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Management of paddy straw has remained a big challenge for farmers in the region, as the time window between paddy harvests and sowing of wheat is short. To tackle this issue, Punjab Agricultural University has come up with a low cost and environment friendly technique named ‘Surface seeding of wheat’. This technique does not require much costly machinery, provides complete mulching and weed infestation is also less. In this context, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) organized a workshop on “Surface seeding of wheat” at its campus for the farmers and extension functionaries of Kapurthala district. On the onset of workshop, Dr Amit Salaria highlighted the various wheat sowing methodologies in combine harvested paddy fields. He also deliberated on surface seeding method of wheat and further elaborated that in this technique wheat seed (45 kg) and basal fertilizer (65 kg DAP) are uniformly broadcasted in a combine harvested paddy field. It is followed by one pass of cutter-cum-spreader which cut the whole paddy straw (at 4-5 inch above soil surface). It is followed by irrigation to initiate germination of wheat. Dr. Ashok Kumar discussed about management of paddy residue w.r.t. augmenting soil health by supplying essential nutrients viz. sulphur, soil organic carbon, phosphorus, potash etc. He also stressed upon use of balanced fertilizers in crops on soil test based report. Dr. Amandeep Kaur motivated the farmers to use mulch in vegetable crops like turmeric, muskmelon as it suppress the weeds, conserve soil moisture and improves the quality of crop. Dr. Suman discussed about management of insect, pest and disease in residue managed fields. She also talked about the management of pink stem borer and rodents in residue retained fields. Dr Balbir chand, Cheif Agriculture Officer, Kapurthala also talked about the subsidy on purchase of surface seeder machine and ask the owners of custom hiring centres to run their machinery banks to full potential with maximum beneficiaries. Dr. Harinder Singh, Assoc. Director (Trg.) advised the farmers to use ‘PAU Surface Seeder’ for sowing of wheat. He explained that this surface seeder consists of seed & fertilizer box attachment, with fluted roller metering system, mounted on to a cutter-cum spreader. It is a low cost machine which sows wheat seed and applies basal fertilizer in a combine harvested paddy field and cut the whole straw simultaneously. It is followed by irrigation. Alternatively, if the above cited machine not available, wheat seed and basal fertilizer can be broadcast manually after combine harvesting followed by cutter-cum-spreader and irrigation. He assured the stakeholders to provide all the technological backstopping and said that KVK would also facilitate the farmers for promoting this technology. At the end, Dr. Amit Salaria extended the vote of thanks to all the participants. PAU vegetable kits were also sold in this programme.

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