About this eBook
PREFACE Agronomy is a division of agricultural science embracing preparation of soil in accordance with crop demands, enriching the soil with organic matter and plant nutrients, choice of crops and varieties to fit the climate, crop rotation and intercropping, suitable dates of sowing, moisture regulation, and drainage, weed management, harvesting and processing to an extent. It deals essentially with all aspects of soil, crop and water management to increase productivity of crops. It is, therefore, essential that the students of agriculture have a good grasp of the principles of agronomy. India, with one of the biggest scientific manpower of the world, made a spectacular increase in its food grains production, after independence, especially after late sixties, when the country ushered into the world famous 'Green Revolution'. The Green Revolution is manifested of the advances made in the agricultural sciences and can be summed up in three words, 1 seeds High yielding Varieties , 2 water, and 3 fertilizers. The management of the last two factors of production, with a view to achieving the production potential of the first, i.e., High yielding varieties seeds is exclusively an agronomic domain. Agronomy can thus be rightly called as backbone of all agricultural sciences. In depth knowledge of agronomy in the areas of agro-meteorology, soils and tillage, soil and water conservation, soil fertility, irrigation water management, nutrition management and weed management are essential to formulate management practices for sustainable crop production systems. The topic covered is the most relevant in view of growing interest in sustainable agriculture. This book brings out in detail the agronomy courses recommended for U.G. Programme by Deans' Committee as accepted by the ICAR. I sincerely hope that this book will serve as a text book for Agronomy students of all the Agricultural Universities, a resource of teachers and scientists in the areas of agro-meteorology, soil management, nutrient management, water management, weed management, crop production and management, dry farming, and cropping and farming systems. It will also serve as a guide to extension officials of the Department of Agriculture. This is the age of information technology. Information is exploding on all fronts. Sometimes one is totally confounded and clueless about sieving the mass of information and choosing the one required by him her. This is especially so far the young undergraduate students and those who are initiated into a subject. It is also very important for the teachers to process the mass of information and make it available to the students in an easily understandable manner. The information provided should not only be simple to understand but also to comprehend in an integrated manner. With the expanding horizon of knowledge in agriculture, particularly crop production, there have been several attempts in this direction keeping in view the under graduate syllabus of Agronomy for agriculture students followed in agricultural universities, as recommended by the Deans' Committee of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. I believe that the book on 'Agronomy' will be very useful to the undergraduate and postgraduate students of agriculture, teachers in agricultural institutions and those who are interested in the subject. Farming systems represent integration of farm enterprises as cropping systems animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry farming, etc. for optimal utilization of resources bringing prosperity to the farmers.
At present, there is no comprehensive text book on "Agronomy" from which one can have at least an overview of all these aspects including Cropping and Farming Systems and applied aspects suitable for farmers. This book will provide comprehensive information on the subject matter and fulfil the needs of students and other professionals. This is a book containing of fifteen chapters covering comprehensively the content of all courses in Agronomy for U.G. and P.G. students including the integrated farming and cropping systems. Though this book primarily written to serve as a text book reference for the students of agriculture in under graduate and post graduate levels and technologists in developing organizations, it is hoped that this book will be valuable for similar groups in the third world countries of Asia and Africa. This book also serves as a valuable