American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2013, 4, 2083-2091
Published Online November 2013 (
Open Access AJPS
Growth and Economic Assessment of Wheat under Tillage
and Nitrogen Levels in Rice-Wheat System
Rafi Qamar1*, Ehsanullah2, Abdul Rehman1, Amjed Ali1, Abdul Ghaffar3, Athar Mahmood1,
Hafiz Muhammad Rashad Javeed4, Mudassir Aziz1
1Department of Agronomy, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan; 2Department of Agron-
omy, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan; 3Plant Physiology Section, Ayub Agricultural Research
Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan; 4Department of Environmental Sciences, NFC Institute of Engineering and Technology, Multan, Paki-
Email: *
Received September 1st, 2013; revised October 1st, 2013; accepted October 15th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Rafi Qamar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Mechanically post-harvest puddled rice field has stubbles that often delay timely planting of winter wheat crop. Zero
tillage increased the net return by decreasing the unwise tillage operations and labor charges. Keep in view, a random-
ized complete block design experiment in a split plot arrangement was conducted with four tillage system [conventional
tillage, CT; deep tillage, DT; zero tillage with zone disc tiller, ZDT; and happy seeder, HS] in main plots and five ni-
trogen levels [0, 75, 100, 125, and 150 kg·ha1] in subplots during 2009 to 2010 and 2010 to 2011 cropping seasons.
Results showed that in 2009-10 and 2010-11 grain yield (4.6 Mg·ha1 and 5.7 Mg·ha1) in DT and (4.5 Mg·ha1 and 5.8
Mg·ha1) in HS were significantly higher compared with CT and ZDT. Significantly, maximum leaf area index (5.18
and 5.24) and crop growth rate (12.14 g·m2·d1 and 13.15 g·m2·d1) were noted in DT. Grain protein (11.78%) was
significantly higher in DT compared with CT, ZDT, and HS during 2009-10 and 2010-11. Total yield (12.4 Mg·ha1
and 16.4 Mg·ha1) and grain yield (4.9 Mg·ha1 and 6.5 Mg·ha1) at N125 kg·ha1 while grain protein (13.52%) at N150
kg·ha1 was significantly higher than other nitrogen levels. Maximum LAI (5.08 and 5.51) and crop growth rate (14.68
g m2·d1 and 15.77 g·m2·d1) were recorded at N125 kg·ha1 respectively. During both the years, all the tillage systems
gave higher net return at N125 kg·ha1 during both the growing seasons. DT and HS gave more than 20% higher yield
and improved crop growth of irrigated wheat than CT and ZDT. Happy seeder provides immediate, identifiable, and
demonstrable economic benefits by reducing production costs.
Keywords: Leaf Area Index; Grain Yield; Protein Content; Net Return; Wheat
1. Introduction
Rice-wheat cropping system has substantial role in world
food security and provides about 8% staple grain to the
world’s population (Timsina and Connor) [1]. In South
Asia, the area under rice-wheat cropping system is about
13.5 million hectares, which has meaningful role in food
self-sufficiency (Saharawat et al.) [2]. In rice-wheat sys-
tem, wheat yield is stagnant due to long-term use of
conventional management practices, which exerts de-
structive effects on soil productivity and farm economics
in post-harvest paddy field (Duxbury et al.) [3].
However, conventional tillage system reduces the soil
compaction and enhances the nutrient stratification
(Boydas and Turgut) [4]. Subsurface soil compaction by
conventional tillage decreased both the nutrient and wa-
ter use efficiencies and reduced the root growth of fol-
lowing wheat (Qamar et al.) [5]. Deep plowing breaks
the sub-surface hard pan and improves the wheat crop
growth and yield by increasing the rooting depth
(Chaudhary et al.) [6]. No doubt, deep tillage has good
response on crop yield due to fine seedbed preparation
but it is expansive in terms of fuel and time (Qin et al.)
[7]. Zero till wheat cultivation after rice is the most pro-
ductive and resource-conserving technology (Erenstein et
al., 2007) [8]; Erenstein and Laxmi) [9], which has been
successfully practiced on more than 111 million hectare
*Corresponding author.
Growth and Economic Assessment of Wheat under Tillage and Nitrogen Levels in Rice-Wheat System
worldwide (Derpsch et al.) [10]. It significantly de-
creases farming costs, soil erosion and improves ecosys-
tem than conventional plowing (Sundermeier et al.) [11].
