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The resource conservation technologies (RCTs), being advocated for countering the threat to the sustainability of wheat–rice cropping system (RWCS) in the north–west (NW) Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) of India, have been evaluated mostly for the individual crops, without depicting the impact of these technologies on the succeeding or preceding crop. A study was thus conducted during 2012–2014 in NW India to assess the land and irrigation water productivity (WPI) of RWCS under different establishment and conservation tillage techniques in a sandy-loam soil (coarse loamy, calcareous, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Ustochrept). The treatments included zero (ZTW) and conventional (CTW) tillage in wheat as main plot, establishment methods (direct seeded (DSR) and mechanically transplanted rice (MTR)) as sub-plot and tillage in rice viz. puddle (PR), dry (CTR) and zero (ZTR) tillage as sub–sub plot treatments, replicated thrice in split–split plot design. The land productivity of RWCS was significantly lower in ZTW plots than in CTW plots. The residual effect of tillage in wheat on rice productivity was distinct during the second year of study, when the CTW plots recorded significantly higher (17.5%) rice yield than the ZTW plots. The productivity of the cropping system with DSR was statistically similar to that with MTR. The WPI of RWCS increased in the order ZTW–DSR–ZTR25 < CTW–DSR–ZTR < ZTW–MTR–CTR < ZTW–DSR–PR < CTW–DSR–PR < ZTW–MTR–PR26 < CTW–MTR–PR.
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