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Effects of puddling on percolation and rice yields in rainfed lowland paddy cultivation: Case study in Khammouane province, central Laos

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DOI: 10.4236/as.2013.48052    4,353 Downloads   7,031 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

We investigated the effects of puddling on percolation and rice yields in rainfed lowland paddy cultivation. We selected a study village in Khammouane province, central Laos, and set up non-puddling and puddling plots from high to low positions. Even when puddling was conducted carefully, the ponding water in the plots disappeared in the case of little rainfall. Further, percolatifons during the later periods of rice growth increased drastically. Therefore, it is difficult to overcome drought stresses only by conducting puddling. We also compared the water conditions in the non-puddling and puddling plots. In the puddling plots at high position and low position along a stream, the number of days without ponding water in the puddling plots was less than that in the non-puddling field in July, suggesting the possibility of a different transplanting date. We tried to estimate the effects of transplanting date on the rice yields and found that transplanting 15 days earlier leads to an increase of 0.5 t/ha in the rice yields. Moreover, the profits from the increased yields exceed the puddling costs considerably, leading to a definite increase in income. Because the transplanting date has no effects in the fields with high ground water, puddling is effective in paddy fields where ponding does not occur to a significant degree.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Fujihara, Y. , Yamada, R. , Oda, M. , Fujii, H. , Ito, O. and Kashiwagi, J. (2013) Effects of puddling on percolation and rice yields in rainfed lowland paddy cultivation: Case study in Khammouane province, central Laos. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 360-368. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.48052.

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