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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Rice — Soil Conserving or Soil Depleting?1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 17 No. 3, p. 283-284
    Received: Feb 7, 1953

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  1. Victor E. Green Jr.2



A review of the literature shows that the soil-rice plant-water system of rice culture throughout the world has resulted in subsistence yields of rice grain for a period of 4,000 years. The system has also resulted in the maintenance of nitrogen and organic matter content of the soil, the prevention of soil erosion through the level terrace system of rice culture, the maintenance of soil structure even after purposeful puddling of the soil, the prevention of subsidence of organic soils, and a more rapid release of soil minerals.

These beneficial effects are obtained only when the rice is grown on flooded soil. Dryland rice is comparable to the other small grains in their effects on the soil. Flooding unplanted soil has been shown to be deleterious to the nitrogen supply.

In the Everglades region of Florida, flooded soils alternately planted to rice seem to be the only recourse to prevent a complete disappearance of the muck and peat by the year 2000.

The Federal Government has not considered these factors in its various conservation programs to date.

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