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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of Soil Compaction on Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Rice in a Highly Permeable Soil1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 3, p. 499-502
    Received: Dec 14, 1978

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  1. N. T. Singh,
  2. M. S. Patel,
  3. Rachhpal Singh and
  4. A. C. Vig2



Much irrigation water used in growing lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.) is lost through percolation, especially in highly permeable soils. Soil treatments to minimize water loss have been costly and laborious. We tried soil compaction as a simple and inexpensive method to cut down on percolation losses in Held plot on a Fatehpur loamy sand (Typic Ustochrept) and measured crop yield and water use efficiency as a result.

The treatments consisted of soil compaction with 2, 6, 10, and 16 passes of a 130 cm wide, 0.7 metric ton stone roller when the soil was close to Proctor optimum moisture content (approximately 11.9%). With the respective treatments, we achieved a bulk density of 1.70, 1.75, 1.79, and 1.84 g/cm3 in the surface 6 cm of the soil. Rice was both directly seeded and transplanted. Soil compaction significantly reduced the water intake rate. Between the treatments of 2 and 16 passes of the roller, 99 cm of water was saved in the direct-seeded crop. Soil compaction beyond 10 roller passes produced no significant reduction in rice yield in 1976. Significant yield increases ranging from 53 kg to 94 kg/ha were observed when soil compaction increased from 2 to 16 roller passes in 1977. The water use efficiency of rice also increased significantly with increases in compaction. These results suggest that soil compaction is a practical and perhaps a better method of minimizing the water requirements of rice than other methods, like mixing clays, laying of subsurface barriers, etc., in highly permeable coarse-textured soils.

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