Soil fertility advantages of submerged rice cropping systems: a review uri icon

abstract

  • Wetland rice production systems in Asia are making a major contribution to the global rice supply. Wetland rice cultivation is often cited as an example of a sustainable cropping system. Wetland or paddy rice growing involves land preparation by cultivating in the flooded or saturated state (puddling), followed by transplanting of seedlings in soils under submerged condition and growing of the crop until two to three weeks before harvest. In other rice-based cropping systems, the land is either dry- or flood-fallowed during the period between two crops. Afterwards, two or three crops of rice are grown in submerged soil condition. However, shortage of freshwater is becoming critical for this traditional lowland rice cultivation. Obviously, there is high potential in exploring rice cultivation under moisture regimes that save water and also increase productivity. Such a situation provides an opportunity to critically analyze the fertility benefits of submerged rice cropping systems that would help facilitate in making a practical and right choice for growing of rice in future. The objective of this paper is to highlight the underlying principles, which govern the fertility advantages to submerged rice cropping systems. The advantages of growing rice in submerged soils include a general amelioration of chemical fertility, preferential accumulation of organic matter and improved availability of major, secondary and selected micronutrients. These soil fertility advantages benefit the long-term maintenance of soil fertility and sustainability of wetland rice systems. The paper emphasizes the potential of growing wetland rice in monsoon Asia, specifically in poorly drained, waterlogging-prone areas where the water table is shallow (within 30 cm of the soil surface)

publication date

  • 2008
  • 2008