Erna Siaga1, Benyamin Lakitan1,4, Hasbi Hasbi2,4, Siti M. Bernas3, Laily I. Widuri1, Kartika Kartika1
1 Department of Agronomy, Universitas Sriwijaya, Inderalaya 30662, Indonesia
2 Department of Agricultural Engineering, Universitas Sriwijaya, Inderalaya 30662, Indonesia
3 Department of Soil Sciences, Universitas Sriwijaya, Inderalaya 30662, Indonesia
4 Research Centre for Sub-optimal Lands (PUR-PLSO), Universitas Sriwijaya, Palembang 30139, Indonesia
Siaga, E., Lakitan, B., Hasbi, H., Bernas, S. M., Widuri, L. I., & Kartika, K. (2019). Floating seedbed for preparing rice seedlings under unpredictable flooding occurrence at tropical riparian wetland. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science, 25(2), 326–336
Preparation of rice seedlings on floating seedbed makes it possible for earlier rice growing season and more flexible time for transplanting under unpredictable flooding condition. The objective of this research was to search for appropriate procedure for producing high quality rice seedlings using floating seedbed associated with three crucial factors, i.e. level of contact between substrate and water surface, seedling population density, and seedling age at time of transplanting. Seedbeds were constructed using 120 air-tight plastic bottles as floater. Surface dimension of the seedbed was 2 x 1 m with load capacity of 40 kg m-2; therefore, each seedbed can be loaded with 80 kg of growing substrate. Three experiments were sequentially carried out for optimizing knowledge on each of the three crucial factors. Seedling height, fresh weight, and SPAD value were used as primary indicators for seedling quality. Results of our experiments indicated that seedling height and weights were consistently lower in partially submerged substrate than those in no direct contact or with film-thin contact setups. Seedling population density between seed application rates of 2 and 3 kg m-2 were not significantly different, but these treatments were significantly higher than that of application rate at 1 kg m-2. SPAD value was higher at denser seed application rates. Optimum seedling age was 21 DAP but acceptable range for transplanting was at ages between 14 and 28 DAP. Thus, open flexibility for time of transplanting during floodwater receding process.