Accomplishments


    1. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Indian Agriculture
      The recent inventory of GHG emission showed that Indian rice fields covering an area of 43.86 Mha emitted 3.37 Mt of CH4. Total N2O emission from agricultural soils of India was 0.217 Mt. Burning of crop residues in field emitted 0.25 Mt of CH4 and 0.007 Mt of N2O. The inventories of methane and nitrous oxide emission from Indian agriculture were accepted by the Govt. of India and subsequently by the United Nation Framework on Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The inventories rationalized GHG emission estimates from Indian agriculture to the international agencies (INCCA, 2010).


    1. Development of Crop Simulation Model (InfoCrop) and other Decision Support Systems

      A generic dynamic crop simulation model (InfoCrop) developed in the Environmental Sciences simulates all major processes of crop growth, soil water and nutrient balances, greenhouse gases emissions, and crop-pest interactions. It is being extensively used in various ICAR Institutes and State Agricultural Universities for predicting the impact of climate change and nitrogen and water management on crop yields. The assessments on impacts of climate change on agriculture in fragile ecosystems have been accepted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India. InfoNitro, InfoRCT are the other models developed for prediction and upscaling of GHG emission and also for simulating the crop performance at the local and regional scales. The DSS–IMPASSE comprising of Geographic Information System (GIS) and the hydrologic and economic model components have been developed to simulate run-off and soil loss from the watersheds.


    1. Assessment of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies

      InfoCrop model predicts that the climate change is likely to reduce wheat yields by ~6 to 17% in 2020 (2011-2040), 13-23% in 2050 (2041-2070) and by ~15-25% in 2080 (2071-2100) scenarios in India, depending on the time of sowing. The irrigated rice yields would reduce by ~4% in 2020 (2010-2039), ~7% in 2050 (2040-2069) and by ~10% in 2080 (2070-2099) scenario. On the other hand, yields of rainfed rice are likely to reduce by ~6% in 2020 scenario, but in 2050 and 2080 scenarios they would decrease only marginally (<2.5%). On all India basis, climate change is projected to cause a mean reduction in mustard yields by ~2% in 2020 (2010-2039), ~7.9% in 2050 (2040-2069) and ~15% in 2080 (2070-2099) scenarios, if no adaptation strategy is followed. Simple adaptation options such as timely sowing, adopting improved and heat tolerant varieties, increased inputs and their use efficiency not only can offset the yield loss but also can improve yields significantly.



    1. Managing Crop Residues to Avoid On-farm Burning

      Indian agriculture produces 500-550 million tons of crop residues annually. These crop residues are used as animal feed, soil mulch, manure, thatching for rural homes and fuel for domestic and industrial purposes and thus are of tremendous value to farmers. However, a large portion of these crop residues, about 90-140 million tons annually, is burnt on-farm primarily to clear the fields to facilitate planting of succeeding crops (see the figure). Burning of crop residues causes environmental pollution, is hazardous to human health, emits greenhouse gases and causes loss of plant nutrients like N, P, K and S. The crop residues can be successfully used with conservation agriculture to improve soil fertility and sustainability of agriculture. A model plan was developed which may be used as a guideline for managing crop residues.



    1. Impact of Elevated Ozone and Carbon Dioxide on Crop Yields
      Field experiments growing rice in the open-top chambers (OTCs) under different levels of ozone (O3) and carbon dioxide (CO2) showed that elevated CO2 concentration of 500±50 ppmV under sub-ambient ozone levels increased the crop yields by 17 to 20%.


    1. Response of Field Crops to Elevated Temperature and Carbon Dioxide
      Rise in atmospheric CO2 level up to 560 ppm enhanced yields of wheat, rice, chickpea, groundnut, green gram, mustard and potato to the extent of 15-20%. Increase in temperature by 1 oC to 4 oC, on the other hand decreased yields of these crops by 4-40%. Wheat registered highest degree of thermal sensitivity followed by groundnut, green gram, rice, potato, chickpea and mustard. Reduction in grain yield of wheat was observed beyond 1.5oC rise in temperature while chickpea and mustard exhibited loss in yield only beyond 4.5 and 5oC even at atmospheric CO2 level of 560 ppm. Thus rice, chickpea, mustard, potato and greengram may be more suitable crops for future climatic scenarios of enhanced temperature and CO2 level.




    1. Vulnerability of Agriculture of the Indo-Gangetic Plains to Climatic Variability and Change
      Assessed vulnerability of agriculture to climate change at district level in the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Indicators of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity were indentified for vulnerability assessment.


    1. Post-methanation Distillery Effluent as Source of Plant Nutrient
      Application of post-methanation distillery effluent (PME) either pre-sown or post-sown increased yields of rice, wheat, mustard, sugarcane and medicinal plants like Mentha arvensis significantly compared to recommended levels of N, P and K application. Protocol for use of PME developed has been accepted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and is to be implemented in all the distilleries in India.


    1. Nitrous Oxide Emissions under Different Crops:
      Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) were measured for two years on soils under pulses (green gram, pigeon pea, chickpea), oilseeds (soybean, mustard, groundnut), millets (sorghum, pearl millet), and cereals (rice, wheat, maize) to develop emission coefficients. The seasonal integrated flux of N2O-N ranged from 0.37 to 0.71 kg ha-1. Emission of N2O was higher in case of soils under pulses and oilseeds compared to those of cereals and millets.


    1. Global Warming Potential (GWP) of Rice-Wheat System:
      Cumulative GWP in the rice–wheat system ranged from 1141 to 1935 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 in the different treatments and direct-seeded rice followed by zero-till wheat reduced GWP by 41% as compared to conventional transplanted rice followed by tilled wheat. Direct seeded rice (DSR) reduced methane emission compared to conventionally transplanted rice. Nitrous oxide emission increased marginally under DSR. Zero-till wheat reduced emission of carbon dioxide but increased emission of nitrous oxide and lowered the global warming potential (GWP) as compared to the conventionally-tilled wheat.


    1. Dry Fermentation Technology for Biogas Production from Agricultural Wastes;
      Dry fermentation technology (Solid state fermentation) was developed for the production of energy and manure from agricultural residues and kitchen wastes. Unlike the conventional biogas plant, the technology can accommodate all types of fibrous organic wastes as alternate and supplemental feedstock to cow dung for the production of biogas. The KVIC model of biogas plant has also been modified at IARI.


  1. Evaluation of Cellulolytic Fungal Strains for Fermentable Sugar Production:
    Out of nine promising fungal strains belonging to Aspergillus, Trichoderma and Fusarium sp. evaluated on the basis of their enzymatic activities and production of sugar, the FPase (filter paper) and CMCase (carboxy-methylcellulose) activities produced from Trichoderma reesei NCIM 1052 exhibited maximum potential for production of fermentable sugar  from rice straw.