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Rice is the most important food crop cultivated under submerged condition by transplanting. This method of cultivation requires large quantities of water, and is labour intensive. It is estimated that 5000 liters of water is needed to produce 1 kg of rice. Water is most limited natural resource of late, due to failure of rains and over-exploitation of ground water. The dwindling water resources reveal a grim situation for low land puddled rice cultivation. Farmers are seeking alternate methods of cultivation for growing Rice to combat this water scarce situation.
One such method is cultivation of rice under aerobic situation which is characterized by aerated soil environment during the entire period of crop growth. In this type of cultivation, rice is grown like ragi, maize or jowar by giving surface irrigation. Irrigation is provided once in 5-7 days in direct seeded aerobic rice crop. Varieties suitable for this type of cultivation also possess ability to withstand drought periods. Varieties are bred for aerobic situation with root introgressed from upland genotype base that yield on an average of 5.51/ ha of grain and 6.0 t/ha of fodder. This type of cultivation saves about 60 percent of water.
The amount of methane emitted under aerobic situation is very low thus protecting the environment. A new mid-early, medium fine grain, high yielding variety MAS 946-1 was released by the University for Aerobic Cultivation in zone 5 of Karnataka in 2007.
IMPORTANT CHARACTERS AND FEATURES OF NEW AEROBIC RICE VARIETY, MAS 946-1
• Puddling, transplanting and Submerged irrigation not required
• Direct sowing of as in case of Ragi or Maize or Sorghum
• Seed rate of 7 kg/ha and Saving of seed rate upto 80% and labour 30%
• Medium duration of 120 days with erect plant type
• Irrigation once in 3-5days and Saving of water upto 40-45 per cent
• Drought and Blast disease tolerance
• Profuse rooting, High tillering(60 nos.) and medium slender grain type
• Reduced methane emission (upto 70%)
Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES