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1404- Agricultural Water Savings by SRI for Future Water Management
 in Sichuan, China


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Title: Agricultural Water Savings by SRI for Future Water Management
 in Sichuan, China

Presented by: Zheng Jiaguo, Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, at the SRI-Rice seminar series, Cornell University, April 15

Published in: Technology, Travel
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1404- Agricultural Water Savings by SRI for Future Water Management
 in Sichuan, China


  1. 1. Agricultural Water Savings by SRI for Future Water Management in Sichuan, China ZHENG JIAGUO Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  2. 2. CONTENT • General information on SRI application in China • Water savings for rice production • Prospects of water management
  3. 3. 1. General information on SRI application in China • Brief review of the spread of SRI • Preliminary evaluations of SRI • Improvements in SRI methods for Sichuan • SRI extension in Sichuan
  4. 4. The spread of SRI in China • SRI was developed in Madagascar and was synthesized in the 1980s. • Prof. Yuan Long-ping validated SRI methods with his super-hybrid varieties in 2001, and hosted an international SRI conference in Sanya, China in 2002. • The most active institutions for SRI research have been the China National Rice Research Institute (CNRRI) and Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS). • SRI has spread throughout China, with some techniques different among provinces and some partial use. • The concepts and methods of SRI can be used with hybrid rice, Japonica rice, and tradition variety.
  5. 5. SRI is a promising methodology to increase rice yield and water productivity • The average yield from hybrid rice in Sichuan is 8.5 t/ha. • When SRI methods were first introduced, they could increase rice yield by 20%, • With modification in the method of transplanting (oblong and triangle), the increase was still higher, almost 55% (Table 1). • The spacing used in modified SRI is considerably greater than in the original SRI.
  6. 6. 3 seedlings separated 3 seedlings in 1 hill
  7. 7. Transplanting pattern Yield (t/ha) Compared to CK + t/ha + % CK 8.65 -- -- SRI – standard spacing 10.42 1.77 20.4 Triangle version of SRI 13.39 4.74 54.8 3rd leaf 2nd leaf Flag leaf Average Length Width Length Width Length Width Length Width SRI 64.25 1.57 71.32 1.87 57.67 2.17 64.41 1.87 CK 56.07 1.43 62.03 1.57 48.67 2.01 55.56 1.67 Table 1. Yield response to different planting patterns in rice Table 2. Leaf blade size (cm) in response to application of SRI methods
  8. 8. SRI promotes more vigorous growth • With SRI methods, rice plant phenotypes from any given genotype are improved . • Leaf blades become bigger, especially the functional leaves (Table 2). • Plant height and culm length become longer. • Leaf area index (LAI) is also much higher compared to control (CK).
  9. 9. Method Rice stage Stem Sheath Green leaf Withere d leaf Panicle Biomass SRI Full heading 6,396.0 6,555.0 7168.6 315.45 2,361.7 24,902.4 Mature 4,108.8 3,265.6 3,390 2,667.3 13,592 25,407.3 CK Full heading 3,775.3 5,594.5 3,880.9 254.2 1,204.9 14,710.0 Mature 2,475 3,064.6 1,661.2 1,639.6 7,935.7 15,832.5 SRI over CK +/-% Full heading 69.41 17.17 84.71 24.07 96.00 59.09 Mature 66.01 6.56 104.06 62.67 71.28 60.47 Comparison of dry-matter accumulation
  10. 10. Lower inputs, especially water-saving • SRI plants showed fewer insect problems and diseases, and seed requirements were reduced by 50-90%. • During the rice-growing season, irrigation water was reduced by 25.6%. • Both WUE and IWUE were higher, by 54.2% and 90.0%, respectively, thereby significantly reducing water consumption.
  11. 11. Limiting factors for adoption • The number of foundation plants is less with SRI recommendations. • It is hard to transplant the young seedling at 2-leaf age in multiple-cropping systems. • Organic fertilizer materials and manpower are in short supply. • Some management measures such as timely weeding and keeping the soil only moist are considered by farmers to be too complex and laborious.
