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Sub-surface drip fertigation with conservation agriculture in a rice-wheat system: A breakthrough for addressing water and nitrogen use efficiency

Published on May 1, 2019in Agricultural Water Management3.542
· DOI :10.1016/j.agwat.2019.02.019
H.S. Sidhu6
Estimated H-index: 6
(CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center),
Mangi L. Jat26
Estimated H-index: 26
(CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)
+ 6 AuthorsBruno Gérard23
Estimated H-index: 23
(CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)
Sources
Abstract
Abstract The future of the South Asia’s rice-wheat (RW) production system is at stake due to continuously depleting aquifers and increasing pressure on underground water under projected climate change scenario. Conventional management factors such as flood irrigation, intensive tillage and residue burning are threatening sustainability of RW system. With increasing adoption of conservation agriculture (CA), sub-surface drip fertigation (SSDF) provides an exceptional opportunity for complementing irrigation water saving benefits. Presently, there is no research evidence on optimum spacing and depth for drip laterals in a CA (direct drilling and residue mulch) based RW system around the globe. This study was therefore, planned to evaluate effects of residue mulch, different spacing and depths of laterals for SSDF on crop yield, irrigation water productivity (WPi), nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and net returns for CA based RW system in a silt loam soil in northwestern India. Drip laterals were spaced either at 33.75 cm or 67.5 cm, and installation depths were 0, 15 or 20 cm beneath the soil surface and compared with conventional and zero tillage based flood-irrigated RW systems. Grain yield and irrigation water input in rice and wheat were generally similar under different SSDF treatments. Irrigation water savings were 48–53% in rice and 42–53% in wheat under combination of SSDF and CA compared to flood irrigation system. A similar trend in WPi was recorded in both the crops. Residue mulch contributed to higher irrigation water savings, wheat yield and WPi compared to no mulch. Both rice and wheat needed 20% less N fertilizer under SSDF system to obtain grain yields similar to that under flood irrigated crops. Net returns from SSDF system with 67.5 cm lateral spacing were significantly higher compared to flood irrigation system. In conclusion, SSDF system having laterals spaced at 67.5 cm and installed at 15 cm depth provides tangible benefits for substantial saving in irrigation water and energy and increasing NUE and net income for CA based RW system in South Asia.
  • References (20)
  • Citations (2)
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References20
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#1Hanuman S. Jat (CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)H-Index: 10
#2Ashim Datta (Central Soil Salinity Research Institute)H-Index: 6
Last. Andrew J. McDonald (CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)H-Index: 16
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ABSTRACTSoil quality degradation associated with resources scarcity is the major concern for the sustainability of conventional rice-wheat system in South Asia. Replacement of conventional management practices with conservation agriculture (CA) is required to improve soil quality. A field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of CA on soil physical (bulk density, penetration resistance, infiltration) and chemical (N, P, K, S, micronutrients) properties after 4 years in North-West India. ...
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#1Rakesh Sharda (PAU: Punjab Agricultural University)H-Index: 4
#2Gulshan Mahajan (PAU: Punjab Agricultural University)H-Index: 21
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Drip irrigation in dry-seeded rice (DSR) is a new water-saving cultivation technology; however, very little is known of its productivity and water-saving capacities. The study was conducted for 2 years (2013 and 2014) in a split-plot design in three replicates with treatment combinations of four irrigation regimes [drip irrigation at 1.5, 2.25, and 3.0× pan evaporation (Epan) and flood irrigation at 3.0× Epan] and three nitrogen (N) levels (120, 150, and 180 kg ha−1). Drip irrigation in DSR resu...
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Rice-wheat (RW) system of the Indo-Gangetic Plains has played a significant role in the food security of India. However, sustainability of this important cropping system is at risk due to deterioration of soil health, mounting pressure on natural resources and emerging challenges of climate change. Zero tillage and innovations in crop residue management to avoid straw burning should assist in achieving sustainable productivity and allow farmers to reduce nutrient and water inputs, and reduce ris...
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