Laser land levelingfor Precision Agriculture in Nepal Rajen Bajgain 19-04-2013 Introduction Introduction- Nepal and its agriculture Land area:147181 sq.km 3 main geographic regions i)Terai and inner Terai (plain )-34000 km2 ii)Hills- 61000 km2 iii)Mountains- 52000km2 Population around 30 millions Only 16% is the agricultural land is cultivable (Nepal, National Planning Commission,-WFP-NDRI 2010) Terai (plain)- 56% Hills- 37% Mountains- 7% Land leveling: i)Animal drawn levelers ii)Tractor drawn lavelers Problems of uneven soil surface Impact on germination Stand and yield of crops- nutrient and water distribution pattern Delays tillage Increased weed burden Uneven maturity of crops Water logging in wheat field Uneven distribution of irrigation water Non –uniform crop stand in an undulated field LASER Leveling System • process of smoothening land from its average elevation using laser guided buckets • involves altering the field to create a constant slope of 0-0.2% • use of large HP tractors and soil movers equipped with laser guided instrumentation Components: Laser Transmitter Laser Receiver Electrical Control Panel Twin Solenoid Hydraulic Control Valve Transmitter • Mounts on a tripod • Sends the laser beam in a circular manner • Several tractors can receive Receiver • Mounts on a mast attached to the drag bucket • Omni-directional and intercepts the laser beam and sends to control box Control panel • Mounts on tractor within reach of operator • Accepts and interprets the signal received from receiver • Indicates the drag bucket position Hydraulic control valve • Raises and lowers the bucket based on oil flow Benefits: 1. Land leveling and yield (Rickman 2002) Increase in crop yield = 24% (530kg/ha) 2. Time required and suitability of different land leveling techniques 3. Estimated additional area that can be brought under cultivation after laser land leveling (Rajput and Patel, 2003) Map showing the increased cultivable area after laser land leveling 4. Other benefits: • Increase irrigation efficiency- uniform distribution, reduction in time and amount to irrigate the fields • Good germination and growth of crops • Improved field traffic ability • Less input Limitations: • High cost of the equipment/laser instrument. • Need for skilled operator. • Need of more or less regular sized and shaped field. Scope and intervention: • Subsidy or cooperative effort and operator training • Design and development of user friendly technology based on local needs References • M.L Jat, Pravesh Chandna, Raj Gupta, S.K. Sharma and M.A. Gill. 2006. Laser Land Leveling: A Precursor Technology for Resource Conservation. Rice-Wheat Consortium Technical Bulletin Series 7. new Delhi, India: Rice –Wheat Consortium for the Indo- Gangetic Plains. pp 48. • Rickman, J.F. 2002. Manual for laser land leveling, Rice- Wheat Consortium Technical Bulletin Series 5. New-Delhi 12 , India: Rice –Wheat Consortium for the Indo-Gangetic plains pp.24.