EFFECT OF N, P AND K FERTIGATION LEVELS ON YIELD AND WATER PRODUCTIVITY OF DIFFERENT RICE (Oryza sativa L.) VARIETIES UNDER AEROBIC CULTIVATION
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Aerobic rice production is a revolutionary wayÂ of growing rice in well-drained, non -puddled, and nonsaturatedÂ soils without ponded water. This system
uses input-responsive specialized rice cultivars andÂ complementary management practices using only 50-Â 70% of the water required for irrigated riceÂ production.This is recommended in areas where waterÂ is too scarce or expensive to allow traditional irrigated rice cultivation. As water is becoming a scarceÂ commodity nowadays and it is necessary to find waysÂ and means of using the available water resources inÂ a judicious manner to attain maximum productivityÂ per unit quantity of water. In drip irrigation, water isÂ provided most efficiently at right time and practicallyÂ near the root zone of the crop. Generally, between 15Â to 60 per cent of the fraction of the soil alone is wetted.Â It enables precise application of water and nutrientsÂ at precise zone avoiding soil erosion and drain ofÂ water by deep percolation. Irrigation is scheduledÂ through drip to maintain the soil water content nearÂ field capacity in the root zone. Another advantage ofÂ the drip irrigation is the application of nutrients through
fertigation, which could reduce the total amount ofÂ nutrients needed by the rice crop thereby increase inÂ nutrient use efficiency. Fertigation is a frontier
technology, which permits application of variousÂ nutrients and fertilizer formulations directly at the siteÂ of active roots in desired concentration, time and thusÂ improves the nutrient use efficiency and the yield ofÂ crops. Information on the performance of aerobicÂ conditions with drip fertigation levels is meager.