Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Evaluation of Water Productivity and Agronomic Performance of Paddy Rice Through Water Saving Irrigation and Nitrogen Fertilization

Version 1 : Received: 8 September 2020 / Approved: 11 September 2020 / Online: 11 September 2020 (09:22:02 CEST)

How to cite: Mboyerwa, P.A.; Mtakwa, P..W.; Kibret, K.; Aschalew, A.; Uphoff, N.T. Evaluation of Water Productivity and Agronomic Performance of Paddy Rice Through Water Saving Irrigation and Nitrogen Fertilization. Preprints 2020, 2020090252 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0252.v1). Mboyerwa, P.A.; Mtakwa, P..W.; Kibret, K.; Aschalew, A.; Uphoff, N.T. Evaluation of Water Productivity and Agronomic Performance of Paddy Rice Through Water Saving Irrigation and Nitrogen Fertilization. Preprints 2020, 2020090252 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0252.v1).

Abstract

Tanzania with 945 million hectares of land area and annual rainfall of 300 mm on 67% of its territorial land is considered as a semi-dry region in the world. Rice production in Tanzania needs to be increased to feed a growing population, whereas water for irrigation is getting scarce. One way to decrease water consumption in paddy fields is to change the irrigation regime for rice production and to replace continuous flooding with alternate wetting and drying. In order to investigate the effect of different regimes of irrigation and nitrogen fertilizer on yield and water productivity of hybrid rice, two greenhouse pot experiments comprising soils from upland and lowland production ecologies were conducted at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania during crop seasons of 2019. The experiment was arranged in split plots based on randomized completely block design with 3 replications. Water regimes were the main factor comparing continuous flooding (CF) and alternate wetting and drying (AWD) with nitrogen fertilizer levels as the sub-factor including absolute control , 0, 60, 90, 120 and 150 kg/ha. Alternate wetting and drying (AWD) improved water productivity in both upland and lowland production ecologies compared to CF. AWD increased yield under lowland production by 13.3% while in upland there was 18.5% decrease in yield. The average water use varied from 31.5 to 84 L pot-1 under upland trials, while in lowland trials it was 36 to 82.3 L. Higher yield and lower water application led to an increase in WP varying from 1.2 to 1.8 kg cm-3 under upland trials, and 0.6 to 1.5 kg cm-3 under lowland trials. The variation in water productivity among treatments was mainly due to the differences in the yield, water and nitrogen levels used in the production process. Both sets of trials recorded water saving up to 34.3% and 17.3% under lowland and upland trials, respectively. Under upland trials, the yield varied from 39.9 to 124.1 g pot-1 and in lowland trials yield ranged from 20.6 to 118.2 g pot-1 representing paddy rice. The measurements showed that less water can be used to produce more crops under alternative rice growing practices. The results are important for water-scarce areas, providing useful information to policy makers, farmers, agricultural departments, and water management boards in devising future climate-smart adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Subject Areas

Water saving; Irrigation; Water productivity; Grain yield; Rice

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