Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 45–59 | Cite as

Influence of field re-ponding pattern and plant spacing on rice root–shoot characteristics, yield, and water productivity of two modern cultivars under SRI management in Indian Mollisols

  • Anchal Dass
  • Subhash Chandra
  • Anil K. Choudhary
  • Gurvinder Singh
  • S. Sudhishri


A 2-year field experiment was conducted during the wet seasons (July–October) of 2008 and 2009 on a Typic Hapludoll Mollisol in Indo-Gangetic Plains Region (IGPR) to: (i) investigate the effects of field water re-ponding intervals and plant spacing on the growth, yield, and water productivity (WP) of two rice cultivars under system of rice intensification (SRI) management, and (ii) assess comparative performance of SRI versus ‘best management practices’(BMP) of rice cultivation. This experiment was designed with 14 treatments, 12 under SRI, and 2 BMP (controls). SRI treatments comprised of 3 irrigation regimes viz, irrigation at 1, 3, and 5 day(s) after disappearance of ponded water (DADPW), 2 plant spacings (20 × 20, 25 × 25 cm), and 2 rice cultivars (Pant Dhan 4 and Hybrid 6444). Two BMP (control) treatments comprised of standard cultivation recommendations for flooding and spacing. The experiment was laid-out in a factorial randomized complete block design with three replications. Statistical analysis of data revealed significant variations in root–shoot characteristics and rice yield under SRI between years, reflecting different rainfall patterns. During 2009, a low rainfall year, the panicle numbers m−2, dry root weight m−2, root volume m−2, filled spikelet number panicle−1, and filled spikelet weight panicle−1 were significantly higher, which resulted in a rice grain yield enhancement by 5.1 % over 2008, when there was unusually heavy rainfall. Climate × irrigation regime interaction revealed a non-significant influence of irrigation regimes on growth and yield during 2008, whereas in 2009, irrigation at 1 DADPW and 3 DADPW increased grain yield by 12.8 and 8 %, respectively over 5 DADPW. Better root–zone soil moisture regimes, balancing water, and oxygen availability were responsible for higher yields under irrigation at 1 and 3 DADPW. In 2008, soil moisture content (SMC) in 0–15 cm layer was 91, 86, and 82 % of field capacity (FC) at panicle initiation, and 88, 80, and 77 % at panicle emergence stage when irrigation was at 1, 3, and 5 DADPW, respectively; the lower layers (15–30, 30–45 cm) retained their SMC between 87 and 94 % of FC at both stages. During 2009, SMC in all the three layers at both stages was more than 85 % of FC when irrigating at 1 DADPW, and a little more than 70 % for the 0–15 cm layer and >80 % for the other two layers when irrigation was done at 3 DADPW. SMC dropped to below 60 % of FC in the 0–15 cm layer and remained between 67 and 77 % of FC in the other two layers, with lower yield resulting when irrigations were applied at 5 DADPW. However, WP was the highest with irrigation at 5 DADPW (38.5 kg ha cm−1). Wider plant spacing (25 × 25 cm) resulted in generally and significantly higher grain yield and WP. On an average, SRI (6.1 t ha−1) resulted in yield advantage of 0.9 t ha−1 over BMP (5.2 t ha−1). Overall, it is inferred that in SRI, wider planting (25 × 25 cm) with field re-ponding at 3 DADPW if there is adequate water availability and at 5 DADPW under limited water supply conditions, may lead to higher rice yields and WP in sub-humid tarai Mollisols of IGPR and comparable agro-climatic conditions in Indian sub-continent.


System of rice intensification Water re-ponding Spacing Root growth Rice yield Water productivity 



Authors wish to express their gratitude to the All India Coordinated Research Project on Water Management for providing financial and technical support. Authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. A. R. Sharma, Director, DWSR, Jabalpur, India and both reviewers of the article for their valuable suggestions in improving the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anchal Dass
    • 1
  • Subhash Chandra
    • 2
  • Anil K. Choudhary
    • 1
  • Gurvinder Singh
    • 2
  • S. Sudhishri
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of AgronomyIndian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), PusaNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyG. B. Pant University of Agriculture & TechnologyPantnagarIndia
  3. 3.Water Technology CentreIndian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), PusaNew DelhiIndia

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