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Hossain et al

Journal of Dynamics in Agricultural Research

Available online at

Vol.1(5), pp.44-52, December  2014

Article ID: jdar/14/023

© 2014 Journal Dynamics


Original Research Paper

Long-term Bed Planting Trial for Improving Crops and Soil Productivity in Drought Prone Areas in Bangladesh

Md. Ilias Hossain1*, Md. Jahedul Islam1, M.R.I Mondal1, M. A. Hakim1 and Gathala. Mahesh2

1*Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Bangladesh.

2CIMMYT, Bangladesh.

*Corresponding author.

Received 18 July, 2014; Accepted 4 November, 2014.


A long term bed planting field experiment was conducted to study the productivity, soil fertility and N-use efficiency of intensified RW systems by adding a third pre-rice crop of mungbean. System productivity, fertility and N use efficiency were evaluated under five N fertilizer levels (0, 40, 80, 100 and 120 % N of recommended dose, two straw retention (SR) (0 and 30%) and two tillage options (raised bed and conventional tillage practice (CTP). Permanent beds with 30% straw retention produced the highest productivity for all three crops in the sequence. Within each N rate the total system (rice-wheat-mungbean) productivity was greatest with 30% SR on PRB and least in CTP with 0% SR. At 80% of recommended fertilizer N rate, mean annual system productivity was 12.5 t/ha for PRB with 30% SR, 11.2 t/ha with PRB on 0% SR and 10.3 t/ha with CTP without straw. N uptake and use efficiency were increased with increasing N levels with bed planting up to 120% N application (120 kg N ha-1) in wheat, both 100% (80 kg N ha-1) in rice and (20 kg N ha-1 ) in mungbean for all years. System productivity in N unfertilized plots increased when straw was retained due to increased supply and uptake of N. The results suggest that N fertilizer rates 2 can be reduced when straw is retained. Soil organic matter in surface soil layers of the PRB had increased by 0.72% after seven years (8 rice-wheat-mungbean crop cycles) with 30% SR. Straw retention is an important component of soil management and may have long term positive impacts on soil quality compared with conventional tillage with 0% SR. The combination of PRB with nutrients and residues retained appears to be a very promising technology for sustainable intensification of RW systems in Bangladesh.

Key words: Raised bed, cropping systems, productivity, sustainable and drought.