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Studies on the Utilization of Rice Straw as Seedling Nursery Medium in Rice
利用稻草為介質培育水稻秧苗之栽培技術試驗，主要結論包括 (一) 稻草切割長度以不超過9.5 mm為原則，並尋得效率極高之切割機械；(二) 每一育苗箱之稻草介質用量以350-400 g為最理想；(三) 施用台肥43號複合肥料的效果優於使用硫酸銨、過磷酸鈣、氯化鉀三要素肥料，其用量以每一育苗箱8 g為宜；(四) 理想的肥料施用方式為播種後1-3日待育苗箱移置綠化場時再行撒施；(五) 育苗期的水分管理方式可採行淹水32小時、排乾16小時之處理。
The purpose of this research was to study the possibility of using rice straw as the sole nursery medium for raising rice seedlings suitable for machine transplanting. This research was composed of three portions: (1) the analysis of physical and chemical characteristics of the rice straw; (2) the techniques related to seedling nursery by using the new nursery medium; and (3) the survey of yield and agronomic characteristics after the seedlings were transplanted to the paddy field. Rice cultivar Taikeng 8 was used throughout the study and Tainung 67 was used in part of the experiments. Rice straw cut at different lengths exhibited higher proportions or percentages of total porosity, easily available water, and liquid and gas phases, whereas lower solid phase and bulk density, than the soil medium. The water-holding capacities (volume %) of rice straw under low water tension (10-50 cm) was about the same as those of the soil medium. Chemical analysis showed that the pH and EC values of rice straw fell within optimal ranges for use as nursery medium. Analysis after wet-ashing the straw indicated the presence of various mineral elements. Overall evaluation suggested the suitability of using rice straw for raising seedlings. The results of developing techniques for seedling nursery were summarized as follows. (1) Straw with a length not exceeding 9.5 mm, either cut manually or cut with a machine, was recommended; (2) the amount of 350-400 g rice straw per nursery tray produced the best results of seedling performance; (3) the effect of using 8 g Taiwan No. 43 Compound Fertilizer per tray was superior to that of using ammonium sulfate, calcium superphosphate, and potassium chloride as sources of N, P, and K; (4) application of fertilizer by spraying when the nursery trays were moved to the greening field (1-3 days after sowing) was recommended; and (5) a cycle of flooding for 32 hrs followed by draining for 16 hrs was suggested as the ideal water management method during the nursery period. Seedlings raised according to the above criteria showed comparable or better performances in several morphological and dry matter accumulation characteristics as compared to seedlings with soil as nursery matrix (CK). Investigation of missing hills and field survival rates after transplanting indicated that seedlings produced by the new method could adapt well to the operation of the currently used power transplanters. After transplanting to the paddy field, seedlings produced from both rice-straw and soil as nursery media exhibited no statistical significant differences in their performances in dry matter accumulation at heading and harvest, grain yield, yield components, brown rice rate, and milling rate. These results implied the possibility of economic production by utilizing seedlings from the newly-developed nursery method. Other merits of using rice straw as nursery medium included its light weight, easy operation, and substitution for soil which was difficult to obtain due to environmental issues. However, further studies concerning the handling of rice straw, the development of complete nursery techniques, and the analysis of cost and profit are still need. Furthermore, the amount of rice straw needed to produce seedlings enough for 1 ha of field production is only 100 kg. This amount is too insignifi- cant to solve the problem of straw utilization. The results of this research encourage the study and development of new formulations and cultural techniques with rice straw as the main medium material for the production of horticultural and other agronomic crops. Hopefully, the outcomes will be able to enhance the utilization value or rice straw and to reduce the long-existed pollution problem caused by straw burning.
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