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Unit 1: Crop Ecology and Geography

  • Principles of crop ecology
  • Ecosystem-concept and determinants of crop productivity
  • Physiological limits of crop yield and variability in relation to ecological optima
  • Crop adaptation
  • Climate shift and its ecological implication
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Agro-ecological and agro-climatic regions of India
  • Geographical distribution of cereals, legumes, oilseeds, vegetables, fodders and forages, commercial crops, condiments and spices, medicinal and aromatic plants
  • Adverse climatic factors and crop productivity
  • Photosynthesis, respiration, net assimilation, solar energy conversion efficiency, and relative water content
  • Light intensity, water, and CO2 in relation to photosynthetic rates and efficiency
  • Physiological stress in crops, detection and indices
  • Remote sensing: Spectral indices and their application in agriculture

Unit 2: Weed Management

  • Scope and principles of weed management
  • Weed classification, biology, ecology, and allelopathy
  • Weed seed dormancy
  • Crop weed competition and weed threshold
  • Herbicides classification, formulations, mode of action, selectivity, and resistance
  • Persistence of herbicides in soils and plants
  • Application methods and equipment
  • Cultural, physical, chemical, and biological weed control
  • Bio-herbicides
  • Integrated weed management
  • Special weeds, parasitic, and aquatic weeds and their management
  • Weed control schedules in field crops, vegetables, and plantation crops
  • Role of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in weed management

Unit 3: Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Use

  • History of soil fertility and fertilizer use
  • Concept of essentiality of plant nutrients
  • Critical concentrations in plants, nutrient interactions, diagnostic techniques
  • Soil fertility and productivity indicators
  • Fertilizer materials including liquid fertilizers
  • Composition, mineralization, availability, and reaction in soils
  • Water solubility of phosphate fertilizers
  • Slow-release fertilizers, nitrification inhibitors
  • Principles and methods of fertilizer application including fertigation
  • Integrated nutrient management and bio-fertilizers
  • Agronomic and physiological efficiency and recovery of applied plant nutrients
  • Criteria for determining fertilizer schedules for cropping systems
  • Fertilizer-related environmental problems including groundwater pollution
  • Site-specific nutrient management

Unit 4: Dryland Agronomy

  • Concept of dryland farming
  • Dryland farming vs. rainfed farming
  • History, development, significance, and constraints of dryland agriculture in India
  • Climatic classification and delineation of dryland tracts
  • Characterization of agro-climatic environments of drylands
  • Rainfall analysis and length of growing season
  • Types of drought and their effects on plant growth
  • Drought resistance, avoidance, and management
  • Crop planning including contingency, crop diversification, varieties, cropping systems, and mid-season corrections
  • Moisture conservation techniques
  • Rainwater harvesting and recycling
  • Summer ploughing, seed hardening, pre-monsoon sowing, weed and nutrient management
  • Importance of watershed management in dryland areas

Unit 5: Crop Production

  • Crop production techniques for cereals, millets, pulses/grain legumes, oilseeds, fiber crops, sugarcane, tobacco, fodder and pasture crops
  • Origin, history, distribution, adaptation, climate, soil, season, modern varieties, seed rate, fertilizer requirements, crop geometry, intercultural operations, water requirement, weed control, harvest, quality components, industrial use, economics, and post-harvest technology
  • Package of practices in the respective locations

Unit 6: Agricultural Statistics

  • Frequency distribution, standard error and deviation, correlation and regression analyses
  • Coefficient of variation
  • Tests of significance: t-test, F-test, and chi-square (χ2)
  • Data transformation and missing plot techniques
  • Design of experiments and their basic principles
  • Completely randomized, randomized block, split-plot, strip-plot, factorial, and simple confounding designs
  • Efficiency of designs
  • Methods of statistical analysis for cropping systems including intercropping
  • Pooled analysis

Unit 7: Sustainable Land Use Systems

  • Tillage - Concept, types, tilth, tools, and implements
  • Modern concepts of tillage and conservation agriculture
  • Land capability classification
  • Alternate land use and agroforestry systems
  • Types, extent, and causes of wasteland
  • Shifting cultivation
  • Concept of sustainability
  • Sustainability parameters and indicators
  • Agricultural and agro-industrial residues and their recycling

Unit 8: Soil-Plant-Water Relationship

  • Importance of water in agriculture
  • Hydrological cycle, runoff, and infiltration
  • Factors affecting infiltration
  • Soil water relations, water retention by soil, soil moisture characteristics
  • Field capacity, permanent wilting point, plant available water, and extractable water
  • Soil irrigability classifications
  • Determination of soil water content
  • Computation of soil water depletion, soil water potential, and its components
  • Movement of soil water
  • Saturated and unsaturated water flow
  • Evapotranspiration (ET), PET, AET and its measurements
  • Crop coefficient
  • Plant water relations
  • Methods of moisture estimation in plants
  • Soil and water conservation measures: agronomical, mechanical, and agrostological

Unit 9: Irrigation Water Management

  • History of irrigation in India
  • Major irrigation projects in India
  • Water resource development
  • Crop water requirements
  • Concepts of irrigation scheduling
  • Different approaches of irrigation scheduling
  • Concept of critical stages of crop growth in relation to water supplies
  • Methods of irrigation: surface, subsurface, and pressurized irrigation methods
  • Merits and demerits
  • Measurement of irrigation water
  • Application and distribution efficiencies
  • Conjunctive use of water
  • Interaction between irrigation and fertilizers

Unit 10: Management of Problematic Soils and Crop Production

  • Problem soils and their distribution in India
  • Acidic, saline, waterlogged, and mined soils
  • Response of crops to acidity, salinity, excess water, and nutrient imbalances
  • Reclamation of problem soils
  • Role of amendments and drainage
  • Crop production techniques in problem soils
  • Degraded lands and their rehabilitation
  • Management strategies for flood-prone areas
  • Drainage for improving waterlogged soils for crop production
  • Crop production and alternate use of problematic soils and poor-quality water for agriculture

Unit 11: Cropping and Farming Systems and Organic Farming

  • Cropping system definition, principles, classification
  • Cropping system for different ecosystems
  • Interaction and indices
  • Non-monetary inputs and low-cost technologies
  • Farming systems types: natural, bio-dynamic, bio-intensive, response, precision, biological, and organic farming
  • Organic and bio inputs
  • Soil health, organic matter, and Integrated organic farming systems
  • IFS concepts, models for different ecosystems, resource recycling, and evaluation


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