Using Fertilizers more Wisely in Rice Production by adopting “Three Controls” Technology
In Guangdong Province, one of the main rice producers in South China, overuse of nitrogen fertilizers at early crop growth stage is a common practice of rice farmers. This results in multiple issues such as low nitrogen-use efficiency, a large number of unproductive tillers, lodging, and damage from diseases and insects. To solve these problems, the three controls technology was developed based on the following: (1) a more efficient use of nutrients, especially nitrogen, by adjusting the rate and timing of fertilizer application; (2) reduced unproductive tillers and lodging of the rice crop through avoiding luxury N uptake during early growth stage; and (3) reduced sprays of fungicides and insecticides because of a healthier rice canopy. Welcomed by farmers who have been trained with a combination of on-farm demonstrations and technical materials, this technology is effective, reliable, cost-saving and easy to use. It is now one of the most widely adopted rice-growing technologies in China.