Water 2013, 5(2), 578-592; doi:10.3390/w5020578
Article

Influence of Irrigation Water Discharge Frequency on Soil Salt Removal and Rice Yield in a Semi-Arid and Saline-Sodic Area

1 Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, Jilin 130102, China 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, China 3 School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2013; in revised form: 2 April 2013 / Accepted: 23 April 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
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Abstract: Irrigation practice for rice culture can be especially challenging in areas with limited water supply and soil salinization. In this study, we carried out a field experiment to assess the effects of different water discharge frequencies on soil salt content, rice yield and water use efficiency on a saline-sodic soil in a semi-arid region of Northeast China. The experiment comprised of three frequency levels of discharge [9-time (I-9-30), 6-time (I-6-30) and 3-time (I-3-30) discharge, all followed with a 30-mm irrigation] in comparison with the traditional irrigation practice of 2-time discharge followed with an 80-mm irrigation (I-2-80). Our initial hypothesis was that increasing discharge frequency would increase both salt reduction and rice yield. Daily precipitation was recorded by a nearby weather station, and evapotranspiration and soil water percolation rates were measured at experimental sites using soil pits. The measurements were used to establish a water balance for each treatment. Our results showed that soil salt reduction increased with the increasing discharge frequency at a 30-mm irrigation water depth. The 9-time discharge reduced a large amount of soil salt (995.0 kg ha−1) after five months of the study. Rice yield also increased with the increasing discharge frequency with a 30-mm irrigation water depth; however, when compared to the traditional 2-time discharge followed with an 80-mm irrigation, rice yield at the sites with more frequent discharge (i.e., I-9-30, I-6-30 and I-3-30) was 11%–18% lower. Because of this, rice yield and irrigation water use efficiency were significantly higher under the traditional practice of high-irrigation with low-frequency discharge (I-2-80) than under I-9-30, I-6-30 and I-3-30. These results indicate a need for a trade-off amongst salt reduction, rice yield and water use when considering selection of irrigation and discharge schedules.
Keywords: soil salinity control; irrigation/discharge schedule; irrigation water management; rice production; Songnen Plain

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, Y.; Zhang, G.; Xu, Y.J.; Huang, Z. Influence of Irrigation Water Discharge Frequency on Soil Salt Removal and Rice Yield in a Semi-Arid and Saline-Sodic Area. Water 2013, 5, 578-592.

AMA Style

Chen Y, Zhang G, Xu YJ, Huang Z. Influence of Irrigation Water Discharge Frequency on Soil Salt Removal and Rice Yield in a Semi-Arid and Saline-Sodic Area. Water. 2013; 5(2):578-592.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Yueqing; Zhang, Guangxin; Xu, Y. J.; Huang, Zhigang. 2013. "Influence of Irrigation Water Discharge Frequency on Soil Salt Removal and Rice Yield in a Semi-Arid and Saline-Sodic Area." Water 5, no. 2: 578-592.

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