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EMERGENT LIFE SCIENCES RESEARCH - Online First, for coming issue

Pages: 208-214
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Productivity and profitability of upland rice (Oryza sativa L.) under varied crop geometry and soil moisture conservation practices

Author: Gunturi Alekhya, V. Jayakrishnakumar, Biju Joseph

Category: Research Article


Rice, a vital staple food, plays a critical role in ensuring food and nutrition security for millions of people. Rice production faces various challenges from both biotic and abiotic stresses, with soil moisture stress being a significant limitation, especially in rainfed upland ecologies. While crop improvement strategies have made progress in addressing abiotic stressors, the complex and diverse nature of these challenges requires a combination of crop improvement and agronomic interventions to stabilize rice productivity and profitability. To explore these factors, an experiment was conducted during the Kharif (rainy) season of 2019 at the instructional farm of the College of Agriculture in Kerala. The aim was to investigate how cropping patterns and in-situ soil moisture conservation practices impact the growth and yield of upland rice. The research employed a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), incorporating two distinct crop configurations and strategies for conserving soil moisture. The findings showed that paired-row planting in conjunction with live cowpea mulching, hydrogel application, and coir pith compost was superior in terms of crop growth, as evidenced by elevated Leaf Area Index (LAI) at 4.81 and increased dry matter production at 5.5 t/ha. Furthermore, this approach resulted in higher grain yield (3.8 t/ha), straw yield (7.7 t/ha), improved moisture content (29.12% at 60 days after sowing and 18.49% at physiological maturity), and reduced proline content (0.26 µmol/g FW). The maximized net returns of 62887 Rs/ha. and a Benefit-to-Cost (B:C) ratio of 1.8 was recorded for upland rice.

Keywords: crop geometry, hydrogel, live mulch, paired row, upland rice