Management practices to enable early wet season forage production in lowland rice production systems of The Lao PDR

Joshua Philp and Matthew Denton

Explore management options to improve early wet season crop production in Lao PDR, southeast Asia

The sustainable intensification of crop and livestock production by smallholders has been shown to be an important driver of socio-economic development in Southeast Asia, however productivity in the predominant lowland rice systems is often constrained by variable rainfall and low-fertility, sandy soils.

In The Lao PDR, rainfed areas often remain in fallow during April to July in response to the variability in the onset, intensity and reliability of rainfall in the early wet season. This results in lost opportunities to capitalise on early wet season rainfall when it does occur. Management options such as short-duration crops, water-saving technologies and organic soil amendments may minimise the risk associated with crop production in the early wet season.

This research will explore the viability of these options in a series of overseas experiments in the Lao PDR. We are seeking a highly motivated student to work on a rewarding, well-defined project which will involve conducting and reporting on a multifactorial field experiment conducted in the early wet season of 2019. The research is aligned with a large project funded through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

You will develop skills in:

  • Experimental design
  • Crop establishment
  • Biophysical and climatic data collection
  • Statistical analysis

Key Reference:

Bunna S, Sinath P, Makara O, Mitchell J, Fukai S (2011) Effects of straw mulch on mungbean yield in rice fields with strongly compacted soils. Field Crops Res 124(3):295–301. doi:10.1016/j.fcr.2011.06.015

Matt Denton


Associate Professor Matt Denton

Co supervisorsDr Joshua Philp

Research area: Farming systems

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Agricultural Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Matthew Denton, Honours projects - Joshua Philp