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1305 - Agroecological Crop Management for Increased Productivity

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Title: Agroecological Crop Management for Increased Productivity- Experience with Rice and Other Crops
Date: 24 January 2013
Presented by Norman Uphoff at the 6th International Seminar on Agricultural Policies, Instituto Interamericano de Cooperation para la Agricultura (IICA), Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic

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1305 - Agroecological Crop Management for Increased Productivity

  1. 1. Agroecological Crop Management for Increased Productivity -- Experience with Rice and Other Crops Norman Uphoff, SRI-Rice Cornell University, USA 6th International Seminar on Agricultural Policies, Santo Domingo, 24 January 2013 Instituto Interamericano de Cooperation para la Agricultura (IICA)
  2. 2. What is called ‘modern agriculture’ has been very successful over past 50 years The question arises, however: under the present and foreseeable conditions of the 21st century, should we continue doing more of the same in the agricultural sector? Even if we can do it better ?Should be we considering other strategies?Shouldn’t we be developing ‘post-modern agriculture’ to the extent that new ideas and methods are empirically validated?
  3. 3. Changing conditions in the 21st century willmake doing more of the same less tenable• Arable land area per capita is reducing as • Populations continue to grow • Land area is being lost to urban spread • Land degradation is increasing year by year, so • Land-extensive agriculture makes less sense• Water supply for agriculture is declining: • Competing demands for domestic use and industry • Climate change is reducing amount and reliability• Pests and diseases are likely to increase In US, crop losses to insects increased from 7% to 13% at the same time that farmers’ insecticide use increased by
  4. 4. • Future energy prices will surely be higherthan they were in the past century, raising: • Production costs: fuel, fertilizer, agrochemicals • Transport costs: long-distance trade more costly• Climate change will become more adverse • Its impact will be greatest in many LDCs• Accessibility of technology remains big issue • The Green Revolution by-passed most of the world’s poor & hungry; we must meet their needs• Agricultural productivity gains have slowed • Our technology is giving diminishing returns
  5. 5. Is there any alternative? Fortunately, there are other strategies that deserve to be considered and evaluatedThe current strategy achieved its epitome in the Green Revolution, successful in much of Asia and in various parts of Latin AmericaCore elements of the Green Revolution were:• Developing ‘improved’ varieties (genotypes) •Applying more agrochemical (synthetic) inputs to increase soil fertility and give crop protection (‘improved’ variety = more responsive to inputs)•Applying and consuming more irrigation WATER •Energy-intensive & capital-intensive production
  6. 6. Agroecological alternative Rather than focus on changed/increased genetic potentials, one seeks more/better EXPRESSION of genetic potentials by altering crop management [We don’t eat GENOTYPES -- we eat PHENOTYPES]The impact that plants’ growing environments haveon their productivity has long been recognized and is expressed in the equation: P = (∫)x G + E + [G x E] •‘Modern agriculture’ has focused on G •Agroecological methods focus more on E Can we achieve enough by modifying E > G ?
  7. 7. We need to use our land/soil and waterresources more productively and sustainably Can we achieve more productive PHENOTYPES from any genotype by altering crops’ growing environments, both above and below ground We should consider experience with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) developed in Madagascar, now known in Latin America as la Sistema Intensivo de Cultivo Arrocero (SICA) Its ideas and practices are enabling farmers in >50countries to get more productive rice plants from existing varieties -- whether local, HYV or hybrids
  8. 8. SRI/SICA management offers advantages to farmers: Reductions in:•SEED requirements (plant populations greatly reduced)•IRRIGATION WATER (no more flooding of fields)•Need for AGROCHEMICAL INPUTS (fertilizer, sprays)•COSTS OF PRODUCTION (even possibly of LABOR)Increases in:•CROP YIELD (potentially very great increases)•NET FARMER INCOME (more output with less cost)•Resistance to many effects of CLIMATE CHANGE: • Increased DROUGHT resistance • Resistance to STORM damage (less crop lodging) • More resistance to PESTS AND DISEASES • Even some tolerance of extreme temperatures•Need for BIOMASS, and possibly for more LABORThese methods can be adapted to many OTHERCROPS
  9. 9. Basic Concepts for SRI/SICA -- also for SCI: • Establish healthy plants early (young) and carefully, making efforts to promote their root growth potential. • Reduce plant density, giving each plant more room to grow, both above-ground and below-ground, to intercept more sunlight and to obtain more soil nutrients. • Keep the soil well-aerated and enriched with organic matter, as much as possible, so that the soil can support better growth of roots and more abundant, diverse aerobic soil organisms. – Apply water sparingly in ways that can support the growth of plant roots and of beneficial soil microbes, avoiding continuous inundation and anaerobic soil conditions. – Control weeds in ways that actively aerate the soil. These practices when used together enable farmers to: • Increase the size & functioning of ROOT SYSTEMS, and • Enhance and diversify the populations of SOIL BIOTA.
