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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Updates

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  • Boovarahan Srinivasan
    Hi ! Area per plant : There are two ways about the planting distance. 1. Distance between successive rows and plant to plant distance in a row : While
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
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      Hi !

      Area per plant :

      There are two ways about the planting distance.
      1. Distance between successive rows and plant to plant distance in a row :

      While coventionally farmeres plant sugarcane with just 2 feet gap , this
      makes sugarcane to grow too crowded and compete with each other for air and
      sunlight.

      In my farm , I have planted sugarcane with 6 feet of inter row distance and
      2 feet of plant to plant distance . And this makes the field look too
      sparcely planted . Subash Palekar recommends 8 feet inter row distance but
      this is to accomodate multi cropping.

      2. Number of plants in a row:

      Normally farmers used to plant two setts , each on one side of the ridges
      and not on the furrows . Each sett of sugarcane contains minimum three buds
      . In essence 6 palnts are to be grown within 2 feet . This makes the number
      of setts to be planted more , usually about 30000 setts for an acre.

      I did not follow this method but planted single saplings ( not setts ) at 6
      ft. by 2 ft. intervals.
      This made me to plant just 4500 saplings , a big savings in the cost of
      sugarcane to be bought for planting.



      Growing season :
      The sugarcane companies take a wider area into consideration , usually a
      cluster of villages and the acreage under sugarcane cultivation. The just
      plan the seeding in such a way that they can get the sugarcane produce
      evenly all through the year. In fact I brought the sugarcane inspectors to
      my field for survey and the advised me to plant immediately . Not only me
      but a good number of farmers seed sugarcane in that period . Almost all of
      us are affected by the intense heat of summer sun and hot air wave . Those
      who planted in August didn't face that problem. From this experience I have
      commented on the planting season. Whether the factories function based on
      sugarcane growth cycle or not , nature doesn't give us a chance . It has its
      own agenda of favouring some crops as summer crops and some as winter crops
      . Not every crop can be grown all through the year except trees. Even trees
      when they are too young are affected by untimely planting and off season
      growth retardation. So timing of planting plays an important role. This has
      been my experience and I learnt it the hard way.

      I am waiting for my sugarcane crops to pick up growth . As Fukuoka has
      rightly said , the more the growth of the plants , the less is the produce.
      In rice , if one gets more straw , the grain production is lessened. Since
      our farmers usually need straw for their cattle ,they strike a balance and
      go in for tall variety rice with accelerated growth. This is my observation.

      By next fortnight I may commence rice planting since this is our main season
      for our staple food of rice. Hope this process goes smoothly.

      Thanks.
      On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 9:34 AM, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      > Interesting.
      >
      > *Growing season:* Are all the farmers in your region harvest sugarcane just
      > before the monsoon? It occurs to me that the growing season is driven more
      > by the 'sugar factories' rather than old practice! The factories in our
      > region are functional during the first half of the year. And that is why
      > sugarcane is grown jan - dec here. Now, I do not know if the factories work
      > based on the sugarcane growth cycle or the sugarcane is grown based on
      > factory demand!
      >
      > *Area per plant:* I was also worried about the area per plant. On repeated
      > requests our farmer listened to me and provided 5' between the rows.
      > Subhash
      > Palekarji (http://palekarzerobudgetnaturalfarming.com/home.html
      > )recommends8'
      > between the rows and I was trying to push this through! Although this
      > distance seems too much when they are planted, it is quite evident when
      > they
      > grow. Even with the 5' distance the plants do not have enough room in our
      > farm. The local practice is to plant them even closer, some at 2' while
      > some
      > at 1'. (And they argue that this kind of spacing leaves no room for weeds!
      > And that you get more yield per acre.)
      >
      > The other day, I was reading this from OSR.
      >
      > "I do not try to raise tall fast-growing plants with big leaves. Instead, I
      > keep the plants as compact as possible. Keep the head small, do not
      > overnourish the plants, and let them grow true to the natural form of the
      > rice plant. Usually rice plants three or four feet tall produce luxuriant
      > leaves and give the impression that the plant is going to produce a lot of
      > grain, but it is only the leafy stalks that are growing strongly. Starch
      > production is great but efficiency is low, and so much energy is expended
      > in
      > vegetative growth that not much is left to be stored in the grains. For
      > example, if tall; over-sized plants yield 2,000 pounds of straw the yield
      > of
      > rice will be about 1,000-1,200 pounds. For small rice plants, such as those
      > grown in my fields, 2,000 pounds of straw yields 2,000 pounds of rice. In a
      > good harvest the yield of rice from my plants will reach about 2,400
      > pounds;
      > that is, it will be 20 percent heavier than the straw."
      >
      > Of course, we are talking apples and oranges. Fukuoka san's rice experience
      > cannot be directly applied to sugarcane. Still ...
      >
      > Regards,
      > Harish
      >


      > Boovarahan S
      >
      Chennai.
      09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Nandan Palaparambil
      To me it looks like that, grass varieties grow very close..Especially rice when broadcasted there is no 1 feet distance which is recommended in SRI method,but
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
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        To me it looks like that, grass varieties grow very close..Especially
        rice when broadcasted there is no 1 feet distance which is recommended
        in SRI method,but still they grow healthy and produce good yield. Also natural grass if you observe they grows very close
        and dense.



