Effect of conservation agriculture on grain yield and income of maize under maize based cropping system in far western Nepal

H.K. Prasai1*, S.K. Sah2, A.K. Gautam3, A.P. Regmi3

1Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Regional Agricultural Research Station, 10801 Bhagetada, Dipayal, Doti, Nepal 2Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, 44209 Chitwan, Nepal
3Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Singh Durbar Plaza, 44617 Kathmandu, Nepal

(Manuscript received 1 September 2018; accepted for publication 25 October 2018)

Abstract. The adoption of Conservation agriculture (CA) contributes to sustainable production and its advantages include lower inputs and stable yields. This study was conducted in the research field of Regional Agricultural Research Station, Bhagetada, Dipayal, Doti during 2014 and 2015 to identify the effect of CA on grain yield and income of maize in Maize based cropping system. Both conservation and conventional agricultural (ConvA) practices were evaluated on two maize based cropping systems namely maize-wheat-mungbean (M-W-MB) and maize-lentil-mungbean (M-L-MB). For this purpose two maize varieties namely Raj Kumar and Arun-2 were used. The average productivity of maize under M-L-MB cropping system was 1.6% higher (5.75 t/ha) than M-W-MB cropping system (5.66 t/ha). The average grain yield of maize under CA was 16.7% higher (6.15 t/ha) than ConvA (5.27 t/ha). Rajkumar produced 43% higher average grain yield (6.73 t/ha) than Arun-2 variety (4.69 t/ha). The average net benefit was slightly higher (US$ 597.33/ha) under M-L-MB cropping system than M-W-MB cropping system (US$ 573.89/ha). Similarly, the average net benefit from CA was 102% higher (US$ 783.67/ha) than ConvA (US$ 386.79/ha). Rajkumar variety gave 127% higher average net benefit (US$ 813.49/ha) than Arun-2 (US$ 357.81/ha). The average benefit – cost (B:C) ratio of M-L-MB cropping system was slightly higher (1.72) than the average B:C ratio of M-W-MB cropping system (1.70). The average B:C ratio of CA was 42% higher (2.01) than ConvA (1.41). The average B:C ratio of Rajkumar variety was found 33% higher (1.95) than Arun-2 (1.46). The higher grain yield, net profit and B:C ratio were found in CA practices under M-L-MB cropping system and Rajkumar variety. This study suggests that hybrid maize planting and the adoption of M-L-MB cropping system should be used to increase grain yield and economic performance under CA practices.