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Agroecological Strategies for Raising
Crop Productivity with Reduced Inputs,
with Less Water Requirement, and with
Bufferi...
In the 21st century, we will need to learn
how to PRODUCE MORE FROM LESS
This paradoxical relationship will be needed
for ...
Green Revolution technologies from the 1960s
contributed to meeting our food needs in past
century – but they are becoming...
Green Revolution strategy has come to be seen as
the necessary, indeed the best or the only way to
achieve higher crop yie...
Diminishing returns to agrochemical inputs
are being experienced clearly in China
At the start of China’s Green Revolution...
At the same time, nitrate (NO3) levels in
China’s groundwater supplies have been rising
rapidly, due to overuse of N ferti...
Fortunately, there are alternatives to this
genocentric, input-dependent strategy,
ones that are very productive and econo...
Agroecological methods promote the
growth of more productive PHENOTYPES
from any given GENOTYPE, i.e., variety
-- does eve...
Agroecological practices modify and
optimize the management of
plants, soil, water and nutrients,
in ways that mobilize th...
Agroecological approaches include:
• Agroforestry
• Conservation agriculture (CA)
• Holistic land and livestock
management...
SRI -- by changing management of the plants,
soil, water and nutrients for growing rice --
A. Induces plants to have large...
Effects of inoculation with Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii E11
on root architecture of two rice varieties: (a) Rootl...
Evidence on water saving and productivity:
A meta-analysis of 29 published studies (2006-2013), with
results from 251 comp...
Some demonstrations of how
more productive phenotypes
are being obtained from
available crop genotypes –
without reliance ...
NEPAL:
Farmer with
a rice plant
grown from a
single seed
with SRI
methods
in Morang
district
CUBA: Two plants of the same variety (VN 2084) and same age
(52 DAS) – different phenotypes from same genotype
INDONESIA: Stump
of a rice plant
(modern variety)
grown using
SRI management
methods -- with
223 tillers & massive
root gr...
IRAQ: Comparison trials at Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station, Najaf
SRI
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
IH H FH MR WR YRStage
Organdryweight(g/hill)
IH H FH MR WR YR
CK Yellow leaf
and sheath
Panic...
Results of trials conducted by the China National
Rice Research Institute over two years, 2004/2005,
using 2 super-hybrid ...
Average yields of (kg/ha) hybrid varieties
with ‘new rice management’ vs. standard rice
management at different plant dens...
SRI methods have set a new world yield record
Paddy production: Bihar
panchayat breaks China’s record
New Delhi, Mar 20:
A...
Before 1999: Madagascar
1999-2000: China, Indonesia
2001-02: Bangladesh, Cuba, Laos,
Cambodia, Gambia, India, Nepal,
Myanm...
These changes in crop management
can be effective in very different and
quite contrasting agroecosystems:
* AFGHANISTAN: B...
AFGHANISTAN: SRI field in Baghlan Province, supported by
Aga Khan Foundation Natural Resource Management program
AKF technician making a field visit in Baghlan province
SRI field at 30 days
SRI plant @ 72 days
after transplanting
with 133 tillers 11.56 t/ha
2008: 6 farmers got
SRI yields of 10.1 t/ha vs.
5.4 t/ha regular methods
2009: 42 farmers got SRI
yields of 9.3 t/ha vs. 5...
MALI -- SRI nursery in Timbuktu region –
8-day seedlings are ready for transplanting
SRI transplanting on
edge of Sahara Desert
Mali farmer in the
Timbuktu region
showing difference
between rice plants:
regular on left, and
SRI on right
2007/08: 1 fa...
Environmental Benefits with SRI:
1. Reduced water requirements – higher crop water-use
efficiency -- puts less pressure on...
Other Benefits from Changes in Practices
1. Water saving – major concern in many places, also
now have ‘rainfed’ version w...
Results from Bihar State, 2007-2011
Data from Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society, Govt. of Bihar
SYSTEM OF RICE INTE...
Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
SRI area (ha) 1,133 7,267 57,400 117,267 204,467 252,467 301,067 941,068
SRI...
Storm resistance
in Vietnam:
Adjacent fields
after being hit by
a tropical storm
in Dông Trù village,
Hanoi province
On le...
Storm resistance
in Kenya:
rice fields in Mwea
irrigation scheme
Conventional field on left,
and SRI field above, after a
...
Disease and pest resistance in Vietnam:
National IPM Program evaluation -- averages of
data from on-farm trials in 8 provi...
Resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses in East Java,
Indonesia: fields hit by both brown planthopper (BPH) and
by ...
Resistance to cold temperatures in India: Yield
and meteorological data from ANGRAU, A.P.
Period Mean max.
temp. 0C
Mean m...
Comparison of methane gas emission
CT SRI
kgCH4/ha
0
200
400
600
800
1000
840.1
237.6
72 %
Treatment
Emission (kg/ha) CO2 ...
SRI practices are now being used beyond rice,
with broader System of Crop Intensification (SCI)
Farmer-led innovations wit...
Crops Yield
increase
Profitability
per ha
Rice 86% 250%
Wheat 72% 86%
Oil seeds 50% 93%
Pulses 56% 67%
Vegetables 20% 37%
...
System of Wheat Intensification on-farm trials
in Tigray Province, Ethiopia, 2009-10,
supported by a grant from Oxfam Amer...
SWI results in Mali (1st year)
Africare program, 2009
• Seed reduction: 94% (10 vs 170 kg/ha)
• Yield increase: 10% (2.2 v...
Panicles of SWI
wheat in Bihar, India
In 2012, area with
SWI management
>180,000 ha, aided
by JEEVIKA program
with WB/IDA ...
SWI wheat crop in Bihar state of India, Chandrapura village,
Khagarla district – wheat fields are same age, same variety
ICRISAT-WWF
Sugarcane Initiative:
• 20-100% more
cane yield, with
• 30% reduction in
water, and
• 25% reduction in
chemica...
SSI sugarcane in India
SSI sugarcane in Cuba
at 10.5 months
Finger Millet: Improved variety A404
in center and local variety on right, both
with traditional management; on left is th...
Size and width of
panicles and roots
of finger millet
with alternative
crop management
-- SFMI plants on
left, and farmer
...
System of Teff
Intensification
(STI) in Ethiopia
now supported by
the government’s
Agricultural
Transformation
Agency (ATA...
STI tef plants ready for harvest at Debre Zeit research station
These results do not argue against
making further genetic improvements
or against any use of external inputs
They do sugge...
Two practical conclusions:
1. Instead of focusing so much on
feeding the plant (with fertilizer),
we should be feeding the...
With SRI/SCI we see the importance of
the abundance, diversity and activity of
beneficial SOIL ORGANISMS promoted
by soil ...
Soil-aerating hand weeder in Sri Lanka costing <$20
Effects of ‘Active Soil Aeration’
412 farmers in Morang district of Nepal
when using SRI in monsoon season, 2005
SRI yield...
No. of mech.
weedings
Farmers
(N)
Area
(ha)
Harvest
(kg)
Yield
(t/ha)
0 2 0.11 657 5.973
1 8 0.62 3,741 7.723
2 27 3.54 26...
ENDOPHYTIC AZOSPIRILLUM, TILLERING,
AND RICE YIELDS WITH CULTIVATION
PRACTICES AND NUTRIENT AMENDMENTS
Replicated trials a...
Microbial populations in rice rhizosphere
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University research
Micro-
organisms
Standard
mgmt
SRI
m...
Total bacteria Total diazotrophs
Microbial populations in rice crops’ rhizosphere soil under conventional
crop management ...
Dehydrogenase activity (μg TPF) Urease activity (μg NH4-N))
Microbial activity in rice crops’ rhizosphere soil under conve...
These results suggest the importance of
studying and understanding the
contributions that are made by
symbiotic endophytes...
“Ascending Migration of Endophytic Rhizobia, from
Roots and Leaves, inside Rice Plants and Assessment of
Benefits to Rice ...
“Proteomic analysis of rice seedlings infected by
Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021”
Feng Chi et al., Proteomics 10: 1861-1874 (...
Data are based on the average linear root and shoot growth of three
symbiotic (dashed line) and three non-symbiotic (solid...
Growth of nonsymbiotic (on left) and symbiotic (on right) rice seedlings.
On the growth of endophyte (F. culmorum) and pla...
More productive phenotypes also can give
higher water-use efficiency as measured by
the ratio of photosynthesis to transpi...
Economics, environmental vulnerabilities,
and climate change effects will require a
different kind of agriculture in 21st ...