  12. 12. Improved SRI methods for Sichuan
  13. 13. ① Using tray nursery to raise seedlings • The seedling nursery is managed under upland (unflooded) conditions, with plastic trays. • Seedlings are removed carefully from the nursery and are transported quickly and placed gently into paddy field within 15-30 minutes. • This avoids a long recovery time ( there is little transplant shock); leaf age can be extended this way to 5.5.
  14. 14. 30cm 15cm Farmers’ usual practice  Leaf-age 7  Oblong  >6 seedlings
  15. 15. 40cm 35cm 7cm ② Modified SRI: oblong with triangle
  16. 16. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 CK SRI S+3 S+T O+T Tr anspl ant i ng pat t er n Yield(T/ha) Transplanting pattern and yield results S+3 = Square with 3 seedlings; S+T= Square with triangle; O+T = Oblong with triangle
  17. 17. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 40× 40 40× 45 45× 45 45× 50 50× 50 55× 55 Space ( cm) Yield(t/ha) Relation between yield and transplanting density with triangular transplanting configuration
  18. 18. 752.6 737.2 724.5 696.1 576.5 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 850 公斤/亩 3叶/5000 4叶/6000 5叶/7000 6叶/8000 7叶/13636 叶龄与密度的组合 移栽叶龄与密度组合的稻谷产量(2005,新都) ③ Younger seedlings are better Leaf age / density (plants/667m2 ) YieldKg/667m2
  19. 19. ④ Application of herbicides for weed control – so far, no soil- aerating weeding is being used with SRI in Sichuan ⑤ Adding chemical fertilizers when needed is usual practice
  20. 20. f. Midseason drainage is done for inhibiting unproductive tillering
  21. 21. ⑦ Shallow furrows in field for drainage • This is appropriate for the alternate wetting and drying (AWD) method, an effective and easy method for SRI water management. • Shallow furrows help to implement AWD, maintaining aerated soil surfaces while some water remains in the furrows and moves laterally to moisten the root zone.
  22. 22. Shallow furrows in paddy field
  23. 23. The modified SRI Seedling nursery Transplant management Increase organic fertilizer and balance the nutrients Alternate wetting and drying and mid-season drainage Upland nursery with plastic tray Transplant in early season Shallow transplant with low density Oblong and triangle pattern
  24. 24. SRI extension in Sichuan • Extension has been guided by the Provincial Agricultural Extension Bureau. • By 2010, the SRI area in Sichuan had reached >300,000 ha, starting from 1,133 ha in 2004. • The average SRI yield has been 9.5 t/ha, representing an average increase of 1.8 t/ha over the province average paddy yield.
  25. 25. Year 2004 2005 2006** 2007 2008 2009 2010 SRI area (ha) 1,133 7,267 57,400 117,267 204,467 252,467 301,067 SRI yield (kg/ha) 9,105 9,435 8,805 9,075 9,300 9,495 9,555 Conv. yield (kg/ha) 7,740 7,650 7,005 7,395 7,575 7,710 7,740 SRI increment (t/ha)* 1,365 1,785 1,800 1,680 1,725 1,785 1,815 SRI % increase in yield* 17.64 23.33 25.7 22.72 22.77 23.15 23.45 Grain increment (tons) 1,547 12,971 103,320 197,008 352,705 450,653 546,436 Input increment by SRI (RMB Yuan/ha) 834 969 736.5 771 900 1,020 1,200 Grain price (RMB Yuan/kg) 1.44 1.44 1.44 1.5 1.8 1.84 1.95 Additional net income attributable to SRI in Sichuan (million RMB Yuan)* 1.28 11.64 106.51 205.10 450.85 571.69 704.27 Table 4. Extension of SRI in Sichuan province
  26. 26. Year Area under SRI mgmt (ha) No. of farmers using SRI Average SRI yield (t/ha) Aver. conv. yield (t/ha) 2013 385,000 1,283,000 9,302 7,900 2012 383,533 1,278,000 9,280 7,850 2011 365,667 1,218,500 6,450 7,780 2010* 301,067 1,003,000 9,555 7,740 SRI area and number of farmers in recent years * Drought year: SRI yields were relatively better than with conventional methods
  27. 27. 2. Water savings for rice production • General information about Sichuan province • Water-using characteristics in rice cultivation • Individual research on water-saving for SRI • Impact of water-saving techniques and demonstrations in Sichuan
  28. 28. The R-W cropping system distribution in China Sichuan
  29. 29. Sichuan is located in southwest China • The rainfall in province is 1,000 mm annually. • Water resources are about 3,040 m3 per capita, which is higher than China's average. • The hilly regions have the most serious water shortage. The water resources per capita there are 940 m3 -- just 31% of the province average, and less than 40% of the national average of 2,477 m3 . • Agriculture consumes 80% of the total water resources in Sichuan. • Water use efficiency (WUE) of staple crops such as rice, maize, and wheat is about 0.9 kg/m3 .