  10. 10. NEPAL: Farmer with a rice plant grown from a single seed usingSRI methods in Morang district
  11. 11. CUBA: Farmer with two plantsof same variety (VN 2084) and same age (52 DAS)
  12. 12. IRAQ: Comparison trials at Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station, Najaf
  13. 13. 300 SRI CK Yellow leaf and sheath 250 Organ dry weight(g/hill) 47.9% 34.7% Panicle 200 150 Leaf 100 Sheath 50 Stem 0Stage IH H FH MR W R YRI H H FH M W Y R R RCHINA: Non-Flooding Rice Farming Technology in Irrigated Paddy Field, Dr. Tao Longxing, China National Rice Research Institute, 2004
  14. 14. These effects are seen in a wide variety of agroecosystems: • Tropical environments • Mountainous regions • Arid/semi-arid regions The scale of production ranges from: • Smallholder farming systems, to • Large, mechanized operations
  15. 15. INDONESIA Caritas introduced SRI methods in Aceh in 2005 after tsunami devastation – local yields went from 2 t/ha to 8.5 t/ha “Using less rice seed, less water and organic compost, farmers in Aceh have quadrupled their crop production.” ‘Rice Aplenty in Aceh,’ Caritas News (2009) Similar quadrupling of rice yields by poor, food-insecurehouseholds have been documented similarly in Madagascar, Cambodia, India (Madhya Pradesh)
  16. 16. AFGHANISTAN: Transplanting SRI field in Baghlan Province@ 1600 m.a.s.l. in mountainous region with short growing season, supported by program of the Aga Khan Foundation
  17. 17. AKF technician making a field visit in Baghlan province
  18. 18. SRI SRI Conv.Year Users Yield Yield2008 6 10.1 5.42009 42 9.3 5.62nd yr [7] [13.3] [5.6]1st yr [35] [8.7] [5.5]2010 104 8.8 5.62011 114* 10.01 5.04* Some areas could not continue orbe measured because of TalibanSRI yields were achievedwith reductions in water
  19. 19. MALI -- SRI nursery in Timbuktu region on edge ofSahara Desert with 8-day seedlings for transplanting
  20. 20. SRI transplanting in Timbuktu, Mali
  21. 21. Malian farmer in the Timbuktu regionshowing the difference between regular and SRI rice plants SRI SRI Conv. Year Users Yield Yield2007-08 1 8.98 --2008-09 60 9.01 5.492009-10 130 7.71 4.48 with 32% less water Gao region: 7.84 t/ha Mopti region: 7.85 t/ha
  22. 22. CHINA: SRI extension/impact in Sichuan Province, 2004-10 Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 TotalSRI area (ha) 1,133 7,267 57,400 117,267 204,467 252,467 301,067 941,068SRI yield (kg/ha) 9,105 9,435 8,805 9,075 9,300 9,495 9,555 9,252Non-SRI yield (kg/ha) 7,740 7,650 7,005 7,395 7,575 7,710 7,740 7,545SRI increment (t/ha) * 1,365 1,785 1,800# 1,680 1,725 1,785 1,815# 1,708SRI % yield increase * 17.6% 23.3% 25.7% 22.7% 22.8% 23.2% 23.5% 22.7%Grain increase (tons) 1,547 12,971 103,320 197,008 352,705 450,653 546,436 1.66 millAddl. net income from 1.28 11.64 106.5 205.1 450.8 571.7 704.3 2,051SRI use (million RMB) * (>$300 mill) * Comparison with Sichuan provincial average for paddy yield and SRI returns # Drought years: SRI yields were relatively better than with conventional methods Source: Data are from the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture.
  23. 23. , INDIA: Results from Bihar State, 2007-2012 SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION -- state average yield: 2.3 t/ha 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 Normal 2x Drought + Complete Good Climatic conditions rainfall flooding rain in Sept. drought rainfall No. of smallholders 128 5,146 8,367 19,911 NR Area under SRI (ha) 30 544 786 1,412 335,000 SRI yield (t/ha) 10.0 7.75 6.5 3.22* 8.08 Conv. yield (t/ha) 2.7 2.36 2.02 1.66* NR SYSTEM OF WHEAT INTENSIFICATION -- state average yield: 2.4 t/ha 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2011-12 No. of smallholders 415 25,235 48,521 NR Area under SWI (ha) 16 1,200 2,536 183,085 SWI yield (t/ha) 3.6 4.5 NA 5.1 Conv. yield (t/ha) 1.6 1.6 NA NR * Results from measurements of yield on 74 farmers’ SRI and conventional fields
  24. 24. SRI methods in Bihar set a new world recordPaddy production: Biharpanchayat breaks China’s recordNew Delhi, Mar 20:A gram panchayat in Nalanda district of Bihar hassurpassed the Chinese record of paddy production,the Union Agriculture Minister Mr Sharad Pawarinformed Parliament today. “As per the reportsreceived from the state government, the yield of wetpaddy has been recorded at 22.4 tonnes per hectareand that of dry paddy at 20.16 tonnes a hectare ...,”Mr Pawar said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.The record yield was achieved under demonstrationon System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which wasorganised at farmer’s field during kharif 2011, headded. “It has surpassed the yield of 19 tonnes perhectare which was recorded earlier in China.”