THANK YOU
Web page: http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/
Email: ntu1@cornell.edu [NTU-one]
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1450 - Agroecological Strategies for Raising Crop Productivity with Reduced Inputs, with Less Water Requirement, and with Buffering of Climate-Change Stresses

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Presenter: Norman Uphoff
Title: Agroecological Strategies for Raising Crop Productivity with Reduced Inputs, with Less Water Requirement, and with Buffering of Climate-Change Stresses
Date: April 10, 2014
Venue: Agricultural Research Center, Sakha, Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt

Published in: Environment
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1450 - Agroecological Strategies for Raising Crop Productivity with Reduced Inputs, with Less Water Requirement, and with Buffering of Climate-Change Stresses

  1. 1. Agroecological Strategies for Raising Crop Productivity with Reduced Inputs, with Less Water Requirement, and with Buffering of Climate-Change Stresses Norman Uphoff, Cornell University, USA Agricultural Research Center, Sakha, Kafr El-Sheikh, April 10, 2014
  2. 2. In the 21st century, we will need to learn how to PRODUCE MORE FROM LESS This paradoxical relationship will be needed for sustainable agricultural development Amount of arable LAND per capita is declining -- with less and less reliable supplies of WATER, and higher ENERGY costs and prices of INPUTS We need to protect and maintain the quality of our NATURAL RESOURCES -- soil, water, air -- and to ensure broad access to APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES to reduce hunger & poverty
  3. 3. Green Revolution technologies from the 1960s contributed to meeting our food needs in past century – but they are becoming less relevant to the emerging conditions of the 21st century What were the main elements of GR technology? 1. Development and use of NEW VARIETIES, 2. Application of more EXTERNAL INPUTS, 3. Provision of more and more reliable WATER 4. Agrochemical means of CROP PROTECTION --- How many know the book by Francis Chaboussou? Healthy Crops: A New Agricultural Revolution (1985 in French, English translation 2004) presents the theory of ‘trophobiosis’ formulated by this INRA agr. scientist
  4. 4. Green Revolution strategy has come to be seen as the necessary, indeed the best or the only way to achieve higher crop yields and more productivity However, this seeds + fertilizer + water strategy has been encountering DIMINISHING RETURNS Total grain in RED Per capita grain in GREEN
  5. 5. Diminishing returns to agrochemical inputs are being experienced clearly in China At the start of China’s Green Revolution, farmers’ agronomic N-use efficiency was 15-20 kg rice/kg N • By 1981-83, this had fallen to 9.1 kg rice/kg N (Lin, 1991) • By 2001, it was 6.4 kg rice/kg N in Zhejiang province (Wang et al., 2001) • By 2006, this ratio was 5-10 kg rice/kg N (Peng et al., 2006) – and it is still declining S.B. Peng et al., “Improving N fertilization in rice… “ Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 30 (2010), 649-656.
  6. 6. At the same time, nitrate (NO3) levels in China’s groundwater supplies have been rising rapidly, due to overuse of N fertilizer Already 10 years ago, in many parts of China, the level of NO3 in groundwater was >300 ppm -- in the US, the EPA allows only 50 ppm J.L. Hatfield, “Nitrogen over-use, under-use and efficiency.” Paper presented to 4th International Crop Science Congress, Brisbane, Australia, September, 2004 This kind of agricultural practice has unacceptable consequences and a bleak future
  7. 7. Fortunately, there are alternatives to this genocentric, input-dependent strategy, ones that are very productive and economic: AGROECOLOGICAL METHODOLOGIES These methodologies (methods, practices) mobilize and utilize the biological potentials and ecological processes and dynamics that already exist within crop plants and that are inherent within the soil systems in which our crop plants grow
  8. 8. Agroecological methods promote the growth of more productive PHENOTYPES from any given GENOTYPE, i.e., variety -- does everyone know the difference? HOW? by managing agroecosystems more productively -- rather than by focusing on and mostly relying on external inputs HOW CAN THIS BE DONE? By improving crops’ growing environments -- both below and above ground – focusing on the E factor in geneticists’ symbolic equation: Phenotype = ƒ G + E + GxEinteractions
  9. 9. Agroecological practices modify and optimize the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients, in ways that mobilize the services of the plant-soil microbiome, i.e., the multitude of beneficial microorganisms that live around, on and within plants Much as beneficial microorganisms live in, on and around our human bodies, in what is called the human microbiome