        Another aspect is weed control..if plants grow close they may crowd out
        weeds well, or you should have another leguminous ground cover like
        clover used by Fukuoka san, may be that is the best.





        Regards,

        Nandan

        --- On Sun, 9/4/11, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:

        From: Harish Amur <harishamur@...>
        Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Updates
        To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sunday, September 4, 2011, 9:34 AM







         









        Interesting.



        *Growing season:* Are all the farmers in your region harvest sugarcane just

        before the monsoon? It occurs to me that the growing season is driven more

        by the 'sugar factories' rather than old practice! The factories in our

        region are functional during the first half of the year. And that is why

        sugarcane is grown jan - dec here. Now, I do not know if the factories work

        based on the sugarcane growth cycle or the sugarcane is grown based on

        factory demand!



        *Area per plant:* I was also worried about the area per plant. On repeated

        requests our farmer listened to me and provided 5' between the rows. Subhash

        Palekarji (http://palekarzerobudgetnaturalfarming.com/home.html)recommends8'

        between the rows and I was trying to push this through! Although this

        distance seems too much when they are planted, it is quite evident when they

        grow. Even with the 5' distance the plants do not have enough room in our

        farm. The local practice is to plant them even closer, some at 2' while some

        at 1'. (And they argue that this kind of spacing leaves no room for weeds!

        And that you get more yield per acre.)



        The other day, I was reading this from OSR.



        "I do not try to raise tall fast-growing plants with big leaves. Instead, I

        keep the plants as compact as possible. Keep the head small, do not

        overnourish the plants, and let them grow true to the natural form of the

        rice plant. Usually rice plants three or four feet tall produce luxuriant

        leaves and give the impression that the plant is going to produce a lot of

        grain, but it is only the leafy stalks that are growing strongly. Starch

        production is great but efficiency is low, and so much energy is expended in

        vegetative growth that not much is left to be stored in the grains. For

        example, if tall; over-sized plants yield 2,000 pounds of straw the yield of

        rice will be about 1,000-1,200 pounds. For small rice plants, such as those

        grown in my fields, 2,000 pounds of straw yields 2,000 pounds of rice. In a

        good harvest the yield of rice from my plants will reach about 2,400 pounds;

        that is, it will be 20 percent heavier than the straw."



        Of course, we are talking apples and oranges. Fukuoka san's rice experience

        cannot be directly applied to sugarcane. Still ...



        Regards,

        Harish



        On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 8:03 AM, Boovarahan Srinivasan <offtown@...>wrote:



        > **

        >

        >

        > Thanks for your encouraging words.

        > Normally we get rains in October / November. And the summer is from March

        > peaking in May.

        > On first June I prepared the saplings. They were transplanted after one

        > month on the main field.

        > Still the tender plants could not withstand the intense heat and hot air

        > and

        > about 50 % of them died.

        > I replaced them with cut setts .

        >

        > As you have rightly said , I have noted the stem borer doing more good.

        > Though they suck the stem of the main crop , it results in a number of

        > tillers to sprout.

        >

        > Normally in our area , farmers cut the sugarcane into three or four pieces

        > and bury them in wet soil. This resylts in crowded growth of sugarcane

        > making them compete for sunlight. Also not all setts sprout in this method.

        > So I tried to grow them in tea cups and select good saplings and transplant

        > them . The process went on well so long as the saplings were in shade. Once

        > the were exposed to intense heat , many of them could not survive. I learnt

        > a big lesson that that the old saying in Tamil " AAdi Pattam Theadi Vidhai

        > "

        > meaning sow in the Tamil month of Aadi ( July end / August beginning ) -

        > the

        > period after the sun starts to travel in the southern hemisphere , is worth

        > gold. This results in slanting sun rays from the south lessening the

        > intensity of heat. Also this gives the plants to grow sufficiently high to

        > withstand the ensuing rains .

        >

        > The land has been taken on lease and the previous owner had already ploughe

        > it and I got nothing to do in this regard. But I have not done adding

        > anything nor weeding . All the weeds are allowed to grow and die on their

        > own. I hope to see good growth in the coming months.

        >

        > Also I have notice no earthworms in the field due to chemical farming for

        > the past 20 years. Let's hope they turn in soon to bore the field.

