Rice yield and productivity gaps in irrigated systems of the forest zone of Côte d'Ivoire

Becker, M and Johnson, D E (1999) Rice yield and productivity gaps in irrigated systems of the forest zone of Côte d'Ivoire. Field Crops Research, 60 (3). pp. 201-208.

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Much of the rapidly growing demand for rice in West Africa will be met from increased production in irrigated lowlands, which cover about 12% of the regional rice-growing area. A large potential for expansion of irrigated areas exists particularly in the inland valleys of the humid forest zone. Current production is characterized by large variability in productivity, management practices and production constraints. Quantifying the variability in rice yield and identifying the determining factors are prerequisites to the development of site-specific recommendations and to improved targeting of technologies. Diagnostic on-farm trials were conducted on 64 irrigated lowland fields in the humid forest zone of southern Côte d'Ivoire, in 1995–1996. This was a part of the regional gradient study of irrigated systems from the desert margin to the humid forest zone. Cropping calendars, field operations and input use were monitored. Weed biomass, rice N uptake, and grain yield were determined in farmers' fields as well as in super-imposed, researcher-managed subplots (clean weeding, no N control, and mineral fertilizer N application). Rice yield potential was simulated by using the Oryza-S crop growth model. Yield losses were attributed to management factors based on performance of rice in researcher-managed subplots (management-related yield gap) and by multiple regression with management options. Grain yields varied between 0.2 and 7.3 Mg ha−1 with mean yields of 3.2 in partially and 4.2 Mg ha−1 in fully irrigated systems, 44% and 57% of the potential yield of 7.3 Mg ha−1, respectively. Age of seedlings at transplanting, timeliness of operations and application of P fertilizer were correlated to yield and explained 60% of the observed variability. Grain yield was correlated with N uptake (r2 = 0.93***) but not with N application rate. Split application of mineral fertilizer N was associated with a 0.48 Mg ha−1 yield increase (p = 0.002), regardless of the quantity applied. Additional weeding increased yield only in systems with imperfect irrigation. Weed biomass was reduced with improved water control and it increased with age of seedlings at transplanting, and was higher in direct-seeded than in transplanted rice. Echinochloa spp. were the most common weeds in fully irrigated systems and Panicum laxum was more common in the imperfectly irrigated fields. While improved water management was associated with substantial rice yield increases (1.16 Mg ha−1), the timeliness of transplanting, weeding and N fertilization appears to be the key to increased rice yields in the forest zone of West Africa.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors are grateful to A. Adam, WARDA biometrician, for his assistance in data analysis and to M. Dingkuhn and A. Sow for simulation of potential yields. The research was partly funded by USAID (REDSO/WCA), USA, and by the Department For International Development (DFID), UK.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Irrigation; Nitrogen; Rice; Weeds; West Africa
Author Affiliation: West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA), B.P. 2551Bouake, 01Ivory Coast
Subjects: Plant Production
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2012 07:43
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2012 07:43
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-4290(98)00123-3
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/4467

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