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The book covers the entire syllabus for the civil services examination conducted by UPSC and State Public Service Commission. The chapters have been arranged subject wise so as to cover the entire syllabus of agriculture paper. All the subjects viz. agronomy, forestry, plant breeding, soil science, horticulture, vegetables, entomology, pathology, extension education, economics, genetics, seed technology, plant physiology etc have been covered in the book.

0 Start Pages

Preface The Competitive examinations have become a routine procedure of recruitment and admission in agriculture. Public and Private Sector organizations have made it pre-requisite. A subjet like agriculture having large number of disciplines and examinee has to consult large number of books of various disciplines. Further agricultural sciences is witnessing the generation of newer and newer knowledge to add to the already existing sea of knowledge. Keeping the aforesaid points in view, an effort has been made to compile a book on “Agriculture for Competitive Examinations”. The book includes twelve chapters on important disciplines in agriculture to refresh the knowledge of the readers. Thus it is expected that this book will adequately meet the need of a wider circle of students and readers for preparing their professional career. We continue our efforts to strengthen your preparedness by inculcating recent advances and developments in agricultural sciences. This package will make your knowledge wider and will become asset for advance studies required in the competitive examinations. We hope this book will turn your vision into action for preparing to the forthcoming competitive examination. We acknowledge with indebtedness to authors of books/literature from which most of the material in this book has been drawn. It has not been possible to obtain permission for reproduction for which the author and the publishers offer their apologies. Inspite of the best efforts, it is possible that some errors may have crept into the compilation. The readers are requested to kindly let us know the mistakes so that these can be taken care of in the further edition. Finally, we thank the publisher for bringing out this book so efficiently and promptly.

1 Agricultural Economics

‘Importance of Agriculture in National Perspective in India Importance of Agriculture in Indian Economy: The following points emphasize the importance of agriculture in Indian Economy. Indian is an agricultural country, where 70 per cent population is dependent on agriculture. This forms the main source of income. The contribution of agriculture in the national income in India is more, hence, it is said that agriculture in India is a backbone of Indian Economy. The importance of agriculture in the National Economy is explained by the following points. Role of agriculture in Indian economy: Agriculture is the main sector of Indian economy which is amply powered by the following points: Share in National Income: The contribution from agriculture has been continuously falling from 55.1% in 1950-51 to 37.6% in 1981-82 & further to 18.5% in 2006-07 and 14.2% in 2011-12 and now 13.1%. But agriculture still continues to be the main sector because it provides livelihood to a majority of the people. The share of the agricultural sector’s capital formation in GDP declined from 2.2% in the late 1999s to 1.9% at precent.

1 - 46 (46 Pages)
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2 Agricultural Extension

Meaning, Concept & Definition of Education 1. “Education is the process of developing capabilities of the individuals so that they can adequately respond to their situations”. 2. The modern definition of Education- “It is the production of desirable changes in human behavior- in knowledge (things known), attitudes (things felt) and skills (things done), in all of them or in one or more of them”. 3. Education is the process of giving training and instruction to people to develop their knowledge, abilities, skills, character and mental powers. Knowledge: It includes-facts, concepts, principles and relationship. For example: Extension worker educates a farmer on cultivation practices in sweet corn. (Things known) Attitude: An attitude can be loosely defined as a feeling towards some object, person, and situation or idea. For Example Extension worker changes the negative attitude of a women farmer and makes them adopt Mushroom cultivation. (things felt) Skills: Ability to do things. For example: Extension worker improves skills of a cotton farmer on stem application of pesticide (things done)

47 - 82 (36 Pages)
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3 Agricultural Statistics

Introduction The word ‘Statistics’ is probably derived from the Latin word ‘status’ (means a political state) or the Italian word ‘statista’ or the German word ‘statistik’, each of which means a ‘political state’. It is used in singular as well as in plural sense. In singular sense, statistics is used as a subject that deals with the principles and methods employed in collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of data. In plural sense, statistics is considered as numerical description of quantitative information. Statistics (Definition), Scope and Limitations Different persons defined Statistics in different ways. Some of the popular definitions of Statistics are given below. According to Croxton and Cowden, “Statistics may be defined as the collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of numerical data”. According to Sir R.A. Fisher “The science of Statistics is essentially a branch of applied mathematics and may be regarded as mathematics applied to observational data”. Fisher’s definition is most exact in the sense that it covers all aspects and fields of Statistics. On the basis of above ideas, Statistics can be defined as a science which deals with collection, presentation, analysis of data and interpretation of results.

