Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 81–90 | Cite as

The effects of irrigation method, age of seedling and spacing on crop performance, productivity and water-wise rice production in Japan

  • Tejendra Chapagain
  • Eiji Yamaji


A field experiment using system of rice intensification (SRI) techniques was conducted in Chiba, Japan during the 2008 rice-growing season (May–September) with eight treatment combinations in a split–split plot design (S–SPD) to observe the potential of SRI methods under the temperate climatic conditions in Japan. Intermittent irrigation with alternate wetting and drying intervals (AWDI) and continuous flooding throughout the cropping season were the two main-plot factors, while the effects of age of seedlings and plant spacing were evaluated as sub and sub–sub plot factors, respectively. The experiment results revealed that the proposed AWDI can save a significant amount of irrigation water (28%) without reduced grain yield (7.4 t/h compared with 7.37 t/h from normal planting with ordinary water management). Water productivity was observed to be significantly higher in all combinations of practices in the intermittent irrigation plots: 1.74 g/l with SRI management and AWDI as compared to 1.23 g/l from normal planting methods with ordinary water management. In addition, the research outcomes showed a role of AWDI in minimizing pest and disease incidence, shortening the rice crop cycle, and also improving plant stand until harvest. Synergistic effects of younger seedlings and wider spacing were seen in tillering ability, panicle length, and number of filled grains that ultimately led to higher productivity with better grain quality. However, comparatively better crop growth and yields when using the same SRI practices with ordinary water management underscore a need for further investigations in defining what constitute optimum wetting and drying intervals considering local soil properties, prevailing climate, and critical watering stages in rice crop management.


System of rice intensification (SRI) Alternate wet and dry irrigation (AWDI) Water savings Water productivity Split–split plot design (S–SPD) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International StudiesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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