Continuous use of zero tillage practice considerably im-
proves the net income of crop (Verch et al.) [12]. More-
over, zero tillage system gives equal to or even higher
wheat grain yield than conventional plowed field (Qamar
et al.) [5].
In rice-wheat cropping areas, different tillage systems
are used for handling rice residues that have substantial
effect on wheat yield and net profitability. Deep residues
incorporation by disc plough or by mould-board plough
is a better choice for effective disposal of residue and
gives higher yield and net farm returns. Zero tillage re-
corded grain yield at par with deep tillage and higher
than conventional tillage (Qamar et al.) [5] while net
returns was higher than deep and conventional tillage
systems (Kumar et al.) [13]. Zero tillage growers are the
main beneficiaries by raising their farm income about
US$100 per hectare and cost-saving effect is about
US$52 per hectare due to reduction in tractor time and
fuel for wheat seedbed preparation (Erenstein, 2009) [14].
It enhances the farmer’s ability to practice in equitable,
cost-efficient and sustainable way (Ladha et al.) [15].
The popularity of zero tillage is rapidly increasing due to
its economic benefits. Zero tillage farmers gain net in-
come of about US$93, whereas conventional growers get
about US$74 per acre. Zero tillage gives an additional
net benefit of US$19 over the conventional tillage (Di-
rectorate General Agriculture, (DGA) [16]. Zero tillage
minimized the energy consumption, workloads of farm
operations in the range of 15% - 50%, and enhanced the
energetic productivity by 25% - 100% (Garcua-Torres)
[17]. Landers [18] reported that if timing of entry and
cost of ZT compared with the heavy tillage machinery,
the farmers preferred to purchase ZT drills.
In rice-wheat cropping systems, nitrogen immobiliza-
tion is a more critical problem in alternate year in rice-
wheat crop production systems due to high values C:N of
crop residues (Weisz et al.) [19]. In NT, crop residues
remain on the soil surface and release of nitrogen slow
due to N immobilization (Schomberg et al.) [20] than
conventional tillage systems. If surplus amount of nitro-
gen fertilizer is applied in ZT field than crop requirement
resulting in more leaching and volatilization, that will be
greater than CT field losses (Cantero-Martıńez et al.)
[21]. Current recommendations of N fertilization devel-
oped for continuously plowed systems, which may not be
adequate for optimum production of wheat under NT
(McConkey et al.) [22]. The main objective of current
study was to compare and evaluate the growth, yield and
economics of irrigated wheat in rice-wheat production
system under conventional tillage, deep tillage, zone disc
tiller, and happy seeder with different rates of N fertiliza-
tion in a semiarid climate.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Site
The study was conducted in a rice-wheat system at the
research farm of the University of Agriculture, Fais-
alabad (latitude 31˚26'N and 73˚06'E, altitude 185 m) in
2009 to 2010 and 2010 to 2011 growing seasons. The
soil is the Hafizabad series (fine-loamy, mixed, hyper-
thermic, Typic Calciargids) and the soil texture is sandy
clay loam (Khan, 1986) [23]. Selected chemical and
physical characteristics were done before sowing: pH 7.7
± 0.1, electrical conductivity 2.82 ± 0.3 dS·m1, soil or-
ganic matter content 0.73%, total N 0.04%, available
phosphorus 62 mg·kg1, exchangeable potassium 83
mg· k g 1, and sand 53%, silt 20% and clay 27%.
2.2. Experimental Design and Cultural Practices
A randomized complete block design in split plot ar-
rangement with three replications was carried out in 2009
in a post-harvest puddle rice field. Four tillage systems
(conventional tillage, CT; deep tillage, DT; zero tillage
with zone disk tiller, ZDT; and happy seeder, HS) were
randomized in the main plots while five levels of nitro-
gen [0, (N0); 75 (N75); 100 (N100); 125 (N125); and 150
(N150) kg·ha1] were applied in 5.4 m by 8 m as subplots.
Wheat (var. Sahar 2006) was planted @ rate of 125
kg·ha1 in the third week of November 2009 at 23 cm
apart between rows having 24 rows in each replicated
plot. Phosphorous and potash fertilizers were applied at
100 and 60 kg·ha1, respectively. A full rate of phospho-
rous and potash and half of the N were applied at plant-
ing. The remaining half of the N was applied with first
irrigation. Topik 15 WP (Trade name) at 1250 g powder
ha1 was applied to control weeds.