  10. 10. Agroecological approaches include: • Agroforestry • Conservation agriculture (CA) • Holistic land and livestock management (Allan Savory) • Integrated pest management (IPM) • Integrated crop-fish culture • System of Rice Intensification (SRI) • System of Crop Intensification (SCI) Will focus here on the latter: SRI and SCI
  11. 11. SRI -- by changing management of the plants, soil, water and nutrients for growing rice -- A. Induces plants to have larger, healthier and better functioning ROOT SYSTEMS, B. Nurtures soil systems that have larger populations of SOIL ORGANISMS which are more biodiverse and more active Both roots & soil biota make crucial contributions to crop production, and they can reduce the current demand for both water and nitrogen fertilizer
  12. 12. Effects of inoculation with Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii E11 on root architecture of two rice varieties: (a) Rootlets per plant; (b) Cumulative root length (mm); (c) Surface area (cm2); (d) Root biovolume (cm3). From: Y. G. Yanni et al., Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 28, 845–870 (2001) Egyptian research shows positive interactions between soil microbes and roots’ growth
  13. 13. Evidence on water saving and productivity: A meta-analysis of 29 published studies (2006-2013), with results from 251 comparison trials across 8 countries Water use: SRI mgmt 12.03 million liters ha-1 Standard 15.33 million liters ha-1 SRI reduction in total water use = 22% SRI reduction in irrigation water use = 35% with 11% more yield: SRI 5.9 tons ha-1 vs. 5.1 tons ha-1 (usually SRI yield increase is much greater than this) Total WUE 0.6 vs. 0.39 grams/liter (52% more) Irrigation WUE 1.23 vs. 0.69 grams/liter (78%more) P. Jagannath, H. Pullabhotla and N. Uphoff, “Evaluation of water use, water saving and water use efficiency in irrigated rice production with SRI vs. traditional management,” Taiwan Water Conservancy (2013)
  14. 14. Some demonstrations of how more productive phenotypes are being obtained from available crop genotypes – without reliance on new varieties, or on chemical fertilizer, and with less water requirement, because of better root systems and enhanced life in the soil
  15. 15. NEPAL: Farmer with a rice plant grown from a single seed with SRI methods in Morang district
  16. 16. CUBA: Two plants of the same variety (VN 2084) and same age (52 DAS) – different phenotypes from same genotype
  17. 17. INDONESIA: Stump of a rice plant (modern variety) grown using SRI management methods -- with 223 tillers & massive root growth from a single seed Panda’an, E. Java, 2009
  18. 18. IRAQ: Comparison trials at Al-Mishkhab Rice Research Station, Najaf
  19. 19. SRI 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 IH H FH MR WR YRStage Organdryweight(g/hill) IH H FH MR WR YR CK Yellow leaf and sheath Panicle Leaf Sheath Stem 47.9% 34.7% Non-Flooding Rice Farming Technology in Irrigated Paddy Field Dr. Tao Longxing, China National Rice Research Institute, 2004
  20. 20. Results of trials conducted by the China National Rice Research Institute over two years, 2004/2005, using 2 super-hybrid varieties with the aim of breaking the ‘yield plateau’ now limiting hybrids Standard Rice Mgmt • 30-day seedlings • 20x20 cm spacing • Continuous flooding • Fertilization: – 100% chemical New Rice Mgmt (~ 75% ‘SRI’) • 20-day seedlings • 30x30 cm spacing • Alt. wetting/drying (AWD) • Fertilization: – 50/50 chemical/organic X.Q. Lin, D.F. Zhu, H.Z. Chen, S.H. Cheng and N. Uphoff (2009). “Effect of plant density and nitrogen fertilizer rates on grain yield and nitrogen uptake of hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L.)” Journal of Agricultural Biotechnology and Sustainable Development, 1(2): 44-53
  21. 21. Average yields of (kg/ha) hybrid varieties with ‘new rice management’ vs. standard rice management at different plant densities per ha 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 150,000 180,000 210,000 NRM SRM Plant population per hectare SRI practices yield more productive phenotypes -- Chinese farmers are WASTING seeds and water and N fertilizer
  22. 22. SRI methods have set a new world yield record Paddy production: Bihar panchayat breaks China’s record New Delhi, Mar 20: A gram panchayat in Nalanda district of Bihar has surpassed the Chinese record of paddy production, the Union Agriculture Minister Mr Sharad Pawar informed Parliament today. “As per the reports received from the state government, the yield of wet paddy has been recorded at 22.4 tonnes per hectare and 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 demonstration on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which was organised at farmer’s field during kharif 2011, he added. “It has surpassed the yield of 19 tonnes per hectare which was recorded earlier in China.”
