Determination of crop water requirements and irrigation scheduling of aerobic rice under Gezira conditions, Sudan

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Eslam A.G. Mohamed


Rice is the most important staple food crop in many countries. It is mostly grown under submerged soil conditions because of its high water requirements compared to other crops. Rice production is therefore threatened by the increasing scarcity of fresh water. As such, there is increasing demand to shift from growing puddled rice to aerobic rice. There is therefore need to establish an agronomic package to maximize rice yield. A study was conducted at Gezira Research Station Farm, Wad Medani, Sudan during the 2015 and 2016 seasons to determine crop water requirements and optimum irrigation scheduling for aerobic rice. Treatments consisted of three irrigation intervals viz: irrigation every 7 days throughout the season (W1), irrigation every 7 days at the vegetative stage, irrigation every 3- 4 days at flowering stage and irrigation every 7 days at maturity (W2) and irrigation every 10 days throughout the season (W3). Observations were made for amount of applied water, rainfall received, reference evapotranspiration, seed yield, plant height, spikelet per spike, biological yield, 1000 seed weight, empty seed, harvest index and water productivity (kg m-3). Based on Penman Monteith ETo and FAO Kc, crop water requirements for aerobic rice was 747 and 655 mm during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, respectively. Significant differences were recorded for grain yield, with the highest obtained from treatment W2 followed by treatment W1 and W3. Water productivity declined in the two seasons from W2, W1 and W3.

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