Tsujimoto, K; Ono, K; Ohta, T; Chea, K; Muth, EN; Hor, S; Hok, L (2020). Multiyear analysis of the dependency of the planting date on rainfall and soil moisture in paddy fields in Cambodia, 2003-2019. PADDY AND WATER ENVIRONMENT, 19(4), 635-648.

The dependencies of the planting date on rainfall and soil moisture in paddy fields in Cambodia were analyzed to quantify farmers' empirical knowledge regarding their decision of the planting date. Remote sensing data from multiple satellites covering the 2003-2019 period were analyzed. The planting dates in rain-fed paddies ranged from April to August, with large spatial variations and year-to-year fluctuations. In years when planting was suppressed in April and May, planting was extensively enhanced in June and August compared to normal years, and vice versa. Over the northeastern side of Tonle Sap Lake and south of Phnom Penh city, the areas planted in April and May were found to have positive correlations with rainfall and soil moisture, suggesting that wetter-than-average conditions encouraged farmers to plant earlier in the season. In contrast, this relationship was unclear on the western side of Tonle Sap Lake, where the rainfall amounts were larger throughout the year than in other areas in Cambodia. In this region, the relationship between the planting area and soil water availability was either unclear or was even slightly negative from June to August. Since more frequent dry spells have been detected after the onset of the rainy season in recent years, further studies and disseminations of potential changes in dry spells are important for the agronomic adaptation of planting dates under climate change.