Crop performance, nitrogen and water use in flooded and aerobic rice uri icon

abstract

  • Irrigated 'aerobic rice' is a new system being developed for lowland areas with water shortage and for favorable upland areas with access to supplementary irrigation. It entails the cultivation of nutrient-responsive cultivars in nonsaturated soil with sufficient external inputs to reach yields of 70-80% of high-input flooded rice. To obtain insights into crop performance, water use, and N use of aerobic rice, a field experiment was conducted in the dry seasons of 2002 and 2003 in the Philippines. Cultivar Apo was grown under flooded and aerobic conditions at 0 and at 150 kg fertilizer N ha(-1). The aerobic fields were flush irrigated when the soil water potential at 15-cm depth reached -30 kPa. A 15 N isotope study was carried out in microplots within the 150-N plots to determine the fate of applied N. The yield under aerobic conditions with 150 kg N ha(-1) was 6.3 t ha(-1) in 2002 and 4.2 t ha(-1) in 2003, and the irrigation water input was 778 mm in 2002 and 826 mm in 2003. Compared with flooded conditions, the yield was 15 and 39% lower, and the irrigation water use 36 and 41 % lower in aerobic plots in 2002 and 2003, respectively. N content at 150 kg N ha(-1) in leaves and total plant was nearly the same for aerobic and flooded conditions, indicating that crop growth under aerobic conditions was limited by water deficit and not by N deficit. Under aerobic conditions, average fertilizer N recovery was 22% in both the main field and the microplot, whereas under flooded conditions, it was 49% in the main field and 36% in the microplot. Under both flooded and aerobic conditions, the fraction of N-15 that was determined in the soil after the,rowing season was 23%. Since nitrate contents in leachate water were negligible, we hypothesized that the N unaccounted for were gaseous losses. The N unaccounted for was higher under aerobic conditions than under flooded conditions. For aerobic rice, trials are suggested for optimizing dose and timing of N fertilizer. Also further improvements in water regime should be made to reduce crop water stress.

publication date

  • 2005
  • 2005
  • 2005