Comparison of tillage systems for paddy rice in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam

V.L. Nguyen, W.B. Hoogmoed, U.D. Perdok

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic


In the Mekong delta of Vietnam, wetland rice is the main crop. The traditional rice cropping system with one crop per year changed to a system with two or three crops per year, and mechanised tillage replaced traditional tillage by water buffaloes. Currently, three tillage systems can be distinguished: dry tillage (ploughing and/or rotovating of the unsaturated field), wet tillage (puddling) or a mix of the two systems. The heavy monsoon rainfall causes many problems and strongly reduces the trafficable and workable periods. Tillage requires a high energy input and time pressure is high due to the short periods between crops. Whenever possible, farmers prefer dry tillage in view of soil structural quality, resistance of the crop to lodging (anchoring) and the experience that the typical soil profile is kept in better condition, resulting in higher yields. Experiments were carried on typical heavy clay soils (near Cantho, Cantho province) comparing the three tillage systems in terms of: quality of the seedbed (aggregate size, smoothness), the structure of the arable layer, bearing capacity of the hardpan, and energy expenditure and timeliness of the tillage operations. It was found that (dry) ploughing with a disk plough had a low energy consumption (about 40% of that of the rotavator) but produced a very poor seedbed. Additional disk harrowing or rotary tillage was necessary. One pass with the rotary tiller produced a good seedbed. Where secondary tillage operations on dry soil are required, drying of the soil for at least 6 days is needed to achieve an acceptable quality of the seedbed. A good alternative for the assessment of the surface condition of a rice-seedbed is collecting and quantifying the amount or number of clods larger than 80 mm at the surface.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International Soil Tilage Organization, ISTRO Conference, Brisbane Australia, 13 - 18 July, 2007
Place of PublicationBrisbane, Australia
PublisherInternational Soil Tillage Research Organization
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event16th International ISTRO Conference -
Duration: 13 Jul 200318 Jul 2003


Conference16th International ISTRO Conference

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of tillage systems for paddy rice in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this