Abstract With decreasing availability of water for agriculture and increasing demand for rice (Oryza sativa L.) production, an optimum use of irrigation water and phosphorus may guarantee sustainable rice production. Field experiments were conducted during 2003–2004 to investigate the effect of phosphorus and irrigation levels on yield, water productivity (WP), phosphorus use efficiency (PUE) and income of rice in low lying areas. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with split plot arrangements replicated 4 times. Main plot consisted of five levels of phosphorus viz. 0 (P0), 50 (P50), 100 (P100), 150 (P150), and 200 kg/hm2 (P200), while subplots contained number of irrigations i.e. 8 (I1), 10 (I2), 12 (I3), and 14 (I4) irrigation levels each with a depth of 7.5 cm. Mean values revealed that P150 in combination with I2 produced highest paddy yield (9.8 t/hm2), and net benefit (1231.8 US $/ha) among all other treatments. Phosphorus enhanced WP when applied in appropriate combination with irrigation level. Mean highest WP (13.3 kg/(hm2?mm) could be achieved at P150 with I1 and decreased with increase in irrigation level. While mean highest PUE (20.1 kg/kg) could be achieved at P100 with I2 and diminished with higher P levels. The overall results indicate that P150 along with I2 was the best combination for sustainable rice cultivation in silty clay soil. Because, higher level of P (>150 kg/hm2) and irrigation (>I2) resulted in lower WP and PUE besides reduction in yield and income of rice.
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