Effect of water management on dry seeded and puddled transplanted rice: Part 2: Water balance and water productivity uri icon

abstract

  • Labour and water scarcity in north west India are driving researchers and farmers to find alternative management strategies that will increase water productivity and reduce labour requirement while maintaining or increasing land productivity. A field experiment was done in Punjab. India, in 2008 and 2009 to compare water balance components and water productivity of dry seeded rice (DSR) and puddled transplanted rice (PTR). There were four irrigation schedules based on soil water tension (SWT) ranging from saturation (daily irrigation) to alternate wetting drying (AWD) with irrigation thresholds of 20, 40 and 70 kPa at 18-20 cm soil depth. There were large and significant declines in irrigation water input with AWD compared to daily irrigation in both establishment methods. The irrigation water savings were mainly due to reduced deep drainage, seepage and runoff, and to reduced ET in DSR. Within each irrigation treatment, deep drainage was much higher in DSR than in PTR, and more so in the second year (i.e. after 2 years without puddling). The irrigation input to daily irrigated DSR was similar to or higher than to daily irrigated PTR. However, within each AWD treatment, the irrigation input to DSR was less than to PTR, due to reduced seepage and runoff, mainly because all PTR treatments were continuously flooded for 2 weeks after transplanting. There was 30-50% irrigation water saving in DSR-20 kPa compared with PTR-20 kPa due to reduced seepage and runoff, which more than compensated for the increased deep drainage in DSR. Yields of PTR and DSR with daily irrigation and a 20 kPa irrigation threshold were similar each year. Thus irrigation and input water productivities (WPI and WPI+R) were highest with the 20 kPa irrigation threshold, and WPI of DSR-20 kPa was 30-50% higher than of PTR-20 kPa. There was a consistent trend for declining ET with decreasing frequency of irrigation, but there was no effect of establishment method on ET apart from higher ET in DSR than PTR with daily irrigation. Water productivity with respect to ET (WPET) was highest with a 20 kPa irrigation threshold, with similar values for DSR and PTR. An irrigation threshold of 20 kPa was the optimum in terms of maximising grain yield, WPI and WPI+R for both PTR and DSR. Dry seeded rice with the 20 kPa threshold outperformed PTR-20 kPa in terms of WPI through maintaining yield while reducing irrigation input by 30-50%. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011
  • 2011