Yield of upland rice cultivars in rainfed and sprinkler-irrigated systems in the Cerrado region of Brazil
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In upland rice, the reduced grain yield that originates from the moisture stress period is related to the plant's tolerance of water deficiency and may vary between cultivars. The purpose of the work presented here was to evaluate the performance of upland rice cultivars in both rainfed and sprinkler-irrigated systems. A split-plot scheme with 8 replicates in a randomised block design was used. The plots were composed of 2 cropping systems (rainfed and sprinkler-irrigated) and the split-plot consisted of 2 cultivars (IAC 201 and Carajas) which are suggested for cultivation in upland ecosystems. Carajas had a greater number of panicles per square metre, higher spikelet fertility and grain mass, and, consequently, a higher grain yield than IAC 201 regardless of cropping system. IAC 201 was more sensitive to water deficiency than Carajas. Sprinkler irrigation improved spikelet fertility, grain mass and upland rice grain yield. Even when cultivars with a higher tolerance of water deficiency are used, a sprinkler-irrigated system may be a viable method to increase upland rice yield throughout most of the Brazilian Cerrado.