2.3. Calculation of Net Return (Rs. ha1) of
Net return was determined by subtracting the total cost of
production from the gross income of each treatment
(CIMMYT 1988) [24].
Net income = Gross income Cost of production
3. Statistical Analysis
Data were analyzed statistically using SAS (SAS Insti-
tute) [25]. The effects of tillage and N levels their inter-
action were evaluated by the least significant difference
(LSD) test at p 0.05 unless otherwise mentioned.
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilization Effects on
Wheat Yield and Protein Content
Tillage and nitrogen plays a vital role not only in grain
Open Access AJPS
Growth and Economic Assessment of Wheat under Tillage and Nitrogen Levels in Rice-Wheat System
Open Access AJPS
yield but also in grain quality. Tillage had significant
effects on yield and grain protein content of wheat (Ta-
ble 1). Wheat grain yield in first year of study was sig-
nificantly higher (4.6 Mg·ha1) in DT followed by HS
(4.5 Mg·ha1) as compared with CT and ZDT. Grain
yield in DT was 17 to 23% while in HS was 15 to 22%
higher than ZDT and CT. In contrast, significantly higher
grain yield was noted (5.8 Mg·ha1) in HS followed by
DT (5.7 Mg·ha1) as compared with CT and ZDT during
2010 to 2011 growing season. Similarly, the highest total
wheat yields were attained in DT and HS over other
treatments in both years. Significantly, maximum grain
protein contents were observed in deep tillage and mini-
mum was observed in zero tillage systems (Happy seeder
and zone disc tiller) during both the growing seasons.
In both the years of study, nitrogen fertilization had
Table 1. Tillage systems and nitrogen levels interaction on total and grain yield and protein content of irrigated wheat in
Faisalabad, Pakistan (data of 2009-10 and 2010-11 growing season).
Tillage system Nitrogen level (kg·ha1) Total yield (Mg·ha1) Grain yield (Mg·ha1) Protein content (%)
2009-10 2010-11 2009-10 2010-11 2009-10 2010-11
0 5.9dΨ 8.5c 3.0c 3.3d 8.40e 8.41e
75 10.4c 13.7b 4.1b 5.4c 11.57d 11.58d
100 11.6b 15.6a 4.6a 6.2b 12.25c 12.25c
125 12.4a 16.4a 4.9a 6.5a 12.96b 12.98b
150 11.4b 14.8ab 4.6ab 6.1b 13.52a 13.52a
Tillage × N interaction
CT 0 5.4 7.8 2.0 3 8.40 8.42
75 9.8 13.5 3.8 5.3 11.56 11.58
100 10 15.3 3.9 6 12.26 12.26
125 10.3 16.2 4.1 6.4 12.96 12.98
150 9.5 14.1 3.8 5.6 13.52 13.52
9C* 13.4A 3.5B 5.3B 11.74B 11.75B
DT 0 4.9 9.2 1.9 3.6 8.45 8.46
75 11.6 13.7 4.6 5.4 11.59 11.61
100 13.2 15.8 5.3 6.3 12.29 12.29
125 14.5 16.6 5.8 6.6 13.01 13.02
150 13.7 16.2 5.5 6.5 13.55 13.54
14.3A 4.6A 5.7A 11.78A 11.78A
ZDT 0 6 8 2.4 3.1 8.37 8.38
75 9 13.4 3.6 5.3 11.55 11.56
100 10.8 15.4 4.3 6.2 12.22 12.22
125 11.5 15.9 4.6 6.3 12.93 12.95
150 10 14.3 3.9 5.7 13.49 13.50
9.4B 13.4A 3.8B 5.3B 11.71C 11.72C
HS 0 7.3 9 2.9 3.5 8.38 8.39
75 11 14 4.4 5.6 11.56 11.57
100 12.4 15.9 5.0 6.4 12.23 12.23
125 13.3 17 5.3 6.8 12.94 12.96
150 12.7 16.5 5.1 6.6 13.50 13.51
11.4A 14.5A 4.5A 5.8A 11.72BC 11.73C
Tillage × Nitrogen 1.1 ns ns 0.3 ns ns
CT = Conventional tillage. DT = Deep tillage. ZDT = Zone disc tiller (zero tillage drill). HS = Happy seeder (zero tillage drill). LSD p 0.05; Ψ = Means sepa-
rated by lower case letter in each column are not significantly different among nitrogen fertilization rates at p 0.05. * = Means separated by upper case letter in
ach column are not significantly different among tillage treatments at p 0.05. e
Growth and Economic Assessment of Wheat under Tillage and Nitrogen Levels in Rice-Wheat System
significant influenced on the yield and protein content of
irrigated wheat (Table 1). During both the years of study,
significantly higher wheat grain yield was recorded at
N125 kg·ha1 that was 49, 16, 4 and 4% greater than N0,
N75, N100 and N150 kg·ha1, respectively. Similarly, higher
total yield was in N125 kg·ha1 that was 50, 16, 5 and 5%
greater than N0, N75, N100 and N150 kg·ha1, respectively
in both the years. In 2009 to 2010 and 2010 to 2011
growing years, maximum grain protein content was ob-
served when wheat crop fertilized with nitrogen @ 150
kg·ha1 followed by N125 kg·ha1 and minimum was
noted at N0 kg·ha1.
