Source: Agricultural Research Service

Agricultural Research Service and cooperating scientists are studying a system that, in rice field tests, cuts water use by 24 percent. The ARS-developed system, called multiple-inlet rice irrigation, or MIRI, involves laying disposable, thin-walled, polyethylene irrigation tubing to connect rice paddies as they are flooded with water.

Most rice fields currently are flooded by discharging water directly into the highest paddy and allowing water to overflow into lower paddies. Earl Vories, an agricultural engineer at the ARS Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit's satellite location, has been working with colleagues in the unit and with extension engineer Phil Tacker and others at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service to study water requirements for rice on a commercial production scale.

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