  23. 23. Before 1999: Madagascar 1999-2000: China, Indonesia 2001-02: Bangladesh, Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, Gambia, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Thailand 2003: Benin, Guinea, Mozambique, Peru 2004-05: Senegal, Pakistan, Vietnam 2006: Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Iran, Iraq, Zambia 2007: Afghanistan, Brazil, Mali 2008: Rwanda, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ecuador, Ghana, Japan 2009: Malaysia, Timor Leste 2010: Kenya, DPRK, Panama, Haiti 2011: Colombia, Korea, Taiwan, Tanzania 2012: Burundi, Dominican Republic, Niger, Nigeria, Togo 2013: Malawi, Cameroon, Liberia 2014: SRI benefits of better phenotypes have been seen now in >50 countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America
  24. 24. These changes in crop management can be effective in very different and quite contrasting agroecosystems: * AFGHANISTAN: Baghlan province 1600 masl, temperate climate, with a short growing season * MALI: Timbuktu province on the edge of the Sahara Desert, with hot, dry subtropical climate
  25. 25. AFGHANISTAN: SRI field in Baghlan Province, supported by Aga Khan Foundation Natural Resource Management program
  26. 26. AKF technician making a field visit in Baghlan province
  27. 27. SRI field at 30 days
  28. 28. SRI plant @ 72 days after transplanting with 133 tillers 11.56 t/ha
  29. 29. 2008: 6 farmers got SRI yields of 10.1 t/ha vs. 5.4 t/ha regular methods 2009: 42 farmers got SRI yields of 9.3 t/ha vs. 5.6 t/ha with regular methods - 2nd year SRI farmers got 13.3 t/ha vs. 5.6 t/ha - 1st year SRI farmers got 8.7 t/ha vs. 5.5 t/ha 2011: 106 farmers got SRI yields of 10.1 t/ha vs. 5.04 t/ha with regular methods All were using less water
  30. 30. MALI -- SRI nursery in Timbuktu region – 8-day seedlings are ready for transplanting
  31. 31. SRI transplanting on edge of Sahara Desert
  32. 32. Mali farmer in the Timbuktu region showing difference between rice plants: regular on left, and SRI on right 2007/08: 1 farmer - SRI yield of 8.98 t/ha 2008/09: 60 farmers - 9.01 vs. 5.49 t/ha 2009/10: 130 farmers – 7.71 vs. 4.48 t/ha using 32% less water Gao region ave.: 7.84 t/ha Mopti region ave.: 7.85 t/ha
  33. 33. Environmental Benefits with SRI: 1. Reduced water requirements – higher crop water-use efficiency -- puts less pressure on ecosystems in competition with agriculture for water supplies 2. Higher land productivity – reducing pressures for the expansion of arable area to feed growing populations 3. Less use of inorganic fertilizer – reactive N is “the third major threat to our planet after biodiversity loss and climate change” (John Lawton, former chief executive, UK National Environmental Research Council) 4. Less reliance on agrochemicals for crop protection - which enhances the quality of both soil and water 5. Buffering against the effects of climate change – drought, storms (resist lodging), cold temperatures 6. Some reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) – CH4 can be reduced without producing offsetting N2O
  34. 34. 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; also, mechanization is being introduced many places 6. Reductions in costs of production – greater farmer income and profitability, also health benefits Drought-resistance: Rice fields in Sri Lanka 3 weeks after irrigation stopped because of drought -- conventionally-grown field is on left, and SRI field is on right-- same variety, same soil, same climate
  35. 35. Results from Bihar State, 2007-2011 Data from Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society, Govt. of Bihar SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION -- state ave. 2.3 t/ha 2007 2008 2009 2010 Climatic conditions Normal rainfall Water submergence occurred 2x Drought, but rainfall in Sept. Complete drought No. of smallholders 128 5,146 8,367 19,911 Area under SRI (ha) 30 544 786 1,412 SRI yield (t/ha) 10.0 7.75 6.5 3.22* Conv. yield (t/ha) 2.7 2.36 2.02 1.66* , SYSTEM OF WHEAT INTENSIFICATION -- state ave. 2.4 t/ha 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 No. of smallholders 415 25,235 48,521 Area under SWI (ha) 16 1,200 2,536 SWI average yield (t/ha) 3.6 4.5 NA Conv. average yield (t/ha) 1.6 1.6 NA * Results from measurements of yield on 74 farmers’ SRI and conventional fields