In the 2009 to 2010 growing season, tillage × nitrogen
interaction significantly influenced total yield while grain
yield in second year and grain protein content remained
non-significant during both the growing seasons. How-
ever, deep tillage and happy seeder under N125 kg·ha1
produced significantly higher yield of wheat over other
tillage × nitrogen combinations.
Deep tillage produced significantly higher total and
grain yield of wheat that was associated with better
seedbed preparation, higher soil porosity and greater wa-
ter and nutrient availability (Khan et al.) [26] while
lower yield under CT was due to subsurface soil com-
paction which may have hindered root growth (Lo-
pez-Bellido et al., 2007) [27]. In several studied, consis-
tently higher yields in HS and DT than in CT were re-
ported (Sip et al.) [28]. Significantly higher grain yield in
HS was observed due to cooler and maximum soil mois-
ture content than CT and DT, which improved water use
efficiency of crops (Su et al.) [29]. Happy seeder pro-
duced higher grain yield than zone disc tiller in both the
year due to seed cover by rice straw (Morris et al.) [30]
which reduced moisture evaporation and improved
seed-to-soil contact. In case of zone disc tiller, furrow
opener was not covered by rice straw that decreased seed
germination and resulted in lower yield (Tessir et al.)
[31]. Deep tillage had longer root length due to deep
plowing that increased the nutrient and water use effi-
ciency (Qamar et al.) [5] which help in increasing the
grain protein content (Cociu and Alionte) [32]. However,
lower grain protein content in zero tillage was due to
higher soil bulk density and penetration resistance, which
reduced the root length and ultimately lower the protein
content (Vita et al.) [33]. Significantly, higher grain pro-
tein content was also reported due to better root growth
and nutrient use efficiency in zero tillage (Coventry et al.)
Nitrogen fertilization had significant effects on the
yield and protein content during both the years of study.
It is reported that total and grain yields increased by in-
creasing nitrogen fertilization, but excess of nitrogen
often decreased the yields because other yield compo-
nents of wheat are decreased with an associated decrease
in vegetative growth (Khan et al.) [35]. Similarly, Tava-
koli and Oweis [36] reported that with irrigation, the re-
sponse of winter wheat to nitrogen significantly in-
creased up to 60 kg·ha1. Both the years of study at
higher nitrogen levels higher grain protein was noted.
Hussain et al. [37] reported that nitrogen fertilizer levels
affect the protein contents and increased by increasing
the nitrogen rates. The higher water and nutrient use effi-
ciency in deep tillage and in happy seeder at nitrogen
fertilization 125 kg·ha1 was favored to produce higher
yields (Qamar et al. [5]. Grain protein content was not
affected by increasing the total and grain yield during
second year of study.
4.2. Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilization Effects on
Wheat Growth
Leaf area index (LAI) and crop growth rate (CGR) are
the basic physiological parameters, which showed the
size of crop assimilates and rate of dry matter accumula-
tion per unit area respectively. Significant effect of dif-
ferent tillage systems and nitrogen fertilization on LAI
and CGR were found in both the growing seasons (Fig-
ures 1-4). Leaf area index of tillage system in both the
growing seasons (Figure 1) line curve increased gradu-
ally and attained the peak at 75 days after sowing (DAS).
After 75 days, the line started to decreased and reached
lower point at 135 DAS. The line curve of deep tillage
remained above than the other tillage systems during
both the growing seasons. Maximum leaf area index
(5.18 and 5.24) was attained at 75 days by deep tillage
followed by happy seeder and minimum was noted in
conventional tillage. In both the growing years, CGR
(Figure 3) of tillage system increased and attained
maximum level at 75 DAS. After 75 days, it decreased
slowly up to 95 DAS then sharp decline up to 115 DAS.