  25. 25. OVER 1 MILLION VIETNAMESE FARMERS BENEFIT FROM SRI Tuesday, October 18, 2011 20:48 (GMT +7) PANO – Vietnam celebrated over a million small-scale farmers who are embracing a technique that grows more rice with less seeds, fertilizer, water, and pesticides in an event at Thai Nguyen University on October 18th.The technique is called ‘system of rice intensification’ or SRI for short, whichis a package of agricultural techniques for hand-planted rice that helpsfarmers reduce their costs while increasing their production. The Ministry ofAgriculture and Rural Development reported that by the summer-autumncrop this year, there are 1,070,384 farmers using SRI on 185,065 hectares(457,110 acres) in their rice fields. The number of farmers using SRI practicesin Vietnam has tripled since 2009. . . .
  26. 26. COSTA RICA: mechanized SRI cropin Guanacaste province with yield of8 t/ha -- not using chemical fertilizer
  27. 27. Yield of 8 t/ha vs. 4.2 t/ha beforeMechanized system developed by Oscar Montero, El Pedregal Farm, in Guanacaste province
  28. 28. PAKISTAN: Raised beds forSRI formed on laser-leveled fields in Punjab Province
  29. 29. Nursery mats made fromsoil, compostand rice hulls
  30. 30. Transplanting machine – makes holes at 9 inch spacing (22.5cm), with precision-application of small amounts of compost and fertilizer
  31. 31. Laborers dropping 10-day seedlings into holes which are then filled with water -- the whole field is flooded just once after transplanting
  32. 32. Weeder/soil aerator removing weeds and breaking up soil crustaround plants at 9-inch (22.5cm) intervals
  33. 33. Mechanically-transplanted and -weeded rice crop, irrigated in furrows with siphon supply
  34. 34. Growing crop: @ 72 daysplants have up to 90 tillers
  35. 35. Results of crop-cut sample measurements for MSRI trial, Asif Sharif farm, Dhariwal province, Punjab province, Pakistan, 2009 Rice variety: Omega (hybrid) Crop-cut Samples #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 Ave.Plant number m-2 19 18 21 22 15 18 19 20 21 22 19.5Plant tillers m-2 397 410 450 370 270 315 312 353 389 279 364Plant height (cm) 102 98 97 105 100 102 100 102 100 102 110.9 Panicle length 26 25 26 26 25 24 26 26 26 25 25.5(cm)Straw wt (g m-2) 3,200 3,300 2,150 2,500 2,100 2,800 2,400 3,300 2,000 3,300 2,7051000 grain wt (g) 30 29 30 30 30 31 30 30 30 30 30Grain yield m-2 (g) 1,159 1,523 1,243 1,210 2,192 1,530 743 1,274 1,067 901 1,284
  36. 36. COLOMBIA: Mechanical weederdeveloped for mid-size SRI operations
  37. 37. Agroecological management is seen to give crops somebuffering against effects of climate change: • Drought and water stress • Storm damage – wind/rain (resistance to lodging) • Resistance to pests and diseases • Also extreme temperatures Also net reductions in GHG emissions? • Large reductions in methane (CH4)• Not offset by increase in nitrous oxide (N2O)
  38. 38. Other Benefits from Changes in Practices 1. Water saving – major concern in many places, also now have ‘rainfed’ version with similar results 2. Greater resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses – less damage from pests and diseases, drought, typhoons, flooding, cold spells [discuss tomorrow] 3. Shorter crop cycle – same varieties are harvested by 1-3 weeks sooner, save water, less crop risk 4. High milling output – by about 15%, due to fewer unfilled grains (less chaff) and fewer broken grains 5. Reductions in labor requirements – widely reported incentive for changing practices in India and China; Drought-resistance: Rice fields in Sri Lanka,many places also, mechanization is being introduced same variety 6. Reductions in costs of production – greater farmerand same soil 3 weeks after irrigation had stopped because of drought and profitability, also health benefits (right) income – conventional rice field (left) and SRI
  39. 39. Storm resistance:Dông Trù village,Ha Noi province, Vietnam, afterfields were hit bya tropical stormRight: conventional field and plant; Left: SRI field and plant Same variety used in both fields: serious lodging seen on right --no lodging on left
