With many parts of the northern States fighting a smog crisis, agriculture experts and officials are optimistic about effectively managing paddy-residue burning in the next season with the help of super straw management system.At a recent meeting at the Ludhiana-based Panjab Agricultural University, agriculture experts, progressive farmers and officials deliberated to devise a strategy to manage stubble burning next year in an environment-friendly manner.It was pointed out during the meeting, which was conducted at the instance of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), that the super straw management system on combine harvesters must be made compulsory so that farmers could easily manage the harvested straw.Dr. H.S. Sidhu of the Borlaugh Institute for South Asia stressed the need for incorporation of paddy straw in the field rather than its removal by way of bales as the latter may create other ecological issues. “Happy seeder was found to be very effective tool this season for direct sowing of wheat after paddy harvesting by combining harvesters fitted with super straw management system,” he said.Besides, it was observed that existing machines such as cutter-cum-spreaders (mulchers), reversible plough and happy seeders effectively managed paddy straw for wheat sowing.PAU developed super straw management system (Super SMS) in 2016.Dr. N.S.Bains, Director Research at the PAU, said the adoption of early maturing varieties of rice developed by the university is another option for farmers as it will not only provide more window for effective management of paddy straw but also save water.Dr. B.S Dhillon, PAU Vice-Chancellor, suggested that Krishi Vigyan Kendras and the agriculture department should hold large camps and field days to explain to farmers how wheat cen be sown without burning paddy straw.“It’s important that government ensures effective ban on stubble burning for better agro ecology and sustainability of agriculture,” experts pointed out.