  36. 36. Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total SRI area (ha) 1,133 7,267 57,400 117,267 204,467 252,467 301,067 941,068 SRI yield (kg/ha) 9,105 9,435 8,805 9,075 9,300 9,495 9,555 9,252 Non-SRI yield (kg/ha) 7,740 7,650 7,005 7,395 7,575 7,710 7,740 7,545 SRI increment (t/ha)* 1,365 1,785 1,800# 1,680 1,725 1,785 1,815# 1,708 SRI % increase in yield* 17.6% 23.3% 25.7% 22.7% 22.8% 23.2% 23.5% 22.7% Increased grain (tons) 1,547 12,971 103,320 197,008 352,705 450,653 546,436 1,664,640 Grain price (RMB Yuan/kg) 1.44 1.44 1.44 1.50 1.80 1.84 1.95 1.63 Added net income due to SRI (million RMB)* 1.28 11.64 106.51 205.10 450.85 571.69 704.27 2,051 ($300 m) * Comparison is with Sichuan provincial average for paddy yield and SRI profitability # In drought years, SRI yields were relatively higher than with conventional methods Source: Data are from the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture. CHINA: SRI extension and impact in Sichuan, 2004-10
  37. 37. Storm resistance in Vietnam: Adjacent fields after being hit by a tropical storm in Dông Trù village, Hanoi province On left are SRI field and rice plant; on right, conventional field and plant Same variety was used in both fields -- on right, we see serious lodging; on left, no lodging
  38. 38. Storm resistance in Kenya: rice fields in Mwea irrigation scheme Conventional field on left, and SRI field above, after a severe storm had passed over the scheme
  39. 39. Disease and pest resistance in Vietnam: National IPM Program evaluation -- averages of data from on-farm trials in 8 provinces, 2005-06: Spring season Summer season SRI plots Farmer plots Differ- ence SRI plots Farmer Plots Differ- ence Sheath blight 6.7% 18.1% 63.0% 5.2% 19.8% 73.7% Leaf blight -- -- -- 8.6% 36.3% 76.5% Small leaf folder * 63.4 107.7 41.1% 61.8 122.3 49.5% Brown plant hopper * 542 1,440 62.4% 545 3,214 83.0% AVERAGE 55.5% 70.7% * Insects/m2
  40. 40. Resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses in East Java, Indonesia: fields hit by both brown planthopper (BPH) and by storm damage – rice field on left was grown with standard practices, while the field on right is organic SRI Modern improved variety (Ciherang) – no yield Traditional aromatic variety (Sintanur) - 8 t/ha
  41. 41. Resistance to cold temperatures in India: Yield and meteorological data from ANGRAU, A.P. Period Mean max. temp. 0C Mean min. temp. 0C No. of sunshine 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 December (9.2-9.9o C ) Season Normal (t/ha) SRI (t/ha) Rabi (winter) 2005-06 2.25 3.47 Kharif (monsoon) 2006 0.21* 4.16 * Low yield was due to cold injury (see below)
  42. 42. Comparison of methane gas emission CT SRI kgCH4/ha 0 200 400 600 800 1000 840.1 237.6 72 % Treatment Emission (kg/ha) CO2 ton/ha equivalentCH4 N2O CT 840.1 0 17.6 SRI 237.6 0.074 5.0
  43. 43. SRI practices are now being used beyond rice, with broader System of Crop Intensification (SCI) Farmer-led innovations with civil society help in: • Wheat (SWI) -- India, Nepal, Ethiopia, Mali • Sugarcane (SSI) -- India, Cuba • Finger millet (SFMI) -- India, Ethiopia • Mustard (rapeseed/canola) -- India • Teff -- Ethiopia • Sorghum – Ethiopia Also: maize, soya bean, black gram, green gram, red gram, tomatoes, chilies, eggplant, sesame, turmeric, etc. -- India, Ethiopia
  44. 44. Crops Yield increase Profitability per ha Rice 86% 250% Wheat 72% 86% Oil seeds 50% 93% Pulses 56% 67% Vegetables 20% 37% Enhancing Agricultural Livelihoods through Community Institutions in Bihar, India (2013) D. Behera et al., World Bank India Office, New Delhi, and JEEVIKA, Patna, India Report on System of Crop Intensification (SCI) results in the Indian state of Bihar
  45. 45. System of Wheat Intensification on-farm trials in Tigray Province, Ethiopia, 2009-10, supported by a grant from Oxfam America to Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) -- 39 grains vs. 56 grains per panicle
  46. 46. SWI results in Mali (1st year) Africare program, 2009 • 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 wide (25cm x 25cm  20 x 20 cm) SWI: 10.2 cm Traditional: 4.2 cmPanicle length: Numbers of tillers 18.4 3.7
  47. 47. Panicles of SWI wheat in Bihar, India In 2012, area with SWI management >180,000 ha, aided by JEEVIKA program with WB/IDA support
  48. 48. SWI wheat crop in Bihar state of India, Chandrapura village, Khagarla district – wheat fields are same age, same variety
  49. 49. ICRISAT-WWF Sugarcane Initiative: • 20-100% more cane yield, with • 30% reduction in water, and • 25% reduction in chemical inputs “The inspiration for putting this package together is from the successful approach of SRI – System of Rice Intensification.”
