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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Impact on nursery seeding density, nitrogen, and seedling age on yield and yield Attributes of fine rice - Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. 71, No. 3

The Guardian's recent publication: "India's rice revolution", outlines the remarkable use of a more sustainable way of agricultural rice production. Specifically, it outlines the record-breaking yield one farmer has produced using a unique, yet simplistic, method called System of Rice Intensification- SRI for short. While this method can be traced as far back as Madagascar - according to the author John Vidal - it has seen wide use around the world with staggering and impressive results that could be implemented further in developing countries, as a more economically-sound, and environmentally efficient process of agricultural production.

Sarwar et al., in their study: " Impact on Nursery Seeding Density, Nitrogen, and Seedling Age on Yield and Yield Attributes of Fine Rice", compliments Vidal's article nicely. They state within their journal that the most important aspect to the process of rice production is producing vigorous seedlings and planting them at the appropriate age, in order for a high yield to occur. Further, the impact of seeding densities, nitrogen, and seedling age was assessed after transplanting 10, 20, 30, and 40 day-old seedlings raised by using different seeding rates (high and low); as well as different nitrogen conditions (with and without) during the 2008 - 2009 rice growing seasons. 

The Study brought to light some key aspects: That 10 day-old nursery seedlings, regardless of seedling density and fertilizer application, showed higher yields and yield attributes (productive tillers, plant height, 1000-grain weight, and straw yield), while at later stages significant interaction was observed with nursery management. The transplanting of 20 day-old fertile seedlings grown with low seeding density during nursery-bed growth stages, engendered in a higher number of productive tillers per squared meters (233.3 227.3), straw yield (11.1, 10.7 t ha-1), and a final yield (3.6, 3.5 t ha-1) in both 2008 and 2009.

The results to the study were that yield and yield attributes significantly diminished when transplanting older seedlings grown at high seeding density and without nitrogen application during the nursery-bed growth stages. Minimum productive tillers (165.7, 133), straw yield (8.7, 8.1 t ha-1), as well as rice paddy yield (2.0, 1.8 t ha-1) were observed with transplanting 40 day-old seedlings grown at high seeding density and without the use of nitrogen application. These results support the use of young seedlings in a system of rice intensification, and illustrates by making minor changes to production methods, farmers can increase their rice yield exponentially. 

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