By Aditya Abhishek
Dryland Farming or Dry Farming is a method of farming by growing draught tolerant crops & practicing water conservation in semi-arid areas where irrigation is scarce.
According to Hedge, cultivation of crops where annual rainfall is less than 500 mm is dryland farming.
But Widstoe said that dryland farming could also include areas that receive 750 mm rainfall annually if distribution of rainfall is irregular.
Common grain crops cultivated in dryland farming are wheat, millet, corn, rye, Napier grass, etc.
Fruits & Vegetable crops such as grapes, pumpkins, beans, and tomatoes could also be cultivated under dryland farming.
1. Uncertain, ill-distributed and limited annual rainfall; 2. Occurrence of extensive climatic hazards like drought, flood etc; 3. Undulating soil surface, 4. Practice of extensive agriculture i.e. prevalence of mono cropping etc; 5. Relatively large size of fields;
Strip cropping, mulching, crop rotation, bunding, terracing, contour cultivation, grasses and trees plantation are practiced to conserve soil & water.
Partial Root Zone irrigation, drip, and sprinkler irrigation methods help to increase Water Use Efficiency in dryland areas.