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Shifting planting date of Boro rice as a climate change adaptation strategy to reduce water use

Acharjee, Tapos Kumar, van Halsema, Gerardo, Ludwig, Fulco, Hellegers, Petra, Supit, Iwan
Agricultural systems 2019 v.168 pp. 131-143
climate, climate change, developmental stages, dry season, evapotranspiration, food security, heat stress, high-yielding varieties, irrigation requirement, models, planting date, rain, rice, temperature, water requirement, Bangladesh
Suitable adaptation strategies for dry season Boro rice cultivation under future climate change scenarios are important for future food security in Bangladesh. This study assessed the effect of shifting trans−/planting date of dry season Boro rice as an adaptation strategy, with focus on water requirements under future climate scenarios. Potential crop water requirement, effective rainfall and irrigation requirement to satisfy crop evapotranspiration of Boro rice were estimated using CropWat 8.0 for early, normal and late planting dates for 2050s and 2080s. Future climate scenarios were constructed using five global circulation model (GCM) outputs for RCP 4.5 and 8.5 by statistical downscaling and bias correction. Number of days exceeding the threshold temperatures (maximum of 35 °C and minimum of 25 °C) was counted for critical period of Boro rice to understand compatibility of the changed planting dates. Results indicate that late planting can substantially reduce irrigation demand by increasing rainfall availability during Boro growth duration, but the option is very limited due to both day- and night-time heat stress. An early planting, on the other hand, accounts for high water demand but ensures suitable temperature during the critical growth stages of the crop. The normal planting dates show the possibility of day-time heat stress. So, late planting of temperature-tolerant cultivars or early planting of high-yielding varieties would be recommended based on local water availability. However, adjustment of the planting date is currently limited because high temperature-tolerant cultivars are not available in the study region.