Eucalyptus based Agro-forestry models
Eucalyptus has been grown in association with agriculture crops since sixties, as wind break, as avenue tree on farmers homesteads, cattle shed and as road side avenue on farm approach road. Raising of eucalyptus on field boundaries under different patterns of planting, is a common practice adopted by farmers. It has been observed that eucalyptus plant is beneficial to the associated crop. However, cases of adverse effects are also reported. The economic feasibility of Eucalyptus hybrid both with or without agriculture under varying spacing viz. 2.5m x 2.5m, 3m x 1.5m, 4m x 2m and 6m x 1m was worked out. The result of the study indicate that cultivation of eucalyptus at wider spacing (6m x 1m) with rotation of 8 years in combination with agricultural crops on farm lands has given maximum NPV and B/C ratio of 2.28.The influence of eucalyptus trees grown as single row on one side of the field in East-West direction on the growth and yield of wheat was studied in Haryana state. The results of the study revealed that all the crop parameters viz. crop height, plant density, ear length and grain yield showed poor performance in the vicinity of tree line upto 4m, probably due to suppressing effect of the trees.
Agro-forestry in Yamunanagar
More than 70 % of the population of the Yamunanagar district depends on agriculture as its livelihood. The average land holding is 8.53 ha. There are two main crops in the year namely, Kharif and Rabi. Maize and rice are grown during Kharif and wheat, gram and potato in rabi. Large-scale crop of sugarcane has also been raised during recent years. The Eucalyptus wave started taking a shape in mid seventies. It gradually gained momentum in all part of the district. However, after the mid eighties, eucalyptus plantation suffered a serious setback and many small farmers out of disenchantment and discontentment started uprooting eucalyptus trees from their fields. This was because of the economic set back the farmers received through meager prices obtained after harvesting eucalyptus crop. It resulted in virtually no plantation of eucalyptus being taken up by the farmers. This state of affairs continued till the early nineties. However, of late, the use of eucalyptus as popular species in agro-forestry plantations, has bounced back due to the varied uses and improved market conditions. The market price being obtained today is a far cry from the prices that the farmers were obtaining in the late eighties for their produce. Some of the factors responsible for this turn about were:
Opening up of new market avenues like use of eucalyptus wood in packing cases.
Market intervention in the early nineties by the Haryana Forest Development Corp. Ltd., which started procuring eucalyptus from farmers at a fixed minimum support price. This helped in stirring up the competition in the market and giving a fillip to the depressed prices, which continued to rise thereafter.
Revival of market for the eucalyptus crates and increasing use of this wood in furniture making and even house construction activities.
The depression of eucalyptus market prices during eighties gave a fillip to the interest of farmers, especially the large farmers to begin with poplar plantation under agro-forestry system. Though a more demanding species than eucalyptus in terms of management inputs, returns from poplar (Populous deltoides) plantations were higher compared to the eucalyptus. So large-scale plantations of poplar were raised, especially on irrigated fertile, well-drained soils in different parts of the district. Further the wood-based industries have also played a key role in promoting poplars in agroforestry.