        >

        > On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 7:31 AM, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:

        >

        > > **

        >

        > >

        > >

        > > From my little experience, your plants look ok. I would be worried if

        > they

        > > grew too much in the first few months as the stem would become weak. The

        > > growth is exponential in the 4-5 months and then it continues that way

        > all

        > > along.

        > >

        > > Here is what I think might be the reason for a Jan - Dec season for

        > > sugarcane in our region. We get rains in monsoon season - June to Sep. We

        > > get odd rains in April and May. March and April are the only months that

        > > require irrigation.

        > >

        > > Another interesting observation was about the infections/insect attacks.

        > > The

        > > only attack I saw in the early months was the borer. However this did not

        > > apparently cause much harm. It in fact it helped in the further branching

        > > of

        > > the plant.

        > >

        > > I have a few questions:

        > > a. Why did you not do direct seeding? What disadvantages do you see in

        > this

        > > method?

        > > b. How was the land prepared for transplanting?

        > > c. What is pattern of rains in that part of the country?

        > >

        > > Regards,

        > > Harish

        > >

        >

        > > Boovarahan S

        > >

        > Chennai.

        > 09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)

        >

        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

        >

        >

        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Nishad S K
        Hi What s the malayalam name for alfalfa and white clover? To use a cover crop among cowpea, alfalfa and white clover which suits kerala coastal area better.
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
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          Hi
          What's the malayalam name for alfalfa and white clover? To use a cover crop
          among cowpea, alfalfa and white clover which suits kerala coastal area
          better.

