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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Jonesboro, Arkansas » Delta Water Management Research » Research » Research Project #436994

Research Project: Water Use, Yield and Global Warming Potential of Furrow-Irrigated Rice

Location: Delta Water Management Research

Project Number: 6024-13000-004-020-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 31, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2025

The overarching goal of this proposed study is to investigate the furrow-irrigation of hybrid rice as a means to reduce global warming potential of rice production while sustaining grain yield and milling quality. To accomplish this overall goal, the following specific objectives will be investigated: 1. Measure seasonal CH4, CO2 and N2O emissions of commonly grown hybrid and pureline rice selections in the Mid-South. 2. Quantify global warming potential (GWP) and yield-scaled GWP (GWPY) of rice selections managed under continuously-flooded and furrow-irrigated conditions. 3. Compare irrigation water use efficiencies of rice produced using continuous-flooding and furrow-irrigation.

Interest in furrow-irrigated rice is increasing because it offers producers greater flexibility in responding to changing commodity markets and weather patterns while reducing tillage, labor and irrigation costs. Owing to the absence of a standing flood in the majority of a furrow-irrigated field, CH4 emissions are substantially reduced relative to continuous flooding. However, furrow irrigation also increases the risk of lower yields and N losses via N2O. According to previous studies, non-flooded rice cultivation (aerobic rice) can reduce the total global warming potential (GWP) of rice as compared to continuously flooded rice. To our knowledge, there is no information regarding GHG emissions from furrow-irrigated rice that allow yield-scaled emission estimates to be determined. This study will investigate the impact of furrow irrigated rice on grain yield, water use and greenhouse gas emissions. Popular rice varieties will be grown under furrow irrigation and conventional flooding. Grain yield, GHG effluxes and water use will be compared in fields under furrow irrigation and continuously flooded systems.