Islam, A.K.M.S., Hossain, M.M., Sarker, R.I., Saleque, M.A., Rahman, M.A., Haque, M.E. and Bell, R.W. (2011) Energy utilization in unpuddled transplanting of wet season rice. In: World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, 26 - 29 September, Brisbane, Australia.
Energy is the key input in modern agriculture. Productivity of agriculture depends on adequate inputs such as power, improved seeds, fertilizers and irrigation water. One way to optimize energy consumption in agriculture is to use efficient crop production methods (Kitani, 1999). Crop yield is directly linked with energy input (Srivastava, 1982). In a conventional cropping system, the greatest energy consumer is soil tillage. In comparison to conventional cultivation fuel consumption can be reduced by 3 to 4 fold with the no-till system (Moitzi, 2005). Sayre (2000) summarized the potential advantages of reduced tillage planting systems as reduced fossil fuel use; reduced production cost; increased profit; reduced crop turn-around time; increased land-use efficiency; reduced drudgery in planting, especially suitable for female household members; more efficient crop water use (for both rainfed and irrigated conditions); improved soil physical, chemical and biological activities; enhanced carbon sequestration; and enhanced flora and fauna biodiversity. A change in soil tillage method also causes a slow, but substantial modification to the soil physico-chemical characteristics (bulk density, porosity, infiltration, moisture content and temperature), which becomes apparent in the medium to long term. Rice establishment under unpuddle transplanting system is the new phenomenon which was first time evaluated under the project "Addressing constraints to pulses in cereals-based cropping systems, with particular reference to poverty alleviation in north-western Bangladesh" during the dry cool boro rice season in 2009 in 8 farmers filed of Rajshahi district. These trials had provided some exciting results on irrigation water saving and reduction of tillage and cost without grain yield penalty. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to compare the operating energy involved in wet season transplanted rice culture under conventional puddling and a range of non-puddled (“unpuddled”) systems.