          Thanks

          Regards,
          Dr Nishad S K

          9895755690
          On 4 Sep 2011 17:07, "Nandan Palaparambil" <p_k_nandanan@...> wrote:
          > To me it looks like that, grass varieties grow very close..Especially
          > rice when broadcasted there is no 1 feet distance which is recommended
          > in SRI method,but still they grow healthy and produce good yield. Also
          natural grass if you observe they grows very close
          > and dense.
          >
          >
          >
          > Another aspect is weed control..if plants grow close they may crowd out
          > weeds well, or you should have another leguminous ground cover like
          > clover used by Fukuoka san, may be that is the best.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Nandan
          >
          > --- On Sun, 9/4/11, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:
          >
          > From: Harish Amur <harishamur@...>
          > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Updates
          > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Sunday, September 4, 2011, 9:34 AM
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Interesting.
          >
          >
          >
          > *Growing season:* Are all the farmers in your region harvest sugarcane
          just
          >
          > before the monsoon? It occurs to me that the growing season is driven more
          >
          > by the 'sugar factories' rather than old practice! The factories in our
          >
          > region are functional during the first half of the year. And that is why
          >
          > sugarcane is grown jan - dec here. Now, I do not know if the factories
          work
          >
          > based on the sugarcane growth cycle or the sugarcane is grown based on
          >
          > factory demand!
          >
          >
          >
          > *Area per plant:* I was also worried about the area per plant. On repeated
          >
          > requests our farmer listened to me and provided 5' between the rows.
          Subhash
          >
          > Palekarji (
          http://palekarzerobudgetnaturalfarming.com/home.html)recommends8'
          >
          > between the rows and I was trying to push this through! Although this
          >
          > distance seems too much when they are planted, it is quite evident when
          they
          >
          > grow. Even with the 5' distance the plants do not have enough room in our
          >
          > farm. The local practice is to plant them even closer, some at 2' while
          some
          >
          > at 1'. (And they argue that this kind of spacing leaves no room for weeds!
          >
          > And that you get more yield per acre.)
          >
          >
          >
          > The other day, I was reading this from OSR.
          >
          >
          >
          > "I do not try to raise tall fast-growing plants with big leaves. Instead,
          I
          >
          > keep the plants as compact as possible. Keep the head small, do not
          >
          > overnourish the plants, and let them grow true to the natural form of the
          >
          > rice plant. Usually rice plants three or four feet tall produce luxuriant
          >
          > leaves and give the impression that the plant is going to produce a lot of
          >
          > grain, but it is only the leafy stalks that are growing strongly. Starch
          >
          > production is great but efficiency is low, and so much energy is expended
          in
          >
          > vegetative growth that not much is left to be stored in the grains. For
          >
          > example, if tall; over-sized plants yield 2,000 pounds of straw the yield
          of
          >
          > rice will be about 1,000-1,200 pounds. For small rice plants, such as
          those
          >
          > grown in my fields, 2,000 pounds of straw yields 2,000 pounds of rice. In
          a
          >
          > good harvest the yield of rice from my plants will reach about 2,400
          pounds;
          >
          > that is, it will be 20 percent heavier than the straw."
          >
          >
          >
          > Of course, we are talking apples and oranges. Fukuoka san's rice
          experience
          >
          > cannot be directly applied to sugarcane. Still ...
          >
          >
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Harish
          >
          >
          >
          > On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 8:03 AM, Boovarahan Srinivasan <offtown@...
          >wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >> **
          >
          >>
          >
          >>
          >
          >> Thanks for your encouraging words.
          >
          >> Normally we get rains in October / November. And the summer is from March
          >
          >> peaking in May.
          >
          >> On first June I prepared the saplings. They were transplanted after one
          >
          >> month on the main field.
          >
          >> Still the tender plants could not withstand the intense heat and hot air
          >
          >> and
          >
          >> about 50 % of them died.
          >
          >> I replaced them with cut setts .
          >
          >>
          >
          >> As you have rightly said , I have noted the stem borer doing more good.
          >
          >> Though they suck the stem of the main crop , it results in a number of
          >
          >> tillers to sprout.
          >
          >>
          >
          >> Normally in our area , farmers cut the sugarcane into three or four
          pieces
          >
          >> and bury them in wet soil. This resylts in crowded growth of sugarcane
          >
          >> making them compete for sunlight. Also not all setts sprout in this
          method.
          >
          >> So I tried to grow them in tea cups and select good saplings and
          transplant
          >
          >> them . The process went on well so long as the saplings were in shade.
          Once
          >
          >> the were exposed to intense heat , many of them could not survive. I
          learnt
          >
          >> a big lesson that that the old saying in Tamil " AAdi Pattam Theadi
          Vidhai
          >
          >> "
          >
          >> meaning sow in the Tamil month of Aadi ( July end / August beginning ) -
          >
          >> the
          >
          >> period after the sun starts to travel in the southern hemisphere , is
          worth
          >
          >> gold. This results in slanting sun rays from the south lessening the
          >
          >> intensity of heat. Also this gives the plants to grow sufficiently high
          to
          >
          >> withstand the ensuing rains .
          >
          >>
          >
          >> The land has been taken on lease and the previous owner had already
          ploughe
          >
          >> it and I got nothing to do in this regard. But I have not done adding
          >
          >> anything nor weeding . All the weeds are allowed to grow and die on their
          >
          >> own. I hope to see good growth in the coming months.
          >
          >>
          >
          >> Also I have notice no earthworms in the field due to chemical farming for
          >
          >> the past 20 years. Let's hope they turn in soon to bore the field.
          >
          >>
          >
          >> On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 7:31 AM, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:
          >
          >>
          >
          >> > **
          >
          >>
          >
          >> >
          >
          >> >
          >
          >> > From my little experience, your plants look ok. I would be worried if
          >
          >> they
          >
          >> > grew too much in the first few months as the stem would become weak.
          The
          >
          >> > growth is exponential in the 4-5 months and then it continues that way
          >
          >> all
          >
          >> > along.
          >
          >> >
          >
          >> > Here is what I think might be the reason for a Jan - Dec season for
          >
          >> > sugarcane in our region. We get rains in monsoon season - June to Sep.
          We
          >
          >> > get odd rains in April and May. March and April are the only months
          that
          >
          >> > require irrigation.
          >
          >> >
          >
          >> > Another interesting observation was about the infections/insect
          attacks.
          >
          >> > The
          >
          >> > only attack I saw in the early months was the borer. However this did
          not
          >
          >> > apparently cause much harm. It in fact it helped in the further
          branching
          >
          >> > of
          >
          >> > the plant.
          >
          >> >
          >
          >> > I have a few questions:
          >
          >> > a. Why did you not do direct seeding? What disadvantages do you see in
          >
          >> this
          >
          >> > method?
          >
          >> > b. How was the land prepared for transplanting?
          >
          >> > c. What is pattern of rains in that part of the country?
          >
          >> >
          >
          >> > Regards,
          >
          >> > Harish
          >
          >> >
          >
          >>
          >
          >> > Boovarahan S
          >
          >> >
          >
          >> Chennai.
          >
          >> 09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)
          >
          >>
          >
          >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >>
          >
          >>
          >
          >>
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Boovarahan Srinivasan
          Grass varieties normally outgrow paddy and other crops. To my mind I don t consider them as weeds since I believe nature will feed all crops on it. It is our
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            Grass varieties normally outgrow paddy and other crops.
            To my mind I don't consider them as weeds since I believe nature will feed
            all crops on it. It is our mind which conceives that one type of crops
            should be overgrown ( ? ) than others. That is why I have not weeded my
            farm. There are some plants which twine up on others. I have seen a creeper
            entwining the sugarcane restricting its spread . In such cases it becomes
            necessary to free the sugarcane from the aggression / encroachment of other
            plants . Even in such cases , I have not killed the weeds but simply trimmed
            and removed the entwining portion.