83 - 102 (20 Pages)
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4 Agro-Forestry

Definition and Concept Agro-Forestry Agro forestry is an age-old practice of integrating farming with practices, preferably on the same unit of land on sustainable basis. Agro forestry systems have received increasing emphasis in the recent years because of their potential to yield fodder, fuel wood and small timber in addition of food. Shortage of fuel woods for construction and commercial purpose. Implementation of development activities like mining, quarrying and river valley projects are the other reason for deforestation. Shifting cultivation, which is practices in the North-Eastern zone of India, has also affected forest acreage. Definition: The practices of including trees in crop or animal production agroecosystem. Agro forestry may be defined as an integrated self- sustained land management systems, which involves deliberate introduction / retention of woody components with agriculture crops including pasture / live stock, simultaneous or sequentially on the same unit land, meting the ecological and socio -economic needs of people. Or Agro forestry is a collective name of land use system and technologies where woody perennials are deliberately used form the same land management units as agricultural crops and or animals in the same form of spatial arrangement of temporal sequence. In agro-forestry systems, there is both ecological and economic interaction between different components.

103 - 142 (40 Pages)
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5 Agronomy

THE AGRO-ECOSYSTEM CONCEPT An agro-ecosystem is a site of agricultural production farm, for example- understood as an ecosystem. The agro-ecosystem concept provides a framework with which to analyze food production systems as wholes, including their complex sets of inputs and outputs and the interconnection of their component parts. Because the concept of the agro-ecosystem is based on ecological principles and our understanding of natural ecosystems, the first topic of discussion in this chapter is the ecosystem. We examine the structural aspects of ecosystems their parts and the relationships among the parts and then turn to their functional aspects how ecosystems work. Agro-ecosystems are then described in terms of how they compare, structurally and functionally, with natural ecosystems. Structure of Natural Ecosystem An ecosystem can be defined as a functional system of complementary relations between living organisms and their environment, delimited by arbitrarily chosen boundaries, which in space and time appear to maintain a steady yet dynamic equilibrium. An ecosystem thus has physical parts with particular relationshipsthe structure of the system that together take part in dynamic processes the function of the system. The most basic structural components of ecosystems are biotic factors, living organisms that interact in the environment, and abiotic factors, nonliving physical and chemical components of the environment such as soil, light, moisture and temperature.

143 - 300 (158 Pages)
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6 Horticulture

India is the second largest producer of fruits with a total production of 81.0 million tons from 6.98 million ha in 2012-13. The leading states in terms of area and production are:

301 - 378 (78 Pages)
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7 Plant Breeding

Definition Plant breeding can be defined as an art, a science, and technology of improving the genetic makeup of plants in relation to their economic use for the mankind. OR Plant breeding is the art and science of improving the heredity of plants for the benefit of mankind. OR Plant breeding deals with the genetic improvement of crop plants also known as science of crop improvement. OR Science of changing and improving the heredity of plants

379 - 422 (44 Pages)
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8 Plant Physiology

