Increasing yield stability and input efficiencies with cost-effective mechanization in Nepal

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Abstract

Nepal is at a crossroads of diminishing farm-labor and inadequate investment into farming operations that, among other factors, have stagnated domestic wheat yield. Cultural and economic constraints have hindered the widespread adoption of more expensive precision agriculture technologies like zero-till that have the capacity to improve labor and farm input efficiencies. To capture the benefits from added precision of application but with the ability to fit within the current semi-mechanized seed bed preparation and tillage system, we introduced a low-cost, chest mounted seed and fertilizer. We found that simple mechanization caused yield efficiencies to be positive and significant for nitrogen and phosphate. Seed rates using this method were positively associated with seedling density. This led to both yield and profit being more predictable for farmers. Conversely, hand-applied inputs caused a disassociation between inputs and end of season yield and therefore added a large measure of risk to their farming operations.

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Park, A. G., McDonald, A. J., Devkota, M., & Davis, A. S. (2018). Increasing yield stability and input efficiencies with cost-effective mechanization in Nepal. Field Crops Research, 228, 93–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2018.08.012

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