Effect of Crop Management Practices on Crop Growth, Productivity and Profitability of Rice–Wheat System in Western Indo-Gangetic Plains

  • P. C. Sharma
  • Ashim Datta
  • Arvind Kumar Yadav
  • Madhu Choudhary
  • H. S. Jat
  • Andrew McDonald
Research Article


An experiment was conducted with three managements varied in tillage, crop establishments, residue, fertilizer, water to evaluate crop behaviour, irrigation water use, crop productivity and profitability of crops in an individual and in system mode. Three management systems were conventional system [TPR (transplanted rice)–CTW (conventional-till wheat)], partial CA [TPR–ZTW (zero–till wheat)] and full CA [ZTDSR (ZT direct seeded rice)–ZTW]. Rice plant growth (shoot and root) behaves similarly in CT and ZT based systems up to 40 days after sowing and after that TPR–ZTW recorded higher growth followed by TPR–CTW and lowest with ZTDSR. However, reverse trend in growth was observed with wheat in order of ZTDSR–ZTW > TPR–ZTW > TPR–CTW. Lower NDVI values were observed with ZTDSR and higher values with TPR throughout the crop season. Full CA based wheat recorded higher NDVI values than other management systems during the crop growth period. Higher wheat yield attributing character was recorded with ZTDSR–ZTW and lowest with farmer’s practices (TPR–CTW). On 2-years mean basis, ZTDSR–ZTW system produced similar crop yields to TPR–ZTW and TPR–CTW with 28% less irrigation water and 29% higher returns compared to TPR–CTW. However, TPR–ZTW improved system productivity and net returns by 8 and 37% respectively, compared to TPR–CTW while saving of 14% irrigation water. ZTDSR recorded a yield loss of 10%; while wheat registered a yield gain of 21% with ZTDSR–ZTW. CA based management practices slowed down the DSR crop growth and yield but increased same for wheat crop which is ultimately helpful in sustaining productivity and profitability of rice–wheat system (RWS) in North West India.


Rice–wheat system Conservation agriculture Plant growth (root and shoot) Normalized difference vegetation index Irrigation water use Yield attributes and yield Net returns 



This research was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) through Cereal System Initiatives for South Asia (CSISA) project, CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre). The support from research platform team member of ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Karnal and CIMMYT is duly acknowledged.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to publish this manuscript.

Supplementary material

40011_2018_985_MOESM1_ESM.docx (57 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 57 kb)


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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. Sharma
    • 1
  • Ashim Datta
    • 1
  • Arvind Kumar Yadav
    • 1
  • Madhu Choudhary
    • 1
  • H. S. Jat
    • 2
  • Andrew McDonald
    • 3
  1. 1.ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI)KarnalIndia
  2. 2.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)New DelhiIndia
  3. 3.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)KathmanduNepal

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