December 6, 2023

Farmers whose irrigation is at the tail end of the National Irrigation Administration’s water supply system may benefit from a water management technique promoted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute of the Department of Agriculture (DA-PhilRice).
Fredierick Saludez, DA-PhilRice agriculturist, said the Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) technology, with the aid of an observation well, can help reduce irrigation water consumption without lowering rice yield.
Observation wells are used to monitor changes in groundwater levels.
“Rice plants don’t need continuous irrigation. There are stages that we can minimize it without affecting the plants’ growth and yield,” Saludez explained in a recent “Palaywakin ang Galing” session aired on the Institute’s Facebook pages.
He said in implementing AWD, farmers can start irrigating the field based on the observation well 21 to 30 days or four weeks after planting. Before this, irrigate the field with two to three centimeters water depth.
“Irrigation can be controlled after one month because the seedlings are already well established, and weeds can easily be managed,” he said.
He added intermittent flooding allows the soil to have enough oxygen during the tillering period.
During flowering, five cm depth of standing water must be maintained to avoid the development of unfilled grains because of insufficient water.
For uniform development of the grains, irrigation must be drained a week before harvest for light-textured soil and two weeks before harvest for heavy-textured soil.
“Palaywakin ang Galing” is a campaign that promotes the technologies and services of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP).
For more information about the program, queries can be sent to DA-ATI through 0920-946-2474 or browse https://bit.ly/3wwLYN8 and visit www.pinoyrice.com. – Press release