunities for improving farming systems for resource poor farmers. Agric. Syst.71: 249-274.

  77. Thakur, A., Rath, S., Roychowdhury, S. and Uphoff, N. (2010). Comparative performance of rice with System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and conventional management using different plant spacings. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 196: 146-    159.

  78. Uphoff, N. (2012). The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) as a System of Agricultural Innovation (available at http:// _Uphoff. pdf). 

  79. Venkateswarlu, B. and Shanker, A. K. (2009). Climate change and agriculture: Adaptation and mitigation strategies. Indian J. Agron. 54: 226-230.

  80. Vincent, D. and Quirke, D. (2002). Controlling Phalaris minor—in the Indian rice–wheat belt. In: ACIAR Impact Assessment Series No. 18. ACIAR, Canberra, Australia, pp. 35. 

  81. Walker, T. W., Kingery, W. L., Street, J. E., Michael, S., Cox, J., Larry, O., Patrick, D., Gerard, and Xiang, H. F. (2003). Rice Yield and Soil Chemical Properties as Affected by Precision Land Leveling in Alluvial Soils. Agron. J. 95: 1483-1488.

  82. World Resources Institute. (2000). World Resources Institute, New York, Oxford University Press.

  83. Zhao, L., Wu, L., Li, Y., Lu, X., Zhu, D. and Uphoff, N. (2009). Influence of the system of rice intensification on rice yield and nitrogen and water use efficiency with different N application rates. Exp. Agric. 45: 275-286.

Editorial Board

View all (0)