0330 The System of Rice Intensification: What More Needs to be Known about SRI?


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0330 The System of Rice Intensification: What More Needs to be Known about SRI?

  1. 1. The System of Rice Intensification: What More Needs to be Known about SRI? Norman Uphoff Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development
  2. 2. MANY QUESTIONS <ul><li>Some of these can be evaluated and answered by FARMERS, possibly with the cooperation of RESEARCHERS </li></ul><ul><li>Others will have to be studied by RESEARCHERS, where possible with FARMERS’ participation </li></ul>
  3. 3. SRI is not a technology to be applied the same way everywhere <ul><li>SRI should always be varied and adapted to different conditions </li></ul><ul><li>These variations and innovations should be evaluated systematically -- by farmers and by researchers </li></ul><ul><li>The following questions have arisen about SRI practices -- many could be answered by farmer experiments </li></ul>
  4. 4. WATER MANAGEMENT <ul><li>Is alternate flooding and draining of fields as beneficial as daily small applications of water -- with short periods of drying? </li></ul><ul><li>If alternation of flooding and draining is good, for PERIODS of how many days ? </li></ul><ul><li>How should SCHEDULES be changed according to different soil conditions ? </li></ul><ul><li>Should the soil be kept AERATED also during the reproductive period of growth? </li></ul><ul><li>How to deal with MONSOON FLOODING ? </li></ul>
  5. 5. PLANT DENSITY <ul><li>For what soil or other conditions may two seedlings be better than single seedlings ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the optimum spacing of plants for different soil and water conditions? For different varieties? </li></ul><ul><li>How may optimum spacing INCREASE over time as SRI improves soil quality? </li></ul><ul><li>What variations on grid pattern may work, e.g., “triangular” system developed in China </li></ul>
  6. 6. WEEDING / SOIL AERATION <ul><li>How much can a 3rd, 4th, or 5th weeding improve yield beyond the 2nd weeding ? </li></ul><ul><li>What are economic returns to additional weedings beyond the minimum of two ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the best schedule to follow with weeding? Start how many DAT? What time between weedings? How affected by soil? </li></ul><ul><li>What are best methods and best designs of weeders? </li></ul>
  7. 7. COMPOST / ORGANIC MATTER <ul><li>What are the best timings for compost application? How much? How long before planting rice crop? On previous crop? </li></ul><ul><li>What are best methods for making compost? </li></ul><ul><li>How can available biomass be increased? </li></ul><ul><li>What utilization of animal wastes with SRI? </li></ul><ul><li>What benefits can be obtained from mulches and green manures with SRI? </li></ul><ul><li>What benefits from zero tillage with SRI? </li></ul>
  8. 8. SEEDLING AGE <ul><li>What is the best age of seedlings for various different conditions? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the youngest age that is beneficial and also practical? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we determine the start of the fourth phyllochron under different conditions? </li></ul><ul><li>What methods can make transplanting of young seedlings easier? </li></ul>
  9. 9. YOUNG SEEDLINGS <ul><li>What is the mortality of young seedlings? For what reasons? How can this be reduced? </li></ul><ul><li>How can young seedlings be protected against flooding and insect and pest damage ? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the possibilities for a ratoon crop ? Reports of 70% yield </li></ul>
  10. 10. VARIETIES <ul><li>What are best varieties -- best improved varieties and best local varieties -- for different soil and other conditions? Is there a difference in Indica/Japonica response? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the best practices for different varieties? Water management? Weeding? Nutrient applications? Timing of planting? </li></ul><ul><li>What advantages for short vs. medium vs. long term varieties with SRI? For photosensitive vs. insensitive varieties? </li></ul>
  11. 11. SOIL VARIATIONS <ul><li>What modifications in SRI practices to be made for clay vs. sand vs. loam ? </li></ul><ul><li>What changes in water management and other practices should be made for soils that are water-retaining or very porous ? </li></ul><ul><li>What changes in soil nutrient applications are appropriate for different types of soil? e.g., sandy soils with high SOM can be quite productive with SRI practices </li></ul>
  12. 12. SEEDBED / SEEDLING MGMT <ul><li>What are best design and management of nurseries? Size? Location? Best soil medium? Watering practices? </li></ul><ul><li>What are best practices for removing seedlings from seedbed and transferring them to the field for transplanting? </li></ul><ul><li>What are best techniques for transplanting young seedlings? How to avoid/minimize trauma? How to do spacing ? Rake? String? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we use DIRECT SEEDING instead? </li></ul>
  13. 13. CROP / PLANT PROTECTION <ul><li>What problems arise because of pests ? -- crickets, snails, root grubs, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>What can be done to control these pests? </li></ul><ul><li>How does drier field affect plant diseases ? </li></ul><ul><li>What changes in the ratio of beneficial: pest insect populations with SRI practices? </li></ul>
  14. 14. LABOR REQUIREMENTS <ul><li>How much more or less labor does SRI require, compared to usual methods? </li></ul><ul><li>Any gender differences between men and women in labor requirements with SRI? </li></ul><ul><li>Can there be reduction in labor required for SRI? By modifications of practices? Of schedules? Different tools? </li></ul><ul><li>What can be done in the training for SRI that will speed up learning and make doing SRI easier and quicker? </li></ul>
  15. 15. FARMING SYSTEMS <ul><li>How can SRI methods and practice fit more productively into farmers’ existing and evolving systems of production ? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the effects of other crops on SRI results? And of SRI on other crops? </li></ul><ul><li>How can SRI concepts/practices contribute to improving other crop practices and to the diversification of farming systems? </li></ul><ul><li>How can farmer organizations support the process of spreading and utilizing SRI? </li></ul>
  16. 16. GRAIN QUALITY <ul><li>Are there any changes in the nutritional quality of SRI rice? Is it better nutritionally? Poorer ? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any changes in the cooking/eating characteristics of SRI rice? </li></ul>
  17. 17. SOIL MICROBIOLOGY <ul><li>What are the contributions of: </li></ul><ul><li>Increased root exudation? </li></ul><ul><li>Biological nitrogen fixation? </li></ul><ul><li>P solubilization? </li></ul><ul><li>Mycorrhizal associations? </li></ul><ul><li>Rhizobia in the rhizosphere? </li></ul><ul><li>Other microbiological effects? </li></ul>