            In SRI method , the main point is to plant single seedlings in an arranged
            manner of say 1 foot distance thereby allowing each plant to have better
            sunlight and air. Also weeding is a must in SRI using a weeder but this
            results in soil disturbance . And this is to be done once in 15 days which
            results in frequent soil disturbance . SRI method advocates ploughing and
            levelling of land whereas in NF we are against it. Mulching is avoided in
            SRI and the farm is maintained clean whereas in NF and ZBF mulching is of
            paramount importance. In SRI ,application of fertilizers , whether chemical
            or organic manure, is followed but in NF there is no such necessity. The
            soil improves on its own. SRI is better suited to farmers whose mindset
            relies on the belief that something should be done to increase grain
            production , whereas in NF we leave it to nature. What we try to do is just
            to mimic nature and a forest and provide a conducive atmosphere for the
            micro organisms to thrive in and asee nature do the rest . But for the
            initial little efforts in NF ,it is mostly watching nature play its own game
            .

            Correct me if I am wrong.

            On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 5:07 PM, Nandan Palaparambil
            <p_k_nandanan@...>wrote:

            > **
            >
            >
            > To me it looks like that, grass varieties grow very close..Especially
            > rice when broadcasted there is no 1 feet distance which is recommended
            > in SRI method,but still they grow healthy and produce good yield. Also
            > natural grass if you observe they grows very close
            > and dense.
            >
            > Another aspect is weed control..if plants grow close they may crowd out
            > weeds well, or you should have another leguminous ground cover like
            > clover used by Fukuoka san, may be that is the best.
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            > Nandan
            >



            > Boovarahan S
            >
            Chennai.
            09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Nandan Palaparambil
            If you are a farmer and depends for your food from farming, then you may do weeding !!! I think there is no problem in doing that since even Fukuoka san
            Message 5 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
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              If you are a farmer and depends for your food from farming, then you may do weeding !!! I think there is no problem in doing that since even Fukuoka san suggested that initial weeding, composting may be necessary, but it should be reduced gradually when the land improves. Most of us, directly jump into pure natural farming, one reason being even if there is crop loss, we can afford it.

              Fukuoka san also suggested shallow-tillage direct-seeding for rice and later switching to no-tillage (Please see page 147 of natural farming - online book).


              Regards,
              Nandan

              --- On Mon, 9/5/11, Boovarahan Srinivasan <offtown@...> wrote:

              From: Boovarahan Srinivasan <offtown@...>
              Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Updates
              To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Monday, September 5, 2011, 8:38 AM







               









              Grass varieties normally outgrow paddy and other crops.

              To my mind I don't consider them as weeds since I believe nature will feed

              all crops on it. It is our mind which conceives that one type of crops

              should be overgrown ( ? ) than others. That is why I have not weeded my

              farm. There are some plants which twine up on others. I have seen a creeper

              entwining the sugarcane restricting its spread . In such cases it becomes

              necessary to free the sugarcane from the aggression / encroachment of other

              plants . Even in such cases , I have not killed the weeds but simply trimmed

              and removed the entwining portion.



              In SRI method , the main point is to plant single seedlings in an arranged

              manner of say 1 foot distance thereby allowing each plant to have better

              sunlight and air. Also weeding is a must in SRI using a weeder but this

              results in soil disturbance . And this is to be done once in 15 days which

              results in frequent soil disturbance . SRI method advocates ploughing and

              levelling of land whereas in NF we are against it. Mulching is avoided in

              SRI and the farm is maintained clean whereas in NF and ZBF mulching is of

              paramount importance. In SRI ,application of fertilizers , whether chemical

              or organic manure, is followed but in NF there is no such necessity. The

              soil improves on its own. SRI is better suited to farmers whose mindset

              relies on the belief that something should be done to increase grain

              production , whereas in NF we leave it to nature. What we try to do is just

              to mimic nature and a forest and provide a conducive atmosphere for the

              micro organisms to thrive in and asee nature do the rest . But for the

              initial little efforts in NF ,it is mostly watching nature play its own game

              .



              Correct me if I am wrong.



              On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 5:07 PM, Nandan Palaparambil

              <p_k_nandanan@...>wrote:



              > **

              >

              >

              > To me it looks like that, grass varieties grow very close..Especially

              > rice when broadcasted there is no 1 feet distance which is recommended

              > in SRI method,but still they grow healthy and produce good yield. Also

              > natural grass if you observe they grows very close

              > and dense.

              >

              > Another aspect is weed control..if plants grow close they may crowd out

              > weeds well, or you should have another leguminous ground cover like

              > clover used by Fukuoka san, may be that is the best.

