Subsoiler: The latest innovation in agriculture

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The subsoiler (also called a chiseler plough), that can plough as deep as about 2 feet into the soil, could be a latest revolution in the field of agriculture with its varied usefulness if agriculture experts are to be believed.

It could lead to increase in yield of crops, help improve the quality of soil, minimise rainwater going waste that could help elevate the declining subsoil water, besides bringing down the excessive dosages of fertilisers, particularly nitrogen.

Farm experts claim that it could plough up to a depth of 24 inches or as desired but, earlier, no tool ploughed deeper than 9 inches and so it is very helpful to break the hard layer.

"There is a very hard layer formed over the years at the depth of 6 to 9 inches of the soil that stops the seepage of water resulting in the all-harmful salts getting collected on the upper layer of the land and leading to the stagnant yield of the crops.

Besides it, the standing water leads to many crops turning pale.

Thus, the farmers resort to applying excessive dosages of fertilisers, but the yield of the crop remains either stagnant or decreases," said Beant Singh, chief agriculture officer, Muktsar.

The subsoiler can solve all these problems by breaking the hard pan (layer). It can also be useful for a good crop of paddy sown under the direct sowing of rice (DSR) technique as standing water damages the crop during the first month, he said.

Irrigation by bad subs oil water, pumped out by tubewells, pudding for paddy transplantation and preparation of fields by L type rotavators are claimed to be mainly behind forming the hard pan, experts say.

Nearly 14-lakh tubewells are catering to irrigation need in the state.

"If the fields are ploughed deeper with the subsoiler, at least once in three years as the hard pan takes about 8 years to form, it could also lead to more see page of precious rainwater into the land and prove to be very useful to save our precious rain water that mostly goes waste into the drains," said Beant Singh, chief agriculture officer, Muktsar.

"We have provided four subsoilers in all the four blocks of the Muktsar district and many agriculture cooperative societies are coming forward to buy these.

A single tan subsoiler costs aroundRs.22,000 while the triple tan prices aroundRs.33,500. The government may consider it for subsidy as well in future," said Beant Singh, CAO Muktsar.