Rice is instrumental for food security and economic growth in many countries. However, the unsustainability of the traditional irrigation system threatens its production as global food demand continues to rise. In Australia especially, the competition for the Murray-Darling Basin from other crops and industries threatens rice competitiveness. Given the pressing need to further enhance the water productivity of Australian rice, it is imperative to explore the full potential of water­saving irrigation. However, the current water-saving irrigation practices for rice have had varying success in maintaining yields, which causes growers to be hesitant in adopting these practices. It is crucial to develop innovative solutions and agronomic practices that can mitigate any potential yield losses, making water-saving irrigations a more attractive and economically viable option for rice growers. By understanding the optimal nitrogen-water relationship within rice water-saving irrigations, we can effectively maximize water productivity without compromising crop yield. This PhD research aims to advance our understanding of approaches for increasing the nitrogen and water use efficiency of rice by exploring genotype response to varying irrigation treatments and nitrogen supply. This research will offer insights to support the development of efficient nitrogen­water management strategies for rice cultivation and provide crucial information for selecting rice cultivars suited for nitrogen-water efficient systems. 

Project members

Ezinne Echem Okorie

PHD candidate
School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability