Irrigation Science

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 381–393 | Cite as

Water balance in direct-seeded rice under conservation agriculture in North-western Indo-Gangetic Plains of India

  • Ali Mohammad
  • Susama SudhishriEmail author
  • T. K. Das
  • Man Singh
  • Ranjan Bhattacharyya
  • Anchal Dass
  • Manoj Khanna
  • V. K. Sharma
  • Neeta Dwivedi
  • Mukesh Kumar
Original Paper


Direct-seeded rice (Oryza sativa L.) (DSR) supported by conservation agriculture (CA)-based crop management practices is perceived to address the challenge of producing more rice grain with less water. DSR is endowed with multiple benefits/advantages over transplanted puddled rice (TPR) through savings in labour (40–45%), water (30–40%), fuel/energy (60–70%), and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It can be an economic alternative to TPR, but the performance of CA-based no-till and residue retained DSR has been hardly studied. Therefore, this field experiment consisting of eight treatments was designed in the sixth year of a continuing experiment under CA-based rice–mustard cropping system to estimate and analyse water budgeting in rice. Results revealed that, in the 0–15 cm soil layer, both DSR and TPR plots showed similar soil moisture content (SMC) values at initial, developmental, mid-season, and late-season periods. However, the overall SMC in a triple zero-till system that constituted mungbean residue (MBR) + zero-till DSR (ZT DSR) − rice residue (RR) + zero-till mustard (ZTM) − mustard residue (MR) + summer mungbean (SMB) treatment was 9.7 and 10% in soil surface, and in 15–30 cm soil layer, 32 and 12.6% higher than that in TPR − ZTM and TPR − CTM (conventional till mustard) treatments, respectively. Irrigation water requirment, including effective rainfall, was the highest during the mid-season (380.2 mm), followed by the initial stage (312.9 mm). The total amount of irrigation water applied to DSR plots was 924.3 mm against 1441.4 mm in TPR plots, indicating a 517 mm water saving. The amount of water used for puddling and ponding in TPR was 135 and 96 mm, respectively. The best treatment (MBR + ZTDSR − RR + ZTM-MR + SMB) showed a deep percolation of 5.8 mm day−1 that was 26% lower than the highest deep percolation (7.8 mm day−1) observed in TPR–CTM. Thus, a DSR crop under the triple zero-till system with retention of crop residues for three seasons can be recommended for attaining higher crop and water productivity. An extrapolation of these results revealed that, by adoption of this technology, 60060 Mm3 of water can be saved which can irrigate 6.72 Mha additional rice areas in the entire IGP (Indo-Gangetic Plains; total area under rice–wheat cropping system is 10.5 Mha). This may also lead to the mitigation of climate change effects. This practice can be adopted in the irrigated rice-growing belts of the North-western IGP of India and in similar agro-ecologies of the tropics and sub-tropics.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support received from the different Divisions of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, SRFs, and Technical for successful conduct of this research work under the In-house project NRM-01 and ICAR’s Consortia Research Platform on Conservation Agriculture.


  1. Aggarwal P, Bhattacharyya R, Mishra AK, Das TK, Simunek J, Pramanik P, Sudhishri S, Vashistha A, Krishnan P, Chakraborty D, Kamble KH (2017) Modelling soil water balance and root water uptake in cotton grown under different soil conservation practices in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Agric Ecosyst Environ 240:287–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (2006) Crop evapotranspiration-guidelines for computing crop water requirements. In: Irrigation and drain. Paper No. 56. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  3. Arif C, Setiawan BI, Mizoguchi M, Doi R (2012) Estimation of water balance components in paddy fields under non-flooded irrigation regimes by using excel solver. J Agron 11(2):53–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bandyopadhyay KK, Mohanty M, Painuli DK, Haiti KM, Mandal KG, Ghosh PK, Chaudhary RS, Acharya CL (2003) Influences of tillage practices and nutrient management on crack parameters in a Vertisol of Central India. Soil Tillage Res 71(2):133–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhattacharya AK, Michael AM (2006) Land drainage principles, methods and applications. Vikas Publishing Hous Pvt. Ltd. CopyrightGoogle Scholar
  6. Bhattacharyya R, Das TK, Sudhishri S, Dudwal B, Sharma AR, Bhatia A, Singh G (2015) Conservation agriculture effects on soil organic carbon accumulation and crop productivity under a rice–wheat cropping system in the western Indo-Gangetic Plains. Europ J Agron 70:11–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Das TK (2008) Weed science: basics and applications, 1st edn. Jain Brothers Publishers, New Delhi, 901pGoogle Scholar
  8. Das TK, Bhattacharyya R, Sudhishri S, Sharma AR, Saharawat YS, Bandyopadhyay KK, Sepat S, Bana RS, Aggarwal P, Sharma RK, Bhatia A, Singh G, Datta SP, Kar A, Singh B, Singh P, Pathak H, Vyas AK, Jat ML (2014) Conservation agriculture in an irrigated cotton–wheat system of the western Indo-Gangetic Plains: Crop and water productivity and economic profitability. Field Crops Res 158:24–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Das TK, Bandyopadhyay KK, Ranjan B, Sharma SS, Behera AR, Saharawat UK, Sahoo YS, PK 1, Pathak, Vyas H, Bhar AK, Gupta LM, Gupta HS R. K. and Jat ML (2016) Effects of conservation agriculture on crop productivity and Water-use efficiency under an irrigated pigeonpea–wheat cropping System in the western indo-gangetic plains. J Agric Sci 154(8):1327–1342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dass A, Chandra S, Choudhary AK, Singh G, Sudhishri S (2016) Influence of field re-ponding pattern and plant spacing on rice root-shoot characteristics, yield, and water productivity of two modern cultivars under SRI management in Indian mollisols. Paddy Water Environ 14:45–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dass A, Shekhawat K, Choudhary AK, Sepat S, Rathore SS, Mahajan G, Chauhan BS (2017) Weed management in rice using crop-competition. Crop Prot 95:45–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Erenstein O, Laxmi V (2008) Zero tillage impacts in India’s rice–wheat systems: a review. Soil Tillage Res 100:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fageria NK (2007) Yield physiology of rice. J Plant Nutr 30:843–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. FAO (2013) Conservation Agriculture [WWW Document]. URL ag/ca/index.html (accessed 30.08.13)
  15. Farooq M, Siddique KHM, Rehman H, Aziz T, Dong-Jin L, Wahid A (2011) Rice direct seeding: experiences, challenges and opportunities. Soil Tillage Res 111:87–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Freitas de PL, Landers JN (2014) The transformation of agriculture in Brazil through development and adoption of zero tillage conservation agriculture. Int Soil Water Conserv Res 2(1):35–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hira GS (2009) Water management in northern states and the food security of India. J Crop Improv 23:136–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hobbs PR (2007) Conservation agriculture: what is it and why is it important for future sustainable food production? J Agric Sci 145:127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Humphreys E, Kukal SS, Christen EW, Hira GS, Singh B, Yadav S, Sharma RK (2010) Halting the groundwater decline in north-west India—which crop technologies will be winners? Adv Agron 109:155–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Inthavong T, Tsubo M, Fukai S (2011) A water balance model for characterization of length of growing period and water stress development for rainfed lowland rice. Field Crops Res 121:291–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jat ML, Saharawat YS, Gupta, Raj (2011) Conservation agriculture in cereal systems of south Asia: nutrient management perspectives. Karnataka J Agric Sci 24(1):100–105Google Scholar
  22. Jat RA, Wani SP, Sahrawat KL (2012) Conservation agriculture in the semi-arid tropics: prospects and Problems. Adv Agron 117:191–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jat RK, Sapkota TB, Singh RG, Jat ML, Kumar, Mukesh, Gupta RK (2014) Seven years of conservation agriculture in a rice–wheat rotation of Eastern Gangetic Plains of South Asia: Yield trends and economic profitability. Field Crops Res 164:199–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Joshi E, Kumar D, Lal B, Nepalia V, Gautam P, Vyas AK (2013) Management of direct seeded rice for enhanced resource - use efficiency. Plant Knowl J 2(3):119–134Google Scholar
