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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 6, p. 1757-1765
     
    Received: May 1, 2012
    Published: October 25, 2012


    * Corresponding author(s): raom@ufl.edu
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doi:10.2134/agronj2012.0148

Impact of Aerobic Rice Cultivation on Growth, Yield, and Water Productivity of Rice–Maize Rotation in Semiarid Tropics

  1. M. D. M. Kadiyalaa,
  2. R. S. Mylavarapu *a,
  3. Y. C. Lib,
  4. G. B. Reddyc and
  5. M. D. Reddyd
  1. a Soil and Water Science Dep., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
    b Soil and Water Science Dep., Tropical Research and Education Center, 18905 S.W. 280 St., Homestead, FL 33031
    c Dep. of Natural Resources & Environmental Design, North Carolina A&T State Univ., Greensboro, NC 27411
    d Water Technology Center, ANGR Agril Univ., Hyderabad, India

Abstract

Limited water availability is a major constraint for cultivation of rice (Oryza sativa L.) in the traditional flooded systems, particularly in the semiarid regions of the world. Aerobic rice cultivation provides feasible alternative to traditional rice production in these regions, allowing significant water savings. Field experiments were conducted at the ANGR University Agricultural Research Station, India during 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 to compare crop growth, yield, and water savings under aerobic rice–maize (R–M) and flooded R–M rotation systems. The effect of aerobic rice on the succeeding maize crop was also studied. The total amount of water applied (including rainfall) in the aerobic plots was 967 and 645 mm compared to 1546 and 1181 mm in flooded rice system, during 2009 and 2010, respectively. This resulted in 37 to 45% water savings with the aerobic method. The soil moisture in aerobic treatment was maintained in the –30 to –40 kPa range throughout the crop growth. The aerobic rice system produced significantly lower grain yields in 2009 and 2010, where differences between flooded and aerobic rice were 39 and 15.4%, respectively. The yield differences were attributed to the differences in spikelet number per panicle and grain weight. Significant increase in yields was recorded in both systems with increased N rates up to 120 kg ha−1. Significantly higher yields were obtained in no-till maize grown subsequent to the aerobic rice than flooded rice, possibly due to residual soil N and improved soil physical conditions.

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