The Borlaug Institute for South Asia-Punjab Agricultural University (BISA-PAU) joint team recently received an award from the Indian Society for Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) in recognition of their work on rice residue management using the Super Straw Management System, also known as Super SMS.
Developed and recommended by researchers at BISA and PAU in 2016, the Super SMS is an attachment for self-propelled combine harvesters which offers an innovative solution to paddy residue management in rice-wheat systems.
The Punjab government has made the use of the Super SMS mandatory for all combine harvesters in northwestern India.
The Super SMS gives farmers the ability to recycle residues on-site, reducing the need for residue burning and thereby reducing environmental pollution and improving soil health. Instead, the Super SMS helps to uniformly spread rice residue, which is essential for the efficient use of Happy Seeder technology and maintaining soil moisture in the field.
Harminder Singh Sidhu, a senior research engineer with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) working at BISA, stressed the need for more sustainable methods of dealing with residue. “Happy Seeder was found to be a very effective tool for direct sowing of wheat after paddy harvesting, using combine harvesters fitted with Super Straw Management System.”
BISA-PAU researchers received the ISAE Team Award 2018 at the 53rd Annual Convention of ISAE, held from January 28 to January 30, 2019, at Baranas Hindu University in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh state.
The director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Trilochan Mohapatra, presented the award, acknowledging it as “a real team award which is making a difference on the ground.”
The recipients acknowledged the role of local industry partner New Gurdeep Agro Industries for its contributions to promoting the adoption of this machinery. Within eight months of commercialization in the Indian state of Punjab, over 100 manufacturers had begun producing the Super SMS attachment. Currently, more than 5,000 combine harvesters are equipped with it.