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Variability of some important soil chemical properties of rainfed low land paddy fields and its effect on land suitability for rice cultivation

Authors:

W.M.U.K. Rathnayake ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About W.M.U.K.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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R.P. De Silva,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About R.P.
Department of Agricultural Engeneering
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N.D.K. Dayawansa

University of Peradeniya, LK
About N.D.K.
Department of Agricultural Engeneering
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Abstract

Available soil-phosphorus (P), exchangeable soil-potassium (K), soil pH and soil Electrical Conductivity (EC) affect rice production and are highly variable in nature mainly due to the variability in water availability. Therefore, experiments were conducted to find out the variability of some important soil chemical properties of rainfed lowland paddy fields and their effect on land suitability for rice cultivation in the Dry (Mahananeriya), Intermediate (Ibbagamuwa) and Wet (Alawwa) regions in the Kurunegala District of Sri Lanka. Randomly collected soil samples from the above three areas were analyzed for available soil-P, exchangeable soil-K, soil pH (1:2.5) and EC (1:5). Thematic maps for each parameter were prepared using Inverse Distance Weighted interpolation technique. Weighted sum technique was used to overlay maps to prepare the suitability map as Marginally Suitable, Moderately Suitable, Suitable and Highly Suitable. Results showed that the available soil-P and EC levels are preferable for rice cultivation in the rainfed lowland paddy fields in all three regions. Even with this situation, the potential productivity of the lands cannot be obtained due to variability of soil pH and exchangeable Potassium contents. Soil pH and the exchangeable soil Potassium in all rainfed paddy areas of Alawwa is far below the optimum levels for paddy cultivation. In terms of these soil chemical properties, 42% and 32% of rainfed paddy fields in Ibbagamuwa and Mahananeriya regions, respectively, are either highly suitable or suitable but 79% land extent of the rainfed paddy in Alawwa is marginally suitable for rice cultivation. Therefore, a blanket recommendation of remedial measures cannot be introduced to improve productivity of the rainfed paddy fields in these regions while site-specific remedial measures would help to overcome the problems of specific soil chemical properties.

Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 26 (3): 506 – 516 (2015)

How to Cite: Rathnayake, W.M.U.K., De Silva, R.P. & Dayawansa, N.D.K., (2015). Variability of some important soil chemical properties of rainfed low land paddy fields and its effect on land suitability for rice cultivation. Tropical Agricultural Research. 26(3), pp.506–516. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v26i3.8113
Published on 20 Nov 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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