The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had fixed fines for farmers burning agriculture waste and asked Delhi and the four neighbouring states to come out with an action plan to prevent such pollution. The problem was that the solutions were few and far between. Now, one is available. Gurdeep Engineering Works reportedly has a solution. Birdalvinder Singh, for the last two years, has been harvesting paddy without resorting to burning any left-over straw on his 15-acre land by using the combine harvester which is fitted with a Super Straw Management System (Super-SMS). With the help of this attachment, the machine cuts straw into 4-5 inch pieces and spreads these uniformly in the field unlike normal combines that leave behind 10-12 inch-long stubble. The straw which is left back can be ploughed back or be kept as it is for sowing of wheat using a zero-till ‘Happy Seeder,’ according to the Indian Express.
Birdalvinder Singh, who a farmer from Kalar Majri in Nabha tehsil of Patiala district said the combine that he is using has the Super-SMS fitment and it works well. The system is manufactured by Gurdeep Engineering Works. Another farmer, Sukhwinder Singh from Sarai Jattan village of Kapurthala district’s Sultanpur Lodhi tehsil, owns three combines and three Happy Seeders. He said, “Since 2006, I have not been burning paddy straw. But till 2014, I was doing this through other machines like rotavator, mould board plough, choppers and mulchers to shred the straw and incorporate into the field. With Super-SMS, which I first used two years ago, my job has become simpler.”
Sarabjit Singh, owner of Dashmesh Mechanical Works, believes the Super-SMS is a viable solution to the paddy stubble burning problem. Sohan Singh of Gurdeep Engineering Works at Bhadson in Patiala district, said a normal combine costs Rs 18 lakh, while it would be Rs 19.25-19.50 lakh for that fitted with Super-SMS, as per IE.
Usually, farmers burn left-over paddy straw after combine-harvesting which starts from early-October as they have to plant the succeeding wheat crop within a month or so – this causes pollution to reach crisis levels every year. The use of Super-SMS with Happy Seeder has dispensed with this requirement. If the left-over stubble can be cut and spread evenly in the field, one can sow wheat directly using the Happy Seeder. “Such straw works as a mulch, which helps improve the wheat stand and also conserve moisture. Last year, strong winds led to large-scale lodging (flattening) of the wheat in my area, but nothing happened to my crop. Also, I need to irrigate my crop only twice now, as against the normal 4-5 times,” Sukhwinder Singh said as per Indian express.