A global analysis of alternative tillage and crop establishment practices for economically and environmentally efficient rice production

Chakraborty, D and Ladha, J K and Rana, D S and Jat, M L and Gathala, M K and Yadav, S and Rao, A N and Ramesha, M S and Raman, A (2017) A global analysis of alternative tillage and crop establishment practices for economically and environmentally efficient rice production. Scientific Reports, 7 (9342). pp. 1-11. ISSN 2045-2322

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Alternative tillage and rice establishment options should aim at less water and labor to produce similar or improved yields compared with traditional puddled-transplanted rice cultivation. The relative performance of these practices in terms of yield, water input, and economics varies across rice-growing regions. A global meta and mixed model analysis was performed, using a dataset involving 323 on-station and 9 on-farm studies (a total of 3878 paired data), to evaluate the yield, water input, greenhouse gas emissions, and cost and net return with five major tillage/crop establishment options. Shifting from transplanting to direct-seeding was advantageous but the change from conventional to zero or reduced tillage reduced yields. Direct-seeded rice under wet tillage was the best alternative with yield advantages of 1.3–4.7% (p < 0.05) and higher net economic return of 13% (p < 0.05), accompanied by savings of water by 15% (p < 0.05) and a reduction in cost by 2.4–8.8%. Direct-seeding under zero tillage was another potential alternative with high savings in water input and cost of cultivation, with no yield penalty. The alternative practices reduced methane emissions but increased nitrous oxide emissions. Soil texture plays a key role in relative yield advantages, and therefore refinement of the practice to suit a specific agro-ecosystem is needed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alternative tillage, Rice, Agro-ecosystem, Crop establishment practices
Subjects: Others > Food Production
Others > Rice
Others > Climate Change
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 09:15
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2017 09:20
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/10158
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-09742-9
Acknowledgement: The work was supported by the CGIAR research programmes on Rice Agri-Food Systems and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The help and support of the Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research during the course of the study is duly acknowledged. We also acknowledge the help of Dr. Mrs. Kalpana H. Kamble in producing the map with study locations in Q-GIS.
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