Cropping intensity of rice in lowlands in Indonesia is decreasing, presenting an opportunity to increase cropping intensity by planting maize. In this paper, Fadhly et al. suggest that in order to increase maize production, which does not meet the current demand for feed in Indonesia, maize cropping systems could be shifted to lowlands by promoting increased cropping intensity using rice-rice-maize, rice-maize-maize or rice-maize-fallow cropping patterns. Lowland areas planting rice once or twice per year are 2,832,816 and 4,558,568 ha, respectively, across Java, Sumatra, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan and the Sulawesi Islands. Planting maize after rice has been shown to provide high profits for farmers because maize prices tend to increase at that time to their highest level. High yield obtained by planting hybrid varieties, along with high prices, are resulting in the annual expansion of maize areas in the lowlands. The authors note, however, that irrigation is an important factor in maize farming on lowlands. Farmers generally use drilled wells and irrigate their maize crops by using engine pumps, but drainage must be prepared to avoid excess water due to unpredictable rains.

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