Significance in Agriculture The Green Revolution resulted in many fold increase in the food grain production. Crop yields have increased steadily over time, but continuing these increases above the current high levels would be difficult. But in order to meet the demands of the increasing population, the crop production must increase in a sustainable manner. Sustainable increase in the total production without increasing cultivated area represents a huge challenge that can only be met by integrative investigations at the whole plant-plant community level. Improvement of crop production systems will require a thorough understanding of basic principles of yield production. This involves the study of the plant processes responsible for the growth, development and production of economic yield by crop plants, focusing on whole plants and plant communities and not individual plant parts, organs, or cells because most of the processes that control yield operate at the whole plant-plant community level. The processes responsible for the primary productivity of crop communities are photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, nutrient utilization and how the products of these processes are converted to economic yield and morphogenetic processes. Crop physiology is the study of plants at the whole-plant and plant-community level of organization and Agronomy is the study of crops and cropping systems at the farm level over a period of time. At this level of organization, the complexity of the system is so large that comprehensive attempts are to be made to examine the mechanisms underlying the crop responses to management or climate. The scientific approach to agriculture has been to isolate (i.e., the experiments in which everything else is equal except the studied phenomenon) and to reduce (i.e., the process by which, a phenomenon is quantified in terms of one or more essential molecular processes), because the production system is too complex. Whereas the unraveling of crop production systems to simple chemical and physical phenomena has improved our general understanding of the system, it is necessary to understand how these chemical and physically processes interact within a whole plant grown from seed to maturity under natural conditions for this information to be useful in agronomy.

423 - 484 (62 Pages)
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9 Plant Protection

What is natural pest and disease control? Pests and diseases are part of the natural environmental system. In this system there is a balance between predators and pests. This is nature’s way of controlling populations. The creatures that we call pests and the organisms that cause disease only become ‘pest and diseases’ when their activities start to damage crops and affect yields. If the natural environmental system is imbalanced then one population can become dominant because it is not being preyed upon. The aim of natural control is to restore a balance between pest and predator and to keep pests and diseases down to an acceptable level. The aim is not to eradicate them altogether, as they also have a role to play in the natural system. Once a pest or disease has started to attack a crop, the damage cannot be repaired and control becomes increasingly difficult. Where possible, use techniques to avoid or prevent pest and disease attack in the first place.

485 - 506 (22 Pages)
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10 Seed Technology

Role of Seed Technology 1. Improved seed - a carrier of new technologies The introduction of quality seeds of new varieties wisely combined with other inputs significantly increase yield levels. In India, the cultivation of high yielding varieties have helped to increase food production from 52 million tonnes to nearly 180 million tonnes over a period of 40 years. 2. Improved seed - a basic tool for secured food supply The successful implementation of the high yielding varieties programme in India has led to a remarkable increase in production and food imports from other counters have been brought down inspite of rapid increase in population. 3. Improved seed-the principal means to secure crop yields in less favourable areas of production The supply of god quality seeds of improved varieties suitable to these areas is one of the important contributions to secure higher crop yields.

507 - 540 (34 Pages)
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11 Soil Science

India situated between the latitude of 8°04/ and 37°06/N and longitudes of 68°07 to 97°25, has a geographical area of 329 Mha. Physiographicaly, it can be divided into the three broad regions, viz., Peninsula (a triangular Plateau in the Deccan and South of the Vindhyas), Mountain region of the Himalalayas (Extra-Penninsula), and the Indo-Gangetic Plain separating the these two regions. Geologically, a great part of the Penninsula is occupied by the gneiss, schists and other rocks of diverse nature. Red soils (Alfisols) generally predominate in this region. The western and central parts predominate in basaltic rock having Black cotton soils of different thickness (Vertisols Inceptisols). The mountain region shows the development of marine sediments of all ages especially in north of the Himalayas. The vast Indo-Gangetic and other plains of Pleistocene origin are composed of alluvium of the great river systems flowing in this region. The alluvial soils of this region depend on the age of alluvia and degree of development. Climatically, India shows three distinct seasons, viz. i) cool and mainly dry winters from November to February, ii) hot and mainly dry summers from March to June and iii) monsoon rainy season from mid June to September. Rainfall is received during June to September (from the south-west monsoon) and during December to February (from the north-eastern winds). The Western Ghats and the eastern Himalayas ranges receive maximum rainfall because of their alignment across the summer monsoon winds. The Indo-Gangetic plains receive moderate rainfall; Rajasthan receives little rainfall as the Aravallies lie along the path of the moisture- bearing winds.

541 - 614 (74 Pages)
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