Sugarcane is one of the important cash crop of Ahmednagar District. The average area under the crop is about one lakh ha (1.26 lakh ha 2010-11). Productivity is declining continuously .The average productivity of the sugarcane is only 78 tons per ha ( 2009-10) and ratoon sugarcane is 50-55 tons per ha. The sugarcane productivity is reduced drastically due to the heavy use of irrigation water, soil degradation, imbalance nutrient management, less or no use of organic fertilizers. Similarly continuous unassured & less rainfall also creates water scarcity, this also affect the crop yield.KVK made intervention by introducing the concept of trash mulching in sugarcane, particularly in ratoon crop to minimized evaporation losses, improve the soil structure and texture. KVK conducted11 training programmes on trash mulching benefiting 409 farmers of selected villages. Similarly 20 crop demonstrations and OFT were conducted on trash mulching at 30 farmers field on 12 ha area. Besides these, for large scale adoption and diffusion of the technology. KVK used different mass media like television, radio; news paper simraly KVK also disseminated technology through extension agencies like sugar factory, state agriculture department, farmers clubs and self help groups. In the year 2012-13, KVK selected village Dadh kh and demonstrated trash mulching technology in whole village in ratoon sugarcane crop. Nobody farmers burn the trash of ratoon crop. Technology demonstrated ion 118 farmers field in 51.2 ha area. Beside technological intervention, KVK also made available inputs like composting culture, bio fertilizers to farmers to increase the adoption of technology.
Trash mulching improves the soil health. Soil pH reduced from 8.65 to 8.20, organic carbon increased from 0.42 per cent to 0.58 per cent and water holding capacity increases from 45 per cent to 49.5 per cent within the four years period of this practice. Weeding cost reduced from Rs 9200/- to 5000/- per ha. Besides these benefits, Irrigation interval of the crop increased by 15- 21days under drought situation and saving 35-45 per cent in water requirement. Ratoon crop sustain well during drought condition only due to trash mulching. Similarly technology like spot application of fertilizers with a special type of tool called Pahar, also become popular and increases its adoption in trash mulch sugarcane. Area under trash mulching is increase continuously and farmers also purchased the tractor operated trash cutting machines for trash mulching. It is time and labor saving. It also help for technology adoption and dissimilation.