How to manage water
Continuous flooding helps ensure sufficient water and control weeds.
Lowland rice requires a lot of water.
On average, it takes 1,432 liters of water to produce 1 kg of rice in an irrigated lowland production system. Totalto rice fields varies from as little as 400 mm in heavy clay soils with shallow groundwater tables to more than 2000 mm in coarse-textured (sandy or loamy) soils with deep groundwater tables.
Worldwide, water for agriculture is becoming increasingly scarce. Due to its semi-aquatic ancestry, rice is extremely sensitive to water shortages.
To effectively and efficiently use water and maximize rice yields, the following good water management practices can be done:
Different crop establishment methods require different water management practices:
For continuous flooding
Continuous flooding of water generally provides the best growth environment for rice.
After transplanting, water levels should be around 3 cm initially, and gradually increase to 5−10 cm (with increasing plant height) and remain there until the field is drained 7−10 days before harvest.
For direct wet seeded rice, field should be flooded only once the plants are large enough to withstand shallow flooding (3-4 leaf stage).
Lowland rice is extremely sensitive to water shortage (below saturation) at the flowering stage. Drought at flowering results in yield loss from increased spikelet sterility, thus fewer grains.
Keep the water level in the fields at 5 cm at all times from heading to the end of flowering.
In case of water scarcity, apply water-saving technologies such as Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) and consider changing planting method from puddled transplanting to non-puddled transplanting or dry-direct seeding.
FAQ: What's the difference between dry seeded rice (DSR) and aerobic rice?