  30. 30. ① Irrigation systems well developed on Chengdu Plain • Chengdu Plain covers 10,000 km2 . • Dujiangyan Irrigation System, built over 2,000 years ago, enables irrigation automatically. • The thermal conditions provide adequate temperature for the rice-wheat cropping system. • But WUE is lower because of flood irrigation or cascade (field-to-field) irrigation. Dujiangyan Irrigated area: 670, 000 ha in 1998
  31. 31. ② Seasonal droughts are the main restricting factor in hilly areas • Seasonal droughts are quite frequent, due to the uneven distribution of rainfall during rice growth. • Drought disasters, such as withered rice seedlings or waiting for rainfall to transplant, occur every year. Withering Yellow leaf
  32. 32. Lack of water Lack of water DelayDelay YellowwitheringYellowwithering Low seed setLow seed set Sow Transpl. Elongation Heading Mature Nursery Tiller Panicle initiation Filling and ripen SpringSpring Summer Hot summer The influence on rice from seasonal drought in Sichuan hilly region Drought
  33. 33. ③ Groundwater resources are seldom used directly • Agriculture relies mostly on surface water. • Rice depends on permanent paddy field water storage in the hilly region, because there are no reservoirs or irrigation projects.
  34. 34. Research on rice water-saving Landscape and the experiment plots
  35. 35. ① Dry seedbed nursery • The seedbed is established under upland conditions and kept dry during the nursery period, with just hand watering if needed. • Because rainfall can be used directly in upland seedbeds, more than 50% of the irrigation water is saved during the nursery stage (about 45d, ≥7 leaf age). Also, seedling quality is much better than with a wet (flooded) seedbed nursery.
  36. 36. Rain- fall (m3 /ha) Irrigation water (m3 /ha) Total consumption (m3 /ha) Comparison to CK (±) (m3 ) (%) DS 315 95.1 410.1 484.1 54.14 WS (CK) 315 579.2 894.2 -32.27 - Emer- gence (%) Seed- ling (%) Height (cm) Dry matter (g/seed- ling) Dry wt/ fresh (%) No. of tillers (/seedling) Recove ry time (days) D S 92.6 89.2 29.98 0.63 24.42 4.36 0.5 C K 82.7 79.2 39.49 0.57 17.17 2.94 7.5 Table 5. Water consumption for rice nursery Table 6. Seedling quality differences between nursery methods DS: Dry seedbed; WS: Wet seedbed
  37. 37. Dry seedbed nursery
  38. 38. ② Mulching in rice cultivation • Mulching by crop residues conserves soil moisture and suppresses weeds. • Small farmers have the labor to manage the mulching. • It can save 30% of water, and increase yield by 6%; WUE is increased by 0.52 kg/m3 , and IWUE increases by 1.24 kg/m3 . • Mulching with plastic film saves more water and reduces losses to drought. But plastic pollution can become a serious problem.
  39. 39. Mulching with wheat straw
  40. 40. Caution: Plastic pollution can be a problem
  41. 41. Yield (kg·hm-2 ) Irriga- tion (m3 ·hm-2 ) TWC (m3 ·hm-2 ) WUE (kg·m-3 To CK ± (kg·m-3 ) IWUE (kg·m-3 ) To CK ± (kg·m-3 ) MBR 9,467.10 3,506.55 6,091.65 1.55 0.52 2.70 1.24 CK 8,941.65 6,121.80 8,706.90 1.03 - 1.46 Table 8. Comparison of water efficiency under different models MBR: mulching of wheat straw into broad rows; CK: farmers’ practice. TWC: total water consumption; WUE: water using efficiency; IWUE: irrigation water using efficiency.
  42. 42. ③ Irrigation methods • AI: aerobic irrigation, as recommended for SRI • AWD: alternative wetting and drying • SWD: shallowwetdry sequential management
  43. 43. Treatment Panicles (m-2) 1000- grain weight (g) Grains panicle-1 Filled grains (%) Yield (kg ha-1) Harvest Index (HI) F25/AI 223.7b 29.2 170.5 71.4 7,686.6b 0.4538 F25/CF 230.2ab 29.1 160 69.3 6,956.0d 0.427 F50/AI 230.0ab 29 173.9 70.5 8,094.2a 0.4767 F50/CF 237.5a 28.7 162.1 70.6 7,273.7c 0.5083 F100/AI 232.7ab 29.8 175.6 64.1 7,771.3b 0.4251 F100/CF 231.3ab 28.4 161.1 69.4 7,019.6d 0.4293 AI 228.8 29.3 173.3 68.7 7,850.7 0.4519 CF 233.0 28.7 161.1 69.8 7,083.1 0.4549 Effects of irrigation methods and organic fertilization on grain yield and yield components AI = aerobic irrigation; CF = continuous flooding; F25 = 25% organic fertilization, 75% chemical fertilization; F50 = 50% organic fertilization; F100 = 100% organic fertilization
  44. 44. Fertil- izer Irrigation water (m3 ha-1 ) Available rainfall (m3 ha-1 ) WUE (kg m-3 ) IWUE (kg m-3 ) AI CF AI CF AI CF AI CF F25 4,726.5 7,606.5 5,110.5 5,110.5 0.7814 0.5470 1.6236 0.9145 F50 4,726.5 7,606.5 5,110.5 5,110.5 0.8228 0.5720 1.7125 0.9562 F100 4,726.5 7,606.5 5,110.5 5,110.5 0.7900 0.5520 1.6442 0.9228 Mean 0.7981 0.5570 1.6601 0.9312 Table 10 Effect of organic matter treatments and irrigation method on water productivity (paddy produced per m3 water) F25 = 25% organic, F50 = 50% organic, F100 = 100% organic, AI = aerobic irrigation, CF = continuous flooding F25 = 25% organic, F50 = 50% organic, F100 = 100% organic AI = aerobic irrigation, CF = continuous flooding Effect of organic matter treatments and irrigation method on water productivity (paddy produced per m3 water)
  45. 45. Impact of water-saving techniques • The technical approach includes: – Tillage, nursery method, water and fertilizer management. • Significant quantities of water have been saved. • Traditional water consumption in paddy fields was 9,795.2 m3 /ha, with 8,279.85 m3 /ha of this being irrigation water. • Water productivity was 0.82 kg/m3 , and the irrigation water use efficiency was 0.97 kg/m3 .
