The rice-wheat cropping system (RWCS) is a major production system in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of India covering nearly 10.5 million hectares including 4.1 million hectares of the northwestern (NW) states comprising Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh. In India, RW systems account for >80% of the total cereal production and about 50% of the total calorie intake. More than 90% area of the RW area is irrigated and is facing yield stagnation, soil degradation, declining ground water table and air pollution (Singh et al., 2011). Planting techniques are among the important factors affecting soil properties and crop yield. Among the crop production factors, tillage contributes up to 20% (Khurshid et al., 2006) and affects the sustainable use of soil resources through its influence on soil properties (Lal and Stewart, 2013).Conservation tillage positively influences several aspects of the soil whereas excessive and unnecessary tillage operations give rise to opposite phenomena that are harmful to soil. Therefore, currently there is a significant interest and emphasis on the shift from extreme tillage to conservation and no-tillage methods for the purpose of controlling erosion process (Jill et al., 2011; Naresh et al., 2015).
The human population continues to grow steadily with the shrinking resources being used for agricultural production situates great challenge against Indian agricultural system to attain food and environmental security. To counter these twin challenges in the country there is urgent need of application of modern Hi-tech technologies for enhancing the productivity and sustainability of the rice-wheat system for long term on scientific basis. Precision farming (PF) looks a win-win technology towards improving the capability of agricultural land to produce crops on sustainable basis. The PF is based on the concept of determination of spatial and temporal variability in the crop production which in turn aimed for increasing crop productivity and reducing environmental menaces. It is innovative technology which comprises the application of several Hi-tech tools like Geographical Information System (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), Remote Sensing (RS), Variable Rate Technology (VRT), Decision Support System (DSS), and Farmer. Precision land leveling, precision planting, precision nutrient management by using Green Seeker, leaf color chart (LCC), site specific nutrient management has a lot of potential for enhancing crop yield and input use efficiency under field conditions while reducing the cost of production and deleterious impacts on environmental. Among different precision nutrient management practices STCR produced significantly higher grain yield by 13.86 and 33.83% over SPAD and control, respectively, but it remained at par with Green seeker and 100% RDF. N, P, K content and uptake in grain, straw and total as well as protein content were significantly higher with SSNM. However, Amongst N precision management practices, STCR resulted significantly higher N, P and K harvest index and agronomic efficiency, apparent recovery and physiological efficiency except nitrogen physiological efficiency in green seeker. In India, there are wide possibilities to practice a part of PF technologies in rice-wheat system accomplished through the use of simple and inexpensive gadgets like LCCs and expensive gadgets like chlorophyll meter and optical sensors.