  40. 40. Disease and pest resistance: Evaluation by Vietnam National IPM Program, 2005-06 – averages of data from on-farm trials in 8 provinces Spring season Summer season SRI Farmer Differ- SRI Farmer Differ- plots plots ence plots plots enceSheath blight 6.7% 18.1% 63.0% 5.2% 19.8% 73.7%Leaf blight -- -- -- 8.6% 36.3% 76.5%Small leaf 63.4 107.7 41.1% 61.8 122.3 49.5%folder *Brown plant 542 1,440 62.4% 545 3,214 83.0%hopper *AVERAGE 55.5% 70.7% * Insects/m2
  41. 41. Modern Traditional improved aromatic variety variety(Ciherang) (Sintanur) – no yield - 8 t/ha Resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses: fields in East Java, Indonesia hit by both brown planthopper (BPH) and by storm damage (typhoon): rice field on left wasmanaged with standard practices; organic SRI is seen on right
  42. 42. Resistance to cold temperature: Yield and meteorological data from ANGRAU, A.P., India Season Normal (t/ha) SRI (t/ha)Kharif 2006 0.21* 4.16Rabi 2005-06 2.25 3.47 * Low yield was due to cold injury (see below) Period Mean max. Mean min. No. of sunshine temp. 0C temp. 0C hrs 1 – 15 Nov 27.7 19.2 4.9 16–30 Nov 29.6 17.9 7.5 1 – 15 Dec 29.1 14.6 8.6 16–31 Dec 28.1 12.2# 8.6# Sudden drop in minimum temp. for 5 days (16–21 Dec = 9.2-9.9o C )
  43. 43. Comparison of methane gas emission 1000 840.1 800 kg C H 4 / ha 600 72 % 400 237.6 200 0 CT SRI Emission (kg/ha) CO2 ton/ha Treatment CH4 N2 O equivalent CT 840.1 0 17.6 SRI 237.6 0.074 5.0
  44. 44. Agroecological managementis seen to apply to other crops • Finger millet • Wheat • Sugar cane • Mustard/canola • Tef • Legumes • Vegetables • Other
  45. 45. Wheat: SWI (left) vs. conventional plants in Bihar, India
  46. 46. SWI results in Mali, 2009 – 1st year • Seed reduction: 94% (10 vs 170 kg/ha) • Yield increase: 10% (2.2 vs 2.0 t/ha) • Labor reduction: 40% • Irrigation water reduction: 30% • Problems: mortality, spacing was too great (25cm x 25cm  20 x 20 cm)Numbers of tillers Panicle length: SWI: 10.2 cm Traditional: 4.2 cm 18.4 3.7
  47. 47. Phenotypical differences in wheat panicleswith SWI practice seen in Nepal
  48. 48. Tef: Application of SRI concepts & practices to production of tef (STI) in EthiopiaLeft: transplanted tefRight: broadcasted tef3-5 t/ha vs. 1 t/ha
  49. 49. STI tef crop in Tigray province of Ethiopia
  50. 50. Sugarcane: SSI caneplants seen in India – SSI is now getting started in Cuba, known as SiCAS
  51. 51. Cuba: 1st SiCAS trial 2012 2 months4 months 8.5 months
  52. 52. SicAS sugarcane @ 10.5 months Eventual yield estimated @ 150 t/ha
  53. 53. Summary of results reported from farmers fields for System of Crop Intensification (SCI)which applies SRI concepts and methods to other crops Crops Yield increases Finger millet 3 to 4x Legumes 50-200% Maize 75% Mustard 3 to 4x Sugarcane 20-100% Tef 3 to 5x Turmeric 25% Vegetables 100-270% Wheat 10-140% SCI crops are mostly rainfed -- but 30% water saving with wheat and sugarcane, and 66% with turmeric
  54. 54. All this experience indicates that we havemany opportunities for raising agriculturalproductivity in ways that are cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, and robust‘Post-modern agriculture’ is not backward -- it is the most modern agricultureIt is guided by advances in microbiology, soil ecology, epigenetics, and systems thinkingMuch remains to be studied and evaluated,but our challenge is to understand and explain what already exists -- rather than discover or invent something that is new
  55. 55. For more information on SRI/SCI: SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice) Website: http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edubased at Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Develoment(CIIFAD), Cornell University, or contact Norman Uphoff: ntu1@cornell.edu

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