Rice–wheat productivity and profitability with residue, tillage and green manure management

  • Harmit Singh Thind
  • Sandeep SharmaEmail author
  • Yadvinder Singh
  • H. S. Sidhu
Original Article


The rice–wheat system (RWS) practiced in northwestern parts of the Indo-Gangetic plains of India is highly productive, but conventional practices are resource (water, labour and energy) and cost intensive. A 4-year field study evaluated the effects of green manure (GM), crop residue and tillage on crop yields, economic profitability and soil fertility in a RWS. Four main plot treatments in rice included combinations of wheat stubble and Sesbania aculeata GM management: (1) puddled transplanted rice (PTR) with no wheat stubble, (2) PTR with 25% wheat stubbles (15–20 cm high) retained, (3) PTR with no wheat stubble plus GM, and (4) PTR with wheat stubble splus GM. Three sub-plots treatments in subsequent wheat included (1) conventional till wheat with rice straw removed (CTWR0), (2) zero till wheat with rice straw removed (ZTWR0) and (3) zero till wheat with 100% rice straw retained as surface mulch (ZTWR100). The results showed that main rice yield was significantly higher (8.0%) with 50% less fertilizer N application in GM compared with conventional PTR with no GM. Rice treatments did not affect the grain yield of subsequent wheat. ZTWR100 produced significantly higher mean wheat grain yield by 7.3% and 17.5% compared with CTWR0 and ZTWR0, respectively. System productivity was 11.5% higher in PTR with wheat stubble + GM followed by ZTWR100 compared with the conventional RWS and resulted in Rs 24,075 ha−1 more net returns. Significant increases in soil organic carbon, available P and available K contents were recorded in ZTWR100 over CTWR0. Recycling rice and wheat stubble in the field in RWS is also environment friendly as it avoids ill effects of straw burning.


Tillage Wheat stubble Green manure Rice straw Rice–wheat system 

Supplementary material

10705_2018_9967_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harmit Singh Thind
    • 1
  • Sandeep Sharma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yadvinder Singh
    • 1
  • H. S. Sidhu
    • 1
  1. 1.Punjab Agriculture UniversityLudhianaIndia

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