EVALUATING ENERGY CONSUMPTION FOR WHEAT PRODUCTION UNDER DIFFERENT TILLAGE PRACTICES
The choice of right tillage practice is very important for sustainable and economic wheat production. This two-year consecutive (Rabi 2008 and 2009) field study was planned to evaluate the energy consumption for wheat production under different tillage practices. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design on an area of 5400 m2 (60 m × 90 m). There were three treatments, i.e. T1: Conventional tillage (CT), T2: Reduced tillage (RT) and T3: No-tillage (NT). Each treatment was replicated three times. The results revealed that the speed of operation was maximum (5.51 and 5.56 km hr-1) under CT, followed by RT (5.23 and 5.25 km hr-1) and NT (4.1 and 4.14 km hr-1). Furthermore, the effective field capacity was maximum under CT system (0.48 and 0.49 ha hr-1), followed by NT (0.45 and 0.47 ha hr-1) and lowest under RT (0.30 and 0.32 ha hr-1). Similarly, the power requirement without load and with load was highest under CT (255 and 2077 kg), followed by RT (238 and 1572 kg) and NT (198 and 1270 kg). Likewise, the energy requirement was highest in CT system (33 and 34 KW-hr ha-1), followed by RT (23 and 22 KW-hr ha-1) and NT (14 and 13 KW-hr ha-1). Moreover, the fuel consumption was highest under CT (27.0 and 26.33 Lit ha-1), followed by the RT system (22.33 and 20.66 Lit ha-1) and NT practice (12.33 and 11.0 Lit ha-1). The study concluded that reduced tillage practice is more energy-efficient than conventional tillage practice for sustainable wheat production.