High iron (Fe) content and availability because of submergence and accumulation in the plant are suspected to be the reasons for low fertilizer responsiveness and yield of high-yielding genotypes in lateritic soils of Kerala, India. Since roots are the absorbing organs, their development is evidently an index of plant vigor. To study the influence of excess Fe on root characteristics and its relation to rice productivity, rice experiments were conducted at the Agricultural Research Station, Mannuthy, of Kerala Agricultural University during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 kharif seasons. The soil at the site was a lateritic sandy clay loam, acidic, and of medium fertility. Treatments consisted of three methods of crop establishment (dry seeding, wet seeding, and transplanting), two digging depths (15 and 30 cm), and three levels of farmyard manure (FYM) (0, 5, and 10 t ha-1). Root characteristics and yields were recorded. Root Fe content was estimated.