SMS essential to manage crop residue: Agriculture Department

SMS essential to manage crop residue: Agriculture Department

The government had asked for applications from combine owners to avail 50 per cent subsidy on the SMS attachment. Tribune file

Amritsar, September 29

The Agriculture Department has urged owners of combine harvesters to install straw management system (SMS) on their machines.

The officials said the government had asked for applications from combine owners to avail 50 per cent subsidy on the SMS attachment.

Agriculture Engineer Ranbir Singh Randhawa said, “The combine operators who have not applied for subsidy can do so till September 30.” He said combine owners were informed about this scheme earlier as well.

Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Gurdial Singh Bal said, “The straw management system helps in shredding stubble into small pieces, which is then scattered evenly in the field. It helps in easy management of crop residue and is one of the best alternatives to stubble-burning.”

He said the cooperative societies were provided with machinery in the past. He said farmers should avail maximum benefit and added that farmers can rent baler machines for better management of crop residue.

While the government had made it mandatory for combine harvesters to have the SMS attachment, operators were still hesitant to fully adopt it as the SMS slows down the speed of machine and increases diesel consumption. “Due to slow speed, a combine will harvest less area, which will have direct impact on the earnings of an operator,” said a combine operator. — TNS

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