Producers Benefit from Multiple Side Inlet in Rice Production.

Drew Gholson
By Drew Gholson, Bobby Golden, Rice and Soil Fertility, DREC, Mississippi State University and Dan Roach, Ext. Associate June 8, 2020 13:36

Producers Benefit from Multiple Side Inlet in Rice Production.

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Most of the area rice is close to the permanent flood timing or will be after this tropical depression. With water being one of the most expensive inputs of the rice producer, utilizing methods to limit the amount of water used makes economic sense.

Adoption of multiple inlet irrigation has allowed producers to reduce water consumption. Water use with multiple inlet has translated into an 18% reduction in water cost over straight levee production practices, while reducing the time for flood establishment, reducing nitrogen loss and improving herbicide activation. But without proper management, multiple inlet will not translate to dollar savings. If the multiple inlet field is managed properly, utilizing the proper number of gate valves per paddy, proper height of levee gates, levee seepage is accounted for, the field should flood up evenly from top to bottom at the same time. Producers need to be aware that multiple inlet will not prove profitable if one is over pumping, improperly scheduled pumping, or maintaining excessively deep water levels.

MSU, has been investigating the practice of intermittent flooding of rice for the last ten years with significant results. Intermittent flooding allows the paddies to reach a soupy state before being reflooded. In reality, only the top portion of the paddy becomes soupy. The 4-year pumping average across two on-farm trials where producers have adopted multiple inlet and the use of intermittent flooding has produced an additional water cost savings of 30%. .
Since the introduction of yield monitors producers have reported the top portion of paddies yielding more than the bottom portion. Many contributed this yield difference to the deep water depth on the bottom portion of the paddy.

By having a properly managed multiple inlet field that waters evenly across the field and allowing the flood depth to intermittently become soupy, producers can expect a healthy return on their investment.

 

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Drew Gholson
By Drew Gholson, Bobby Golden, Rice and Soil Fertility, DREC, Mississippi State University and Dan Roach, Ext. Associate June 8, 2020 13:36
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