After 115 days, CGR decreased but comparatively at
lower rate. The line curve of deep tillage remained higher
than conventional tillage, zone disc tiller and happy
seeder throughout the growing seasons. Deep tillage in
both years of study produced the maximum crop growth
rate of 12.14 g·m2·d1 and 13.15 g·m2·d1 followed by
happy seeder and minimum CGR was noted in conven-
tional tillage.
During both the years (Figure 2) leaf area index of
wheat crop was maximum when fertilized with N125
kg·ha1 followed by N100 kg·ha1 and minimum was ob-
served in N0 kg·ha1. The line curve of leaf area index at
N125 kg·ha1 remained above of N150, N100, N75 and N0
kg·ha1 throughout the growing seasons. In both the years,
maximum LAI of 5.08 and 5.51 were observed at N125
kg·ha1. The line curve of crop growth rate at N125
kg·ha1 (Figure 4) remained higher during both the
growing seasons and attained maximum crop growth rate
Open Access AJPS
Growth and Economic Assessment of Wheat under Tillage and Nitrogen Levels in Rice-Wheat System 2087
Figure 1. Leaf area index as affected by different tillage systems.
Figure 2. Leaf area index as affected by different nitrogen levels.
Figure 3. Crop growth rate as affected by different tillage systems.
of 14.68 g·m2·d1 and 15.77 g·m2·d1, followed by N100
kg·ha1 and minimum was noted at N0 kg·ha1. Decline in
CGR at 75 days was less in 2009-10 while in the suc-
ceeding year this decline was sharp which might be at-
tributes to variation in climatic conditions.
In first year mean maximum temperature from 75
DAS to 95 DAS was increased while in second year the
mean maximum temperature was decreased from 75
DAS to 95 DAS. It is clear that during both the growing
seasons there was significant difference in leaf area index
and crop growth rate not only among tillage systems but
also between the various nitrogen levels. In both the
growing seasons, all the tillage systems gave maximum
crop growth parameters @ N125 kg·ha1 followed by N100
kg·ha1 and minimum was noted at N0 kg·ha1. Signifi-
cantly higher LAI and CGR in deep tillage was due to
fine seedbed and longer root length that favored nutrient
and water use efficiency, wh positively affected the ich
Open Access AJPS
Growth and Economic Assessment of Wheat under Tillage and Nitrogen Levels in Rice-Wheat System
Figure 4. Crop growth rate as affected by different nitrogen levels.
Table 2. Effect of different tillage systems and nitrogen levels on net return of irrigated wheat (data of 2009-2010 and
2010-2011 growing seasons).
Gross income (Rs. ha1)Variable cost (Rs. ha1)Total cost (Rs. ha1) Net Return (Rs. ha1)
2009-10 2010-11 2009-10 2010-112009-102010-11 2009-102010-11
N0: No nitrogen 61100 90450 6531 9809 80351 83692 19251 6746
N75: 75 kg·N·ha1 114250 158675 15434 21563 89242 95453 24996 63217
N100: 100 kg·N·ha1 117025 179700 16653 25144 90479 99039 26552 80661
N125: 125 kg·N·ha1 122175 191200 18271 27813 92085 101708 30084 89492
CT: Conventional tillage
N150: 150 kg·N·ha1 113050 167000 18376 26688 92184 100583 20854 66417
N0: No nitrogen 57125 107900 6199 17756 80025 85651 22894 22249
N75: 75 kg·N·ha1 137250 161050 18046 21896 91855 95779 45384 65259
N100: 100 kg·N·ha1 157475 187625 21237 26118 95051 100018 62418 87612
N125: 125 kg·N·ha1 172550 196350 23829 28478 97637 102361 74901 93977
DT: Deep tillage
N150: 150 kg·N·ha1 163425 193175 23910 29633 97736 103522 65695 89647
N0: No nitrogen 71400 93225 7838 10118 73658 76018 2258 17212
N75: 75 kg·N·ha1 107500 158275 14769 21564 80589 87453 26911 70816
N100: 100 kg·N·ha1 128125 184050 17959 25809 83785 91692 44346 92346
N125: 125 kg·N·ha1 136850 187625 19909 27481 85718 93381 51121 94249
ZT: Zone disc tiller
N150: 150 kg·N·ha1 116625 170175 18685 27020 84511 92909 32120 77260
N0: No nitrogen 86475 104325 9476 11424 75290 77325 11179 27006
N75: 75 kg·N·ha1 131300 166600 17382 22538 83202 88433 48098 78167
N100: 100 kg·N·ha1 148750 190400 20263 26450 86071 92345 62667 98055
N125: 125 kg·N·ha1 157875 201900 22190 29119 88004 95015 69865 106886
ZT: Happy seeder
N150: 150 kg·N·ha1 151525 196350 22604 29965 88430 95848 63101 100490
Wheat grain price (2009-10 and 2010-11) = Rs. 950 per 40 kg. Wheat straw price = Rs. 160 per 40 kg. Threshing charges = 5.5 kg per 40 kg. Wheat grain price
= Rs. 23.75 per kg. Conventional and deep tillage charges = 11500 ha1. Zone disc tiller and happy seeder charges = 3500 ha1. Urea charges (2009-10) = Rs.
