1 August 2017, 01:11PM

Rice Production and Modern Irrigation Management Practices

As the demand for water increases across the globe, rice producers are beginning to question traditional irrigation methods, and they face an uncertain future with a limited number of alternatives. The competition for the earth’s most precious resource, along with the world’s ever-growing population, has led to the process of growing rice under center pivot and linear irrigation machines.

With traditional flood irrigation methods, rice must be grown on a flat or nearly flat field with specific soil characteristics; these fields often require extensive levelling or complex borders. However, with modern irrigation management, rice can be produced in areas where it was never before possible. Because center pivots and linears can irrigate rice on most types of terrain and soils, more land can be put into rice production, increasing the amount of food produced and giving growers another crop for their operation!

Using Modern Irrigation Management Practices: Benefits For Traditional Rice Growers

  • No need for precision leveling or contour levees
  • Reduce water use by only applying water when needed
  • Dry fields lead to easy and clean harvest
  • Ability to precisely apply chemicals and fertilizers through the center pivot or linear
  • Increased profit potential versus flooded rice

Using Modern Irrigation Management Practices: Benefits for Non-Traditional Rice Production

  • Minimal field application
  • No need for expensive aerial applications of fertilizers or chemicals
  • Ability to grow rice on land not suitable for traditional flood irrigation
  • Rice can be added to the crop rotation
  • More profit potential than other crops

Using Modern Irrigation Management Practices: Benefits for Society 

  • Center pivot and linear irrigation allow for minimum tillage, which benefits the soil
  • Fewer greenhouse gas emissions have been observed
  • Water conservation
  • Reduced leaching of fertilizers and chemicals
  • More food produced using fewer resources