  50. 50. SSI sugarcane in India SSI sugarcane in Cuba at 10.5 months
  51. 51. Finger Millet: Improved variety A404 in center and local variety on right, both with traditional management; on left is the same improved variety with SRI management
  52. 52. Size and width of panicles and roots of finger millet with alternative crop management -- SFMI plants on left, and farmer practice on right; Jharkhand state, India
  53. 53. System of Teff Intensification (STI) in Ethiopia now supported by the government’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and BMGF Transplanted teff on left; conventional broadcast teff on right 7,000 farmers in 2012-13, plus 160,000 farmers were practicing STI ‘lite’ (drilled > transplanted)
  54. 54. STI tef plants ready for harvest at Debre Zeit research station
  55. 55. These results do not argue against making further genetic improvements or against any use of external inputs They do suggest, however, that progress can be made right now at low cost with savings of water and with buffering against climate change -- by changing crop management practices, especially by attending to the purposeful nurturing of roots and soil biota WHAT IS GOING ON?
  56. 56. Two practical conclusions: 1. Instead of focusing so much on feeding the plant (with fertilizer), we should be feeding the soil with organic matter, so that the soil system will feed the plant 2. Rather than focus so much on growing plants (above ground), we should do whatever is needed to grow better roots! -- because it is the root system that grows the plant
  57. 57. With SRI/SCI we see the importance of the abundance, diversity and activity of beneficial SOIL ORGANISMS promoted by soil organic matter and by exudates from large, functioning ROOT SYSTEMS which support plant growth and health We are just starting to understand better the contributions of symbiotic endophytes to mobilizing the services for crops of the plant-soil microbiome
  58. 58. Soil-aerating hand weeder in Sri Lanka costing <$20
  59. 59. Effects of ‘Active Soil Aeration’ 412 farmers in Morang district of Nepal when using SRI in monsoon season, 2005 SRI yield = 6.3 t/ha vs. control yield = 3.1 t/ha Data show how WEEDINGS can raise yield No. of No. of Average Range weedings farmers yield of yields 1 32 5.16 (3.6 - 7.6) 2 366 5.87 (3.5 - 11.0) 3 14 7.87 (5.85 - 10.4)
  60. 60. No. of mech. weedings Farmers (N) Area (ha) Harvest (kg) Yield (t/ha) 0 2 0.11 657 5.973 1 8 0.62 3,741 7.723 2 27 3.54 26,102 7.373 3 24 5.21 47,516 9.120 4 15 5.92 69,693 11.772 Impact of weedings on yield with SRI methods in Ambatovaky, Madagascar, 1997-98
  61. 61. ENDOPHYTIC AZOSPIRILLUM, TILLERING, AND RICE YIELDS WITH CULTIVATION PRACTICES AND NUTRIENT AMENDMENTS Replicated trials at Anjomakely, Madagascar, 2001 (Andriankaja, 2002) CLAY SOIL Azospirillum in roots (103 CFU/mg) Tillers/ plant Yield (t/ha) Traditional cultivation, no amendments 65 17 1.8 SRI cultivation, with no amendments 1,100 45 6.1 SRI cultivation, with NPK amendments 450 68 9.0 SRI cultivation, with compost 1,400 78 10.5 LOAM SOIL SRI cultivation with no amendments 75 32 2.1 SRI cultivation, with compost 2,000 47 6.6
  62. 62. Microbial populations in rice rhizosphere Tamil Nadu Agricultural University research Micro- organisms Standard mgmt SRI mgmt Difference Total bacteria 88 x 106 105 x 106 1.2x Azospirillum 8 x 105 31 x 105 3.9x Azotobacter 39 x 103 66 x 103 1.7x Phospho- bacteria 33 x 103 59 x 103 1.8x T. M. Thiyagarajan, WRRC presentation, Tsukuba, Japan, 2004
  63. 63. Total bacteria Total diazotrophs Microbial populations in rice crops’ rhizosphere soil under conventional crop management (red) and SRI management (yellow) at different stages: active tillering, panicle initiation, and flowering. Units are √ transformed values of population/gram of dry soil (data from IPB) Phosphobacteria Azotobacter 0 10 20 30 40
  64. 64. Dehydrogenase activity (μg TPF) Urease activity (μg NH4-N)) Microbial activity in rice crops’ rhizosphere soil under conventional crop management (red) and SRI management (yellow) at different stages: active tillering, panicle initiation, and flowering. Units are √ transformed values of population/gram of dry soil per 24 h Acid phosphate activity (μg p-Nitrophenol) Nitrogenase activity (nano mol C2H4)
  65. 65. These results suggest the importance of studying and understanding the contributions that are made by symbiotic endophytes -– major components of the plant-soil microbiome
  66. 66. “Ascending Migration of Endophytic Rhizobia, from Roots and Leaves, inside Rice Plants and Assessment of Benefits to Rice Growth Physiology” Feng Chi et al., Applied and Envir. Microbiology 71: 7271-7278 (2005) Rhizo- bium strain Total plant root vol/pot (cm3) ± SE Shoot dry wt/pot (g) ± SE Net photosyn- thesis rate (µmol of CO2 m-2 s-1) ± SE Water utilization efficiency ± SE Grain yield/pot (g) ± SE Ac-ORS 571 210 ± 36A 63 ± 2A 16.42 ± 1.39A 3.63 ± 0.17BC 86 ± 5A Sm-1021 180 ± 26A 67 ± 5A 14.99 ± 1.64B 4.02 ± 0.19AB 86 ± 4A Sm-1002 168 ± 8AAB 52 ± 4BC 13.70 ± 0.73B 4.15 ± 0.32A 61 ± 4B R1-2370 175 ± 23A 61 ± 8AB 13.85 ± 0.38B 3.36 ± 0.41C 64 ± 9B Mh-93 193 ± 16A 67 ± 4A 13.86 ± 0.76B 3.18 ± 0.25CD 77 ± 5A Control 130 ± 10B 47 ± 6C 10.23 ± 1.03C 2.77 ± 0.69D 51 ± 4C
  67. 67. “Proteomic analysis of rice seedlings infected by Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021” Feng Chi et al., Proteomics 10: 1861-1874 (2010)
  68. 68. Data are based on the average linear root and shoot growth of three symbiotic (dashed line) and three non-symbiotic (solid line) plants. Arrows indicate the times when root hair development started. Ratio of root and shoot growth in symbiotic and non-symbiotic rice plants -- seeds were inoculated with the fungus Fusarium culmorum vs. controls R. J. Rodriguez et al., ‘Symbiotic regulation of plant growth, development and reproduction” Communicative and Integrative Biology, 2:3 (2009).
  69. 69. Growth of nonsymbiotic (on left) and symbiotic (on right) rice seedlings. On the growth of endophyte (F. culmorum) and plant inoculation procedures, see Rodriguez et al., Communicative and Integrative Biology, 2:3 (2009).
  70. 70. More productive phenotypes also can give higher water-use efficiency as measured by the ratio of photosynthesis to transpiration For each 1 millimol of water lost by transpiration: 3.6 millimols of CO2 are fixed in SRI plants, 1.6 millimols of CO2 are fixed in RMP plants This becomes more important with climate change and as water becomes a scarcer factor of production “An assessment of physiological effects of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) compared with recommended rice cultivation practices in India,” A.K. Thakur, N. Uphoff and E. Antony Experimental Agriculture, 46(1), 77-98 (2010)
  71. 71. Economics, environmental vulnerabilities, and climate change effects will require a different kind of agriculture in 21st century. We need to REBIOLOGIZE AGRICULTURE Fortunately, opportunities for a paradigm shift appear to be available; but they will require significant changes in our crop and soil sciences Work in microbiology, crop physiology, soil ecology, and esp. epigenetics needs to become more central Question: How well is the Agricultural Research Center at Sakha staffed in these disciplines?
  72. 72. THANK YOU Web page: http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/ Email: ntu1@cornell.edu [NTU-one]

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