Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 22, Issue 4, 2016; Page No.(1919-1927)

INTEGRATED EVALUATION OF DEGRADED LAND FOR THE CULTIVATION OF SWEET SORGHUM IN AN IRRIGATION TANK CASCADED CATCHMENT

A. Rajeswari and M. Krishnaveni

Abstract

Droughts impose a serious threat to agricultural production and development of socio-economic activities in the semi arid and arid regions which are more vulnerable to inappropriate land use and converting most of them into degraded land. Degraded land plays a significant role in the production of bio energy and fodder crops. Sindapalli Uppodai, an irrigation tank cascaded semi arid sub basin has been selected for the study and the degraded lands are mapped using Resourcesat (LISS IV) remote sensing data. The area under degraded land category was found to be 40.07 km2 about 22 percentage of total geographical area of the study area. Assessment of water deficit was done in the form of drought severity using IMD method and the results shows that the subbasin experiences frequent drought ranging from mild to moderate. The study area receives an average annual rainfall of 746 mm in which around 50% of the rainfall fells in short period of monsoon gets stored in the irrigation tank cascaded system and utilized for irrigation in dry seasons. The percentage of land under degraded land category and frequent occurrence of drought requires an improved management in its agricultural practices. Soil sampling data at various locations of the degraded lands were taken and soil parameters values were analyzed for obtaining the suitability of the area for raising sweet sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], a food, fodder and bio energy crop. The integrated approach developed in this study will result in improved land and water productivity in the tropical semiarid regions with sustainable use of the available resources.

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