  46. 46. leakage 稻田 Evaporation Irrigation Drainage RainfallRainfall Water requirement for paddy rice 1717.8 m3 2.07mm/d 6364.4 m3 1.89 mm/d Spilled Save water: 2193m3 /ha (22.04%) WUE= 1.12 kg/m3 + 0.30 kg/m3 IWUE=1.34 kg/m3 + 0.37 kg/m3 Water balance in paddy field and water requirement (with modified SRI) 202.5 m3
  47. 47. 3. Prospects of water management • Rice and water management • Future trends in crop cultivation • Key research subjects for water saving in rice cultivation
  48. 48. Rice and water management • Rice is the world’s most important food crop and a major staple food. – China’s 31.7 million ha of rice fields -- which account for 20% of the world’s rice area -- produce about 35% of total rice grain. • Rice consumes large quantities of irrigation water, up to about 90% of the total water for all crops. • However, fresh water for irrigation is becoming scarce because of increasing competition from urban, industrial, and environmental factors.
  49. 49. • Water limitations threaten the sustainability of irrigated rice systems in many countries. • Rice offers great potential for saving irrigation water because its physiological water requirement (4,500 m3 water/ha) is much less than what is currently (incorrectly) considered to be needed and than what is currently applied. • Water-saving rice-cultivation methods are urgently needed to keep up with future food demands, while at the same time they are important for ensuring the future viability of rice production systems.
  50. 50. Future trends in crop cultivation • To promote sustainable development in agriculture, China must simplify the cultivation process, reduce the water requirement, and lighten the workload. • Direct sowing of rice and ratooning will be popular, but some agronomic questions must be answered. • Agricultural machinery must be introduced into all crops cultivation. • SRI is not a fixed technology, but rather a set of ideas for creating a more beneficial growing environment for rice. – We expect further modifications and improvements
  51. 51. 技术特点:可同步开沟、起垄和播种,集成轻简直播、好气强根、节水节肥技术特点:可同步开沟、起垄和播种,集成轻简直播、好气强根、节水节肥 等多项农艺措施。等多项农艺措施。 11 )垄沟作灌溉水沟,保证水稻生长所需;稻种播在垄面上小沟中,湿润促全苗。)垄沟作灌溉水沟,保证水稻生长所需;稻种播在垄面上小沟中,湿润促全苗。 22 )垄沟有水、垄面无水,湿润节水,好气强根。)垄沟有水、垄面无水,湿润节水,好气强根。 33 )垄面上的播种小沟增加了水稻根系的入土深度,较好地解决了一般直播稻播在泥面)垄面上的播种小沟增加了水稻根系的入土深度,较好地解决了一般直播稻播在泥面 上而根系入土较浅、容易倒伏的问题。上而根系入土较浅、容易倒伏的问题。 SRI +SRI + Mechanization?Mechanization? + Direct+ Direct SeedingSeeding ??
  52. 52. 分蘖期分蘖期 成熟期成熟期 移栽期移栽期
  53. 53. Organic & chemical component fertilizer Delayed (controlled) release fertilizer : decrease amount of N in tillering stage; increase the N in panicle initiation (PI) and grain-filling stages. Labor saving: fertilizer application is 1 time only Nitrogen saving : N utilization efficiency is increased by 5.7-25.9% in SRI. Yield : + 9.9 ~ 10.8 % compare to tradition method.
  54. 54. Ratooning rice for hybrid rice
  55. 55. Key research subjects for water saving in rice cultivation • Water balance in paddy fields and water requirements in different ecosystems. – The growing of rice should be based on scientific knowledge and consider following factors: regional ecological conditions, cropping systems, natural rainfall, available irrigation resources, and so on. • Varieties for drought-tolerance and screening methods. – There is considerable difference among varieties for their drought-tolerance. Some can be suitable in arid areas or areas with more uncertain water availability.
  56. 56. • Sensitive growth stages for water stress and their influence. – Limited water resources to be allocated for use during rice’s most sensitive growth stages. Natural rainfall needs to be used as efficiently as possible, and the water demands for rice growing should be reduced as much as possible. • Engineering approach for saving water. – Increased water conservation projects in hilly regions should be pursued, along with reductions in water losses in irrigation channel systems; appropriate use of groundwater systematic development.
  57. 57. For more information: zhjguo580@126.com

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