              >

              > Regards,

              >

              > Nandan

              >



              > Boovarahan S

              >

              Chennai.

              09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






















              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Nandan Palaparambil
              Hi Nishad, I have never heard any one using Alfalfa and clover in Kerala. I also searched for clover, but it looks like it grows only in cold climates. From
              Message 6 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Nishad,

                I have never heard any one using Alfalfa and clover in Kerala. I also searched for clover, but it looks like it grows only in cold climates. From the descriptions, it looked to be the best cover crop, since it reseeds well and also grows like a carpet and does not grow tall.

                I had some issues with cow pea in germination and establishing it, so using sun-hemp for the time being, but next time, I would like to again try cow-pea since it has some food value also.

                For rice, I am still looking for a correct legume which I can mix it with rice and sow. Some suggestion was there to use methi, but it was not establishing well here. As of now I am planning to use horse gram.

                Why don't you introduce and brief about your farming activities.


                Regards,
                Nandan
                http://www.farming-experiments.blogspot.com/

                --- On Sun, 9/4/11, Nishad S K <drnishadsk@...> wrote:

                From: Nishad S K <drnishadsk@...>
                Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Updates
                To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Sunday, September 4, 2011, 11:54 PM







                 









                Hi

                What's the malayalam name for alfalfa and white clover? To use a cover crop

                among cowpea, alfalfa and white clover which suits kerala coastal area

                better.



                Thanks



                Regards,

                Dr Nishad S K



                9895755690

                On 4 Sep 2011 17:07, "Nandan Palaparambil" <p_k_nandanan@...> wrote:

                > To me it looks like that, grass varieties grow very close..Especially

                > rice when broadcasted there is no 1 feet distance which is recommended

                > in SRI method,but still they grow healthy and produce good yield. Also

                natural grass if you observe they grows very close

                > and dense.

                >

                >

                >

                > Another aspect is weed control..if plants grow close they may crowd out

                > weeds well, or you should have another leguminous ground cover like

                > clover used by Fukuoka san, may be that is the best.

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                > Regards,

                >

                > Nandan

                >

                > --- On Sun, 9/4/11, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:

                >

                > From: Harish Amur <harishamur@...>

                > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Updates

                > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com

                > Date: Sunday, September 4, 2011, 9:34 AM

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                > Interesting.

                >

                >

                >

                > *Growing season:* Are all the farmers in your region harvest sugarcane

                just

                >

                > before the monsoon? It occurs to me that the growing season is driven more

                >

                > by the 'sugar factories' rather than old practice! The factories in our

                >

                > region are functional during the first half of the year. And that is why

                >

                > sugarcane is grown jan - dec here. Now, I do not know if the factories

                work

                >

                > based on the sugarcane growth cycle or the sugarcane is grown based on

                >

                > factory demand!

                >

                >

                >

                > *Area per plant:* I was also worried about the area per plant. On repeated

                >

                > requests our farmer listened to me and provided 5' between the rows.

                Subhash

                >

                > Palekarji (

                http://palekarzerobudgetnaturalfarming.com/home.html)recommends8'

                >

                > between the rows and I was trying to push this through! Although this

                >

                > distance seems too much when they are planted, it is quite evident when

                they

                >

                > grow. Even with the 5' distance the plants do not have enough room in our

                >

                > farm. The local practice is to plant them even closer, some at 2' while

                some

                >

                > at 1'. (And they argue that this kind of spacing leaves no room for weeds!

                >

                > And that you get more yield per acre.)

                >

                >

                >

                > The other day, I was reading this from OSR.

                >

                >

                >

                > "I do not try to raise tall fast-growing plants with big leaves. Instead,

                I

                >

                > keep the plants as compact as possible. Keep the head small, do not

                >

                > overnourish the plants, and let them grow true to the natural form of the

                >

                > rice plant. Usually rice plants three or four feet tall produce luxuriant

                >

                > leaves and give the impression that the plant is going to produce a lot of

                >

                > grain, but it is only the leafy stalks that are growing strongly. Starch

                >

                > production is great but efficiency is low, and so much energy is expended

                in

                >

                > vegetative growth that not much is left to be stored in the grains. For

                >

                > example, if tall; over-sized plants yield 2,000 pounds of straw the yield

                of

                >

                > rice will be about 1,000-1,200 pounds. For small rice plants, such as

                those

                >

                > grown in my fields, 2,000 pounds of straw yields 2,000 pounds of rice. In

                a

                >

                > good harvest the yield of rice from my plants will reach about 2,400

                pounds;

                >

                > that is, it will be 20 percent heavier than the straw."

                >

                >

                >

                > Of course, we are talking apples and oranges. Fukuoka san's rice

                experience

                >

                > cannot be directly applied to sugarcane. Still ...

