This centre was started at R.B.S. College of Agriculture, Bichpuri, Agra (Uttar Pradesh) in 1972 during IV Five year plan to undertake research on saline water use for semi-arid areas with light textured soils and on the utilization of sewage water. The centre is situated in Agro ecological region 4 (Northern plain, hot semi-arid region) and located at 27020’ N Latitude and 77090’ E Longitude.

  • Data base on ground water quality including mapping for Agra, Mathura, Aligarh, Firozabad, Etah, Mainpuri and Etawah of Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur district of Rajasthan have been completed. Salt affected soils of UP and adjoining areas of Rajasthan were also mapped. Alkali groundwater is in 36.9 per cent area while saline groundwater is in 18.1 per cent area. In rest area (45%) groundwater is of good quality. In Bharatpur district of Rajasthan 20.0 % area is of alkali water and 63.0 per cent area is saline water and rest only 13.0 per cent area is of good quality.
  • Low cost agronomic management options for use of poor quality ground waters such as seed rate, additional doses of nutrients, bed planting, pre-sowing irrigation with fresh water are being developed.
  • Conjunctive use of canal and saline/ alkali waters under different cyclic, mixing, seasonal cyclic, long-term annual cyclic modes were tried and best options were identified under limited canal water supply condition.
  • Low cost technology for artificial ground water recharge to improve quality of saline ground water through dilution was developed and implemented in farmers’ fields. This technology provides an opportunity to small and marginal farmers to use diluted ground water for pre-sowing or early irrigations resulting in 10-30% increase in yield of mustard/wheat.
  • Tolerance of several vegetable crops viz., capsicum and okra for salinity of irrigation water was tested under drip and surface irrigation system. For the same yield levels of capsicum, saline water of 8 dS/m could be used under drip irrigation as compared to 4 dS/m with surface irrigation.
  • Technologies for use of poor quality groundwater such as RSC management with gypsum, conjunctive use of low and high salinity water for irrigation, post sowing sprinkler irrigation, dhaincha green manuring, sowing of crops in rain conserved moisture and irrigation with saline water with crop and fertilizer management were demonstrated through ORP in Agra/ Bharatpur region resulting in 10-20% increase in yield and improving farmers’ net income.
  • Plastic low tunnel technology for off season cultivation of vegetables using saline water with drip irrigation. The irrigation water of salinity (ECiw) as 4 and 8 dS/m was used in case of tomato and bitter gourd. It was observed that on an average about 150 percent higher fruit yield was harvested in case of plastic low tunnel with drip as compared to surface irrigation.
  • Crop diversification under saline environment in semi-arid region: On basis of field experiment, it was found that survival of pomegranate was 100% with saline water having EC as high as 8 dS/m using drip irrigation. It is possible to shift from field crop to horticultural crop. However, fruit yield was affected by salinity. The yield at 12 dS/m was 34% less compared to Best Available Water (BAW).
  • Water production functions using double line source sprinkler system were developed for wheat and Mustard crop considering irrigation water quantity and irrigation water salinity/ alkalinity.
  • The bed sowing method was found better compared to flat sowing method with saline water irrigation in case of cotton, pearl millet and wheat. The techniques was demonstrated on framers’ fields through ORP.
  • Effects saline water irrigation on yields of non-conventional crops such as Tulasi, sesame, month bean, isabgol, fennel and fenugreek were assessed and relative yields at different irrigation water salinity (ECiw 4, 6 and 8 dS/m) were recorded.
  • Effects of irrigation with treated sewage water from Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Dandhupura, Agra on soil properties (ECe, pH, available N, and organic carbon) crop yield and ground water quality were assessed in case of pearl-millet, wheat, mustard, potato, cauliflower, coriander, spinach, sorghum, barley, cabbage and berseem. The yields of crops irrigated with treated sewage water were compared with yields of crops irrigated with fresh ground water. In mustard, wheat, barley and pearl millet yield increase from 6.6-23.8% was recorded and in vegetables yield increase from 18.2- 75.0% was recorded. However in other crops yield increase was 26.4-26.8% due to the high organic carbon and available N status of treated sewage water.
  • Screening of varieties of wheat, mustard, barley, sorghum, cotton, safflower, cluster bean and lady finger for salinity was conducted by centre.