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Rice responses to soil management in a rice-based cropping system in the semi-arid tropics of southern Lombok, Eastern Indonesia

Ma'shum, M. and Tisdall, J.M. and Borrell, A.K. and McKenzie, B.M. and Gill, J.S. and Kusnarta, I.G.M. and Mahrup, . and Sukartono, . and Van Cooten, D.E. (2009) Rice responses to soil management in a rice-based cropping system in the semi-arid tropics of southern Lombok, Eastern Indonesia. Field Crops Research, 110 (3). pp. 197-206.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2008.08.003

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com


This paper is the first of a series that investigates whether new cropping systems with permanent raised beds (PRBs) or Flat land could be successfully used to increase farmers' incomes from rainfed crops in Lombok in Eastern Indonesia. This paper discusses the rice phase of the cropping system.

Low grain yields of dry-seeded rice (Oryza sativa) grown on Flat land on Vertisols in the rainfed region of southern Lombok, Eastern Indonesia, are probably mainly due to (a) erratic rainfall (870-1220 mm/yr), with water often limiting at sensitive growth stages, (b) consistently high temperatures (average maximum - 31 C), and (c) low solar radiation. Farmers are therefore poor, and labour is hard and costly, as all operations are manual.

Two replicated field experiments were run at Wakan (annual rainfall = 868 mm) and Kawo (1215 mm) for 3 years (2001/2002 to 2003/2004) on Vertisols in southern Lombok. Dry-seeded rice was grown in 4 treatments with or without manual tillage on (a) PRBs, 1.2 m wide, 200 mm high, separated by furrows 300 mm wide, 200 mill deep, with no rice sown in the well-graded furrows, and (b) well-graded Flat land. Excess surface water was harvested from each treatment and used for irrigation after the vegetative stage of the rice. All operations were manual.

There were no differences between treatments in grain yield of rice (mean grain yield = 681 g/m(2)) which could be partly explained by total number of tillers/hill and mean panicle length, but not number of productive tillers/hill, plant height or weight of 1000 grains. When the data from both treatments on PRBs and from both treatments on Flat land, each year at each site were analysed, there were also no differences in grain yield of rice (g/m(2)).

When rainfall in the wet season up to harvest was over 1000 mm (Year 2; Wakan, Kawo), or plants were water-stressed during crop establishment (Year 1; Wakan) or during grain-fill (Year 3: Kawo), there were significant differences in grain yield (g/1.5 m(2)) between treatments; generally the grain yield (g/1.5 m(2)) on PRBs with or without tillage was less than that on Flat land with or without tillage. However, when the data from both treatments on PRBs and from both treatments on Flat land, each year at each site, were analysed, the greater grain yield of dry-seeded rice on Flat land (mean yield 1 092 g/1.5 m(2)) than that on PRBs (mean 815 g/1.5 m(2)) was mainly because there were 25% more plants on Flat land.

Overall when the data in the 2 outer rows and the 2 inner rows on PRBs were each combined, there was a higher number of productive tillers in the combined outer rows (mean 20.7 tillers/hill) compared with that in the combined inner rows on each PRB (mean 18.2 tillers/hill). However, there were no differences in grain yield between combined rows (mean 142 g/m row). Hence with a gap of 500 mm (the distance between the outer rows of plants on adjacent raised beds), plants did not compensate in grain yield for missing plants in furrows. This suggests that rice (a) also sown in furrows, or (b) sown in 7 rows with narrower row-spacing, or (c) sown in 6 rows with slightly wider row-spacing, and narrower gap between outer rows on adjacent beds, may further increase grain yield (g/1.5 m(2)) in this system of PRBs.

The growth and the grain yield (y in g/m(2)) of rainfed rice (with rainfall on-site the only source of water for irrigation) depended mainly on the rainfall (x in mm) in the wet season up to harvest (due either to site or year) with y = 1. 1x -308; r(2) = 0.54; p < 0.005. However, 280 mm (i.e. 32%) of the rainfall was not directly used to produce grain (i.e. when y = 0 g/m(2)). Manual tillage did not affect growth and grain yield of rice (g/m(2); g/1.5 m(2)), either on PRB or on Flat land.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Agri-Science, Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:© Elsevier B.V.
Keywords:Hand-tillage; permanent raised beds; rice yield; dry-seeded; water harvest; Widas; environment; irrigation; yield.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Plant culture > Field crops > Rice
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Methods for special areas
Deposited On:14 Apr 2009 06:56
Last Modified:25 Oct 2011 05:31

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