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System of Crop Rotation: A Prospective Strategy Alleviating Grain Yield Penalty in Sustainable Aerobic Rice Production

Abstract

Dwindling water resources appear to become a great challenge threatening the future of sustainable rice cultivation as it consumes substantial amount of water available in agricultural farming par se. Ostensibly being a water-guzzling crop, aerobic rice could be a viable option requiring less irrigation water than conventional farming, instead. However, grain yield penalty while grown continuously is becoming a strong demerit for sustainable aerobic rice cultivation. A better understanding of the causes and concerns vis-à-vis alleviation mechanism suggested a long term field experiment studying rotational sequences with different non-rice crops in a system perspective mode. Thus, the current field study was conducted for consecutive five years exploring the potentiality of aerobic rice based crop rotations with maize, ground nut and green gram in view of promoting soil health resiliency for arresting grain yield decline during 2013–14 to 2017–18. The study revealed a perceptible depletion in soil quality parameters at the end of last year/5th year accounting around 2.70% soil organic carbon, 1.70% available nitrogen, 1.60% available phosphorus, 1.39% available potassium, 2.75% iron and 1.35% zinc as compared those in the 1st year of the study. Even the situations also aggravated root nematode populations, especially rice root knot (Meloidogyne graminicola) and root rot nematode (Hirschmanniella oryzae) that inhibited usual root growth pronouncing less volume (26.50 cc plant−1) and density (0.54 g cc−1). As a result, drastic depression in usual growth and development of continuously grown aerobic rice caused more than 50% grain yield (2.04 t ha−1) decline at the 5th year compared to that (4.30 t ha−1) at the initial 1st year. However, no detrimental impacts were visualized on rice while grown in yearly rotation with non-rice crops; instead, grain yield increased significantly, especially in rotation with groundnut or green gram (4.40–4.46 t ha−1). Additionally, rice grain protein content (6.92–7.0%) also enhanced as compared that (6.36%) at pure aerobic rice stands. Thus, implication of this current study could have far reaching consequences ensuring aerobic rice cultivation sustainable in a rotational sequence with ground nut/green gram even under the apprehension of irrigation water deficiency.

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Correspondence to A. Ghosh.

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Ghosh, A., Singh, O.N., Berliner, J. et al. System of Crop Rotation: A Prospective Strategy Alleviating Grain Yield Penalty in Sustainable Aerobic Rice Production. Int. J. Plant Prod. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42106-021-00163-3

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Keywords

  • Aerobic rice
  • Crop rotation
  • Grain yield decline
  • Nematodes
  • Soil sickness