                >

                >

                >

                > Regards,

                >

                > Harish

                >

                >

                >

                > On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 8:03 AM, Boovarahan Srinivasan <offtown@...

                >wrote:

                >

                >

                >

                >> **

                >

                >>

                >

                >>

                >

                >> Thanks for your encouraging words.

                >

                >> Normally we get rains in October / November. And the summer is from March

                >

                >> peaking in May.

                >

                >> On first June I prepared the saplings. They were transplanted after one

                >

                >> month on the main field.

                >

                >> Still the tender plants could not withstand the intense heat and hot air

                >

                >> and

                >

                >> about 50 % of them died.

                >

                >> I replaced them with cut setts .

                >

                >>

                >

                >> As you have rightly said , I have noted the stem borer doing more good.

                >

                >> Though they suck the stem of the main crop , it results in a number of

                >

                >> tillers to sprout.

                >

                >>

                >

                >> Normally in our area , farmers cut the sugarcane into three or four

                pieces

                >

                >> and bury them in wet soil. This resylts in crowded growth of sugarcane

                >

                >> making them compete for sunlight. Also not all setts sprout in this

                method.

                >

                >> So I tried to grow them in tea cups and select good saplings and

                transplant

                >

                >> them . The process went on well so long as the saplings were in shade.

                Once

                >

                >> the were exposed to intense heat , many of them could not survive. I

                learnt

                >

                >> a big lesson that that the old saying in Tamil " AAdi Pattam Theadi

                Vidhai

                >

                >> "

                >

                >> meaning sow in the Tamil month of Aadi ( July end / August beginning ) -

                >

                >> the

                >

                >> period after the sun starts to travel in the southern hemisphere , is

                worth

                >

                >> gold. This results in slanting sun rays from the south lessening the

                >

                >> intensity of heat. Also this gives the plants to grow sufficiently high

                to

                >

                >> withstand the ensuing rains .

                >

                >>

                >

                >> The land has been taken on lease and the previous owner had already

                ploughe

                >

                >> it and I got nothing to do in this regard. But I have not done adding

                >

                >> anything nor weeding . All the weeds are allowed to grow and die on their

                >

                >> own. I hope to see good growth in the coming months.

                >

                >>

                >

                >> Also I have notice no earthworms in the field due to chemical farming for

                >

                >> the past 20 years. Let's hope they turn in soon to bore the field.

                >

                >>

                >

                >> On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 7:31 AM, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:

                >

                >>

                >

                >> > **

                >

                >>

                >

                >> >

                >

                >> >

                >

                >> > From my little experience, your plants look ok. I would be worried if

                >

                >> they

                >

                >> > grew too much in the first few months as the stem would become weak.

                The

                >

                >> > growth is exponential in the 4-5 months and then it continues that way

                >

                >> all

                >

                >> > along.

                >

                >> >

                >

                >> > Here is what I think might be the reason for a Jan - Dec season for

                >

                >> > sugarcane in our region. We get rains in monsoon season - June to Sep.

                We

                >

                >> > get odd rains in April and May. March and April are the only months

                that

                >

                >> > require irrigation.

                >

                >> >

                >

                >> > Another interesting observation was about the infections/insect

                attacks.

                >

                >> > The

                >

                >> > only attack I saw in the early months was the borer. However this did

                not

                >

                >> > apparently cause much harm. It in fact it helped in the further

                branching

                >

                >> > of

                >

                >> > the plant.

                >

                >> >

                >

                >> > I have a few questions:

                >

                >> > a. Why did you not do direct seeding? What disadvantages do you see in

                >

                >> this

                >

                >> > method?

                >

                >> > b. How was the land prepared for transplanting?

                >

                >> > c. What is pattern of rains in that part of the country?

                >

                >> >

                >

                >> > Regards,

                >

                >> > Harish

                >

                >> >

                >

                >>

                >

                >> > Boovarahan S

                >

                >> >

                >

                >> Chennai.

                >

                >> 09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)

                >

                >>

                >

                >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                >

                >>

                >

                >>

                >

                >>

                >

                >

                >

                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                >



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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Boovarahan Srinivasan
                I don t consider weeds decrease the grain production. In June me and other farmers planted sugarcane . While they ploughed and applied fertilizers and weeded ,
                Message 7 of 13 , Sep 5, 2011
                • 0 Attachment
                  I don't consider weeds decrease the grain production.
                  In June me and other farmers planted sugarcane . While they ploughed and
                  applied fertilizers and weeded , I did nothing but all lost the crops due to
                  unseasonal planting . It is their misconception that weeds take away the
                  nutrients from the crops making them give lesser produce . I think nature
                  provides enough nutrients to all plants , grains or weeds.

                  What Fukuoka said is an one time affair. But what people do is recurring in
                  nature.