875 per bag. Urea charges (2010-11) = Rs. 1250 per bag. Application charges = Rs. 250. Total permanent cost (2009-10) = Rs. 62320. Total permanent cost
(2010-11) = Rs. 62395.
plant growth (Kosmas et al.) [38]. In case of zero tillage
(Happy seeder), produced higher growth parameter than
conventional tillage was due to moisture and nutrient
availability near the soil surface that enhanced the
growth. Crop growth parameter like leaf area index and
crop growth rate were increased by increasing the nitro-
gen levels because nitrogen fertilizer boost up the plant
growth up to certain level and produced more vegetative
growth (Warraich et al.) [39]. Moreover, significant dif-
ference in wheat growth and yields between growing
seasons was due to the variations in air temperatures,
amount of rainfall and relative humidity. The weather of
Open Access AJPS
Growth and Economic Assessment of Wheat under Tillage and Nitrogen Levels in Rice-Wheat System 2089
the 2010 to 2011 growing season was more favorable to
irrigated wheat growth and yield compared to the
weather conditions in 2009 to 2010 growing season.
4.3. Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilization Effects on
Wheat Economics
Economic analysis is essential to check the profitability
and net return of the system. Farmers are more interested
in variable costs and economic return of newly intro-
duced enterprises. Economic analysis assist researcher to
plan their research for detail investigation and make de-
cision, which provides base for recommendations to the
farmers. The variability in net return is more important
than variability in crop yield (Jabran et al.) [40]. Net re-
turn was calculated during both the years (2009-10 and
2010-11) (Table 2). In second growing season, the envi-
ronment during the whole crop period was good and
timely rainfall at critical stages well supported the
growth of wheat. The yield in the second year 2010-11
(Table 1) was more than in year 2009-10. During both
the years conventional tillage (Rs. 30084 and Rs. 89492),
deep tillage (Rs. 74901 and Rs. 93977), zone disc tiller
(Rs. 51121 and Rs. 94249) and happy seeder (Rs. 69865
and Rs. 106889) gave maximum net return at N125
kg·ha1. All the tillage systems gave minimum net return
at control during both the years. Wheat crop planted with
zero tillage (Happy seeder and zone disc tiller) gave
higher net return than conventional methods of sowing
during both the growing seasons. In zero tillage, low
fixed cost of production and higher grain yield with re-
spect to conventional tillage system gave maximum net
return at all nitrogen levels. The yields of all the combi-
nations were statistically at par but the difference in net
return was due to less cost of production in zero tillage as
compared with conventional method. In rice-wheat crop-
ping system, zero tillage were produced higher grain
yield than conventional tillage and the primarily cost
saving technology, which gave maximum net return
(Erienstien et al., 2008) [41].
5. Conclusion
Deep tillage and happy seeder (zero tillage) gave more
than 20% higher yield than conventional tillage and zone
disc tiller (zero tillage) and improved crop growth of
irrigated wheat after puddle rice. However, deep tillage
along with N150 kg·ha1 had greater grain protein content
than any other tillage systems and nitrogen levels. The
higher crop yield in zero tillage (happy seeder) than
conventional method of sowing was due to timely crop
establishment that resulted in form of improved crop
yield. Moreover, happy seeder (zero tillage) provides
immediate, identifiable, and demonstrable economic
benefits by reducing production costs. All the tillage
system gave the maximum net return at N125 kg·ha1. The
maximum net returns was noted in zero tillage that was
due to economic superiority over conventional method of
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