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Journal of Research
Year : 2014, Volume : 51, Issue : 3and4
First page : ( 209) Last page : ( 220)
Print ISSN : 0048-6019. Online ISSN : 2277-1271.

Management options for rice residues for sustainable productivity of rice-wheat cropping system

Singh Yadvinder1,*, Thind H S1, Sidhu H S2

1Department of Soil Science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141004

2Borlaug Institute for South Asia, Ladhowal, Ludhiana- 141002

*Corresponding author: yadvinder16@rediffmail.com

Online published on 10 December, 2014.

Abstract

Rice-wheat (RW) system of the Indo-Gangetic Plains has played a significant role in the food security of India. However, sustainability of this important cropping system is at risk due to deterioration of soil health, mounting pressure on natural resources and emerging challenges of climate change. Zero tillage and innovations in crop residue management to avoid straw burning should assist in achieving sustainable productivity and allow farmers to reduce nutrient and water inputs, and reduce risk due to climate change. High yields of the irrigated RW system have resulted in production of huge quantities of crop residues. Common practice of burning of rice straw is causing nutrient losses and serious air quality problems affecting human health and safety. Retaining rice residues as surface mulch in wheat crop is a good option for their management. Mulching increased yield, water productivity and profitability, while decreasing weed pressure. Studies on rice residue recycling have indicated improvements in soil quality. Since rice residues contain significant quantities of plant nutrients, their continuous application will have positive effect on fertilizer management in RW system. Other plausible options of rice residues lie in utilizing a potion of surplus residues for producing biofuel and biochar (and co-production of bioenegy), and for using as soil amendment to improve soil health, increase nutrient use efficiency and minimize air pollution. A small fraction of rice residues can be utilized for preparing value added compost for recycling to improve soil fertility and crop productivity.

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Keywords

Management options, Productivity, Rice residues, Rice-wheat cropping system.

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