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Productivity and resource use of direct-(drum)-seeded and transplanted rice in puddled soils in rice-rice and rice-wheat ecosystems

Rashid, M. Harunur, Alam, M. Murshedul, Khan, M. Akhter Hossain, Ladha, J.K.
Field crops research 2009 v.113 no.3 pp. 274-281
Oryza sativa, rice, Triticum aestivum, wheat, agroecosystems, puddling, direct seeding, planting, seedlings, grain yield, farm labor, irrigation rates, on-farm research, wet season, dry season, plant establishment, profitability, harvest date, Bangladesh
Conventional tilled transplanting, a widely practiced method of rice (Oryza sativa L.) establishment in puddled soils in rice-rice and rice-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) systems in Asia, requires a large amount of labor and water, which are becoming scarce and expensive. Growing more food with the same production costs or even reduced costs and sustaining the quality of the natural resource base are a major concern. On-farm trials were conducted in Chuadanga District of Bangladesh during the wet season as monsoon rice (aman) and during the dry season as winter rice (boro) in 2006-07 to evaluate the effects of establishment methods with improved crop management on productivity, resource (land, water, and labor) use, and economic return. Rice was established by sowing in line with a drum seeder on conventional tilled puddled soils (CT-DrumR) and by transplanting in line on the day of CT-DrumR (CT-TPR1) and 30 and 35 days after CT-DrumR (CT-TPR2) in aman and boro seasons, respectively. Farmers' usual transplanting time corresponds to the day of CT-TPR2. Grain yields in CT-DrumR and CT-TPR2 were similar but the crop occupied the main field 22-24 days longer in CT-DrumR than in CT-TPR2, resulting in lower productivity (45kggrainha⁻¹ day⁻¹ vs. 55kggrainha⁻¹ day⁻¹) in both seasons. Drum-seeded rice matured earlier by 8 and 11 days, received 12% and 6% less irrigation water, saved 19 and 24person-daysha⁻¹, and gave higher gross margins of 6% and 4% but input costs increased by 20% and 12% than CT-TPR2 in aman and boro seasons, respectively. There is a need to examine these benefits of drum-seeded rice in relation to the feasibility of adoption by farmers.