Tuesday morning’s poster sessions included informative presentations on one of the world’s most important crops: rice! As a Canadian, I know very little about rice, so I was either the worst person for this reporting job, or the best (as I had a lot to learn!).
A few common presentation themes included nutrient management, tillage practices, and water conservation. Most of the research projects took place in African and Asian countries, but Colombia also made an appearance. It seemed it could be agreed upon that there is a need for innovative water management strategies, cover cropping systems, and an increase in knowledge of nutrient cycling.
Nitrogen topics were recurring throughout the session, including a particularly interesting presentation that informed the audience of the horizontal movement of nitrogen in valley growing regions. It was said that as the year’s first spring rains land on the soil, microorganisms are essentially “woken up”, and an unused surge in microbial activity and thus nutrient availability occurs. With no crop planted in the field during this time, many nutrients are lost in the spring rains and runoff. Cover crops could help to mitigate this effect.
An audience member commented on the great presentations, but expressed a concern that despite innovative technologies and information, it is often difficult to make “research outputs available to farmers”. A disconnect and breakdown in communication is clearly taking place if the information never reaches the hands of those who need it most.
Please check our flickr photo bank to see more pictures of the poster presenters: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tropentag/albums/72157672950661772