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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #171386

Title: REDUCING WATER REQUIREMENTS FOR RICE PRODUCTION

Author
item Vories, Earl - Earl
item TACKER, P

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/29/2004
Publication Date: 2/2/2005
Citation: Vories, E.D., Tacker, P.L. 2005. Reducing water requirements for rice production [abstract]. Missouri Department of Natural Resources Conference, Lake of the Ozarks, MO, February 2005.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Traditional flooded rice production employs a well or riser in the highest-elevation portion of the field. Water released flows over spills into lower paddies as the upper paddies are filled. An alternative method is known as multiple-inlet irrigation. Rather than discharging only into the highest paddy, a pipe is connected and gates or holes are placed in each paddy, so that each paddy is watered simultaneously. The objective of this research was to investigate whether a multiple-inlet approach would result in less water being pumped for rice production than with conventional flooding, when applied on production-scale fields by the regular farm employees. On-farm water-use studies were conducted during the 1999 through 2002 growing seasons. The studies consisted of 15 paired fields located close together, with the same cultivar, soil type, planting date, and management practices. One field was randomly assigned as a conventionally flooded field, and the other was assigned as multiple-inlet rice irrigation. Flowmeters were installed in the inlets to both fields, and the farmers provided yield data. The multiple-inlet system required 26% less irrigation water than conventional flooding, while a 3% yield increase and a 38% increase in irrigation water-use efficiency were associated with the multiple-inlet system compared to conventional flooding. Multidisciplinary projects started in 2003 are examining runoff volume and quality as well as economic effects.