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Soil moisture, field-scale toposequential position, and slope effects on yields in irrigated rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields in Honduras

DOI: 10.4236/as.2013.48A001    3,523 Downloads   5,037 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is an important cash crop in Honduras. The availability of inexpensive irrigation in the study area (Flores, La Villa de San Antonio, Comayagua) encourages rice farmers to neglect prescribed methods of soil and water conservation, such land leveling, puddling, and soil bunds. This study looked at the effect of failure to mitigate water loss on sloping fields. Soil moisture (Volumetric Water Content) was measured using a soil moisture probe after the termination of the first irrigation within the tillering/vegetative, panicle emergence/flowering, post-flowering/pre-maturation and maturation stages. Yield data were obtained by harvesting on 1 m2 plots in each soil moisture testing site. Data analyses looked at the relationship between yield and slope, soil moisture, farmers, and toposequential position along transects. Toposequential position influenced yields more than slope and soil moisture was not a significant predictor of yields. Irrigation politics, high water inputs, and land tenure were proposed as the major reasons for this result.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Earnshaw, K. and Orr, B. (2013) Soil moisture, field-scale toposequential position, and slope effects on yields in irrigated rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields in Honduras. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.48A001.

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