Dry direct-seeded rice is an alternative cropping technique that should require less water and labor than classical transplanted-flooded rice. Here, we studied growth, yield and resource use efficiency of rice cultivation in Central China, in 2012 and 2013. We compared dry direct-seeded rice and transplanted-flooded rice. For dry direct-seeded rice, we maintained aerobic conditions up to five-leaf stage followed by anaerobic conditions until maturity. We grew three rice cultivars: Lvhan1, Huanghuazhan, and Yangliangyou6. We measured grain yield, yield components, water consumed, water productivity and nitrogen use efficiency for grain production (NUEg). Our results show that grain yield of dry direct-seeded rice, of 9.01 Mg/ha, is identical to grain yield of transplanted-flooded rice, across cultivars and for both years. The grain yield of dry direct-seeded rice is mainly controlled by the panicle number. Moreover, dry direct-seeded rice uses 15.3 % less water than transplanted-flooded rice. Dry direct-seeded rice increased the grain nitrogen use efficiency by 20.3 % in 2012 and 11.2 % in 2013.
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