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Effect of intermittent irrigation following the system of rice intensification (SRI) on rice yield in a farmer’s paddy fields in Indonesia

Nugroho, Bayu Dwi Apri, Toriyama, Kazunobu, Kobayashi, Kazuhiko, Arif, Chusnul, Yokoyama, Shigeki, Mizoguchi, Masaru
Paddy and water environment 2018 v.16 no.4 pp. 715-723
carbohydrates, farmers, field experimentation, grain yield, nitrogen, paddies, panicles, rice, soil, spikelets, surge irrigation, vegetative growth, water management, water supply, yield components, Indonesia
System of rice intensification (SRI) has been disseminated in many countries because of its high yield, although the mechanism of yield increase has yet to be fully understood. The aims of this study were to clarify the actual water management of a skilled SRI farmer in irrigated paddy field of Indonesia and to examine the effect of intermittent water management on rice growth and yield. Yield and yield components were compared in the field experiments in the farmer’s fields under intermittent (SRI) or flooded (FL) irrigation for 4 years from 2013 to 2016. The daily mean water depth of SRI plots during 0–40 days after transplanting showed very shallow (ca. 2 cm) or little lower than soil surface and continued to be lower than soil surface during reproductive stage when panicles were formed. The yield of SRI significantly exceeded that of FL for 4 years by 13% (P = 0.0004), so did the panicle numbers per area (P = 0.036). The yield increase in SRI was associated with the increased number of panicles, which should have resulted from enhanced tiller development under shallow water level during the vegetative stage. The increased number of panicles was, however, counteracted by the reduced number of spikelets per panicle and resulted in nonsignificant increase in the spikelet density, defined as number of spikelets per unit area of crop. This dampening change in spikelet number per panicle could have been caused by limited supply of either nitrogen or carbohydrate during the panicle development stage under the intermittent water supply. A greater yield increase by SRI could be expected by improving nutrient or water management during the reproductive stage.