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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Updates

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 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 4 of 13 , Sep 4, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 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]

              >



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






















              [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 6 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 7 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 8 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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