                  On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 12:20 PM, Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...
                  > wrote:

                  > **
                  >
                  >
                  > If you are a farmer and depends for your food from farming, then you may do
                  > weeding !!! I think there is no problem in doing that since even Fukuoka san
                  > suggested that initial weeding, composting may be necessary, but it should
                  > be reduced gradually when the land improves. Most of us, directly jump into
                  > pure natural farming, one reason being even if there is crop loss, we can
                  > afford it.
                  >
                  > Fukuoka san also suggested shallow-tillage direct-seeding for rice and
                  > later switching to no-tillage (Please see page 147 of natural farming -
                  > online book).
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  > Nandan
                  >

                  Boovarahan S
                  Chennai.
                  09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Nandan Palaparambil
                  Boovarahan, My observation contradicts this..when there are strong weeds around, growth of plants is less and also for rice, weeds blocks sunlights also and
                  Message 8 of 13 , Sep 5, 2011
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Boovarahan,

                    My observation contradicts this..when there are strong weeds around, growth of plants is less and also for rice, weeds blocks sunlights also and they don't grow at all. My thinking was that after weeding once and if rice is given an upper hand, then things should be OK. But to my surprise weeds again had grown faster than rice and completely surrounded them. In some area, I kept on weeding and after some time, when the rice plant had reached sufficient height, it was fine. So for reasonable yield, we should replace weeds with legume cover crops and also our crop should crowd out weeds.

                    This may be different for sugar cane since they grow tall


                    Regards,
                    Nandan

                    --- On Mon, 9/5/11, Boovarahan Srinivasan <offtown@...> wrote:

                    From: Boovarahan Srinivasan <offtown@...>
                    Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Updates
                    To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Monday, September 5, 2011, 8:20 PM







                     









                    I don't consider weeds decrease the grain production.

                    In June me and other farmers planted sugarcane . While they ploughed and

                    applied fertilizers and weeded , I did nothing but all lost the crops due to

                    unseasonal planting . It is their misconception that weeds take away the

                    nutrients from the crops making them give lesser produce . I think nature

                    provides enough nutrients to all plants , grains or weeds.



                    What Fukuoka said is an one time affair. But what people do is recurring in

                    nature.



                    On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 12:20 PM, Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...

                    > wrote:



                    > **

                    >

                    >

                    > If you are a farmer and depends for your food from farming, then you may do

                    > weeding !!! I think there is no problem in doing that since even Fukuoka san

                    > suggested that initial weeding, composting may be necessary, but it should

                    > be reduced gradually when the land improves. Most of us, directly jump into

                    > pure natural farming, one reason being even if there is crop loss, we can

                    > afford it.

                    >

                    > Fukuoka san also suggested shallow-tillage direct-seeding for rice and

                    > later switching to no-tillage (Please see page 147 of natural farming -

                    > online book).

                    >

                    > Regards,

                    > Nandan

                    >



                    Boovarahan S

                    Chennai.

                    09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






















                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Boovarahan Srinivasan
                    I do agree ! Growth of grass surpasses that of paddy and in the initial stages we have to weed out, but this is to ensure enough sunlight available to paddy .
                    Message 9 of 13 , Sep 5, 2011
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I do agree !

                      Growth of grass surpasses that of paddy and in the initial stages we have to
                      weed out, but this is to ensure enough sunlight available to paddy . But
                      farmers don't consider this but they think the nutrients available to paddy
                      are consumed by weeds . In NF we consider that plants get most of the needs
                      from sunlight and water vapour whereas the general opinion of the farmers is
                      that plants get their needs mostly from soil and water .

                      I have also witnessed the enormous growth of grass dwarfing paddy . So long
                      as we don't provide enough vegetative cover to arrest the growth of grass ,
                      this will be a perennial problem.

                      My point is how farmers view weeds and how we NFs differ from them.

                      On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 9:44 PM, Nandan Palaparambil
                      <p_k_nandanan@...>wrote:

                      > **
                      >
                      >
                      > Boovarahan,
                      >
                      > My observation contradicts this..when there are strong weeds around, growth
                      > of plants is less and also for rice, weeds blocks sunlights also and they
                      > don't grow at all. My thinking was that after weeding once and if rice is
                      > given an upper hand, then things should be OK. But to my surprise weeds
                      > again had grown faster than rice and completely surrounded them. In some
                      > area, I kept on weeding and after some time, when the rice plant had reached
                      > sufficient height, it was fine. So for reasonable yield, we should replace
                      > weeds with legume cover crops and also our crop should crowd out weeds.
                      >
                      > This may be different for sugar cane since they grow tall
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      > Nandan
                      >


                      > Boovarahan S
                      >
                      Chennai.
                      09962662717 (Vodafone) , 08825889492 (Videocon)


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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