  25. Kumar V, Ladha JK (2011) Direct seeding of rice: recent developments and future research needs. Adv Agron 111:297–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lal R (1991) Current research on crop water balance and implications for the future. In: Sivakumar MVK, Wallace JS, Renard C, Giroux C (eds) Soil water balance in the Sudano-Sahelian zone. IAHS Publication No. 199. International Association of Hydrological Sciences, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  27. Li Y, Šimunek J, Wang S, Yuan J, Zhang W (2017) Modeling of Soil Water Regime and Water Balance in a Transplanted Rice Field Experiment with Reduced Irrigation. Water 9:248. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mahajan G, Chauhan BS, Timsina J, Singh PP, Singh K (2012) Crop performance and water and nitrogen-use efficiencies in dry-seeded rice in response to irrigation and fertilizer amounts in northwest India. Field Crops Res 134:59–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McDonald AJ, Riha SJ, Duxbury JM, Steenhuis TS, Lauren JG (2006) Water balance and rice growth responses to direct seeding, deep tillage, and landscape placement: Findings from a valley terrace in Nepal. Field Crops Res 95:367–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Michael AM (2007) Irrigation theory and practice. Vikas Publishing Hous Pvt. Ltd. Copyright, p 724Google Scholar
  31. Mishra SK, Gajbhiye S, Pandey. A (2013) Estimations of design runoff curve numbers for Narmada watershed (India). J Appl Water Eng Res 1(1):67–79Google Scholar
  32. Mohammad A, Sudhishri S, Das TK, Singh M, Sharma VK, Dwivedi N (2017a) Conservation agriculture responses to yield and water productivity in direct seeded rice (Oryza sativa). Ann Plant Soil Res 19(1):46–53Google Scholar
  33. Mohammad A, Sudhishri S, Singh M, Das TK, Sharma VK, Dwivedi N (2017b) Performance evaluation of AquaCrop model for conservation agriculture based direct seeded rice. Indian J Agric Sci 88(3):379–386Google Scholar
  34. Prasad R, Nagarajan S (2004) Rice-wheat cropping system – Food security and sustainability. Curr Sci 87:1134–1135Google Scholar
  35. Premi OP, Kandpal BK, Rathore SS, Shekhawat K, Chauhan JS (2013) Green manuring, mustard residue recycling and fertilizer application affects productivity and sustainability of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.) in Indian semi-arid tropics. Ind Crops Prod 41:423–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rao YY (2012) Rice seed production scenario in India rice knowledge management portal. Directorate of Rice Research, HyderabadGoogle Scholar
  37. Reddy SR (2012) Irrigation agronomy. Kalyani Publishers. New Delhi, p 438Google Scholar
  38. Rodell M, Velicigna I, Famiglientti JS (2009) Satellite-based estimates of groundwater depletion in India. Nature 460:999–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sahoo BC, Panda SN (2014) Rainwater harvesting options for rice maize cropping system in rainfed uplands through root zone water balance simulation. Biosys Eng 124:89–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sapkota TB, Majumdar K, Jat ML, Kumar A, Bishnoi DK, McDonald AJ, Pampolino M (2014) Precision nutrient management in conservation agriculture based wheat production of Northwest India: profitability, nutrient use efficiency and environmental footprint. Field Crops Res 155:233–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sharma PK, Bhushan L, Ladha JK, Naresh RK, Gupta RK, Balasubramanian BV, Bouman BAM (2002) Crop-water relations in rice-wheat cropping under different tillage systems and water-management practices in a marginally sodic, medium-textured soil. In: Bouman BAM, Hengsdijk H, Hardy B, Bindraban PS, Toung TP, Ladha JK (Eds.) Water-wise rice production. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Water-Wise Rice Production, International Rice Research Institute. Los Banos, Philippines, pp 223–235Google Scholar
  42. Sudhishri S, Patnaik US (2004) Analysis of water balance for Kokriguda watershed. J Appl Hydrol XVII (2&3):34–39Google Scholar
  43. Sudhishri S, Dass A, Paikaray NK (2007) Water balance studies and strategies for combating water deficit in upper kolab catchment of Orissa. Hydrology J 30:103–116Google Scholar
  44. Syriyakup P, Polthance A, Pannagpetch K, Katawatin R, Mouret J-C (2007) Mungbean (Vigna radiate L.) residue and nitrogen rate affected growth and yield of direct seeded rice (Oryzasativa L.) in rainfed rice land. Asian J Plant Sci 6(8):1158–1165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tomar RK, Singh D, Gangwar KS, Garg RN, Chakraborty GVK, Sahoo D, Rajeev RNR, Chakravarty NVK (2009) Effect of tillage systems and irrigation schedules on soil cracking pattern, water requirement and performance of rice-wheat cropping system in inceptisols in semi-arid regions. J Soil Water Conserv 8(3):26–33Google Scholar
  46. Wopereis MCS, Bouman BAM, Kropff MJ, Berge ten HFM, Maligaya AR (1994) Water use efficiency of flooded rice fields I. Validation of the soil-water balance model SAWAH. Agric Water Manag 26:277–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yadav S, Tao L, Gurjeet HEG, Kukal SS (2011a) Evaluation and application of ORYZA2000 for irrigation scheduling of puddled transplanted rice in North West India. Field Crops Res 122:104–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yadav S, Humphreys E, Kukal SS, Gill Gurjeet RR (2011b) Effect of water management on dry seeded and puddled transplanted rice Part 2: water balance and water productivity. Field Crops Res 120:123–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zeigler RS, Barclay A (2008) The relevance of rice. Rice 1:3–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Mohammad
    • 1
  • Susama Sudhishri
    • 2
    Email author
  • T. K. Das
    • 3
  • Man Singh
    • 2
  • Ranjan Bhattacharyya
    • 5
  • Anchal Dass
    • 3
  • Manoj Khanna
    • 2
  • V. K. Sharma
    • 4
  • Neeta Dwivedi
    • 2
  • Mukesh Kumar
    • 2
  1. 1.JDA/RADP-NorthUSAIDKabulAfghanistan
  2. 2.Water Technology CentreICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Division of AgronomyICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Division of Soil Science and Agricultural ChemistryICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  5. 5.Centre for Environmental Science and Climate Resilient AgricultureICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations