The saturated soil culture method of rice cultivation.
Rice is a water-guzzling crop cultivated mostly through inefficient irrigation methods which leads to low water use efficiency and many environmental problems. Additionally, the export of virtual water through rice trading and the looming water crisis poses significant threats to the sustainability of rice production and food security. There are several alternative rice production methods to improve water use efficiency. These include aerobic rice, direct-seeded rice (DSR), alternate wetting and drying (AWD), saturated soil culture (SSC), drip-irrigated rice, a system of rice intensification (SRI), and smart irrigation with sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT). However, each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, drip-irrigated rice and IoT-based automated irrigation are not feasible for poor farmers due to the high production costs associated with specialized machinery and tools. Similarly, aerobic rice, drip-irrigated rice, and the SRI are labor-intensive, making them unsuitable for areas with a shortage of labor. On the other hand, DSR is suitable for labor-scarce areas, provided herbicides are used to control weeds. In this article, the suitability of different water-saving rice production methods is reviewed based on factors such as climate, soil type, labor, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions, and their prospects and challenges are evaluated. Additionally, the article examines how cultural practices, such as seed treatment, weed control, and nutrition management, contribute to enhancing water use efficiency in rice production.
Mallareddy, M., Thirumalaikumar, R., Balasubramanian, P., Naseeruddin, R., Nithya, N., Mariadoss, A., Eazhilkrishna, N., et al. (2023). Maximizing Water Use Efficiency in Rice Farming: A Comprehensive Review of Innovative Irrigation Management Technologies. Water, 15(10), 1802. MDPI AG.
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