The Rice Farming
Rice is the staple food of over half of the world’s population and 90% of Asians. Rice, known as the grain of life, is synonymous with food for Asians. It is not only a staple food and an integral part of social rites, and festivals in almost all Asian countries, but it also has medicinal value, which was very well recognized by the medical system of the region centuries ago.
Ancient Asian civilizations have efficiently valued the importance of rice in sustaining human health and nutrition.It is used in the beauty industry as well, as it has strong anti-aging properties.
Soil and Climate:
Rice can be grown on almost any type of soil. The major types of soils for rice cultivation are black soil, red soil (loamy and yellow), laterite soil, red sandy, terai, hill and medium to shallow black soil.
Rice crop requires humid climate and adequate supply of water.
The suitable temperature ranges from 21 to 37˚C.
- Rice is cultivated in different ways depending on the water availability and weather. In areas with ample rainfall along with abundant water supply, wet system of cultivation is followed.
- Wet cultivation system: The land is thoroughly ploughed and flooded with water up to5cm in depth. In case of clayey or silty soil the depth must be 10 cm. After puddling the land is levelled so as to ensure uniform water distribution. Seedlings are sown or transplanted after leveling.
- Dry cultivation system:In this process, the soil must have a good tilth hence it must be ploughed properly.
Manure must be distributed on the field equally at least 4 weeks before sowing. The seeds are sown with 30 cm gap between all the plants.
Crop water requirement:
Crop water requirement is the water required by the plants for its survival, development and to produce economic parts. This requirement is applied either naturally by precipitation or artificially by irrigation.
The daily consumption of water by crop varies from 6-10mm, depending on the agro climatic situation.
After sowing, flush irrigation should take place to wet the soil, if there is no rainfall. The soil should be saturated when plants have developed three leaves. Lowland rice is very sensitive to water shortage (below saturation) at the flowering stage.
Flooding and intensive puddling is an advantage in lowland paddy weed management. Weeds are removed and collected from crop fields. The collected weed is piled or in case of certain weeds, taken home to feed animals.
Legumes are the most frequently used crops used for crop rotation with rice. This is mainly in case of places with lower water supply. Rice in such places is cultivated only once a year and the rest of the year the land is fallow. Which is why, planting legumes in such period would optimize land use and also help increase fertility of soil.
Rice cropping season in India:
A specific order of steps should be followed to get an amazing yield in paddy farming:
Seed quality and seed selection is very important for a good harvest. Good variety of seeds can increase the yield by 5-20%. For seed treatment, Sudoz-P 900gms is used. It is effective against seed and soil borne pathogenic fungi. Microbes 900gms is used for growth and protection.
This stage takes place before sowing.
This stage occurs before sowing. Growth of the seedling takes place in this stage. DAP, Urea, MOP, Marvelz-G and Combi Soil should be used. Marvelz-G is a fertilizer and a growth enhancer. Combi soil is a nutrient fertilizer.
After new leaf stage:
After new leaf stage, tiller formation begins. They appear at the base of the plant, as secondary shoot to the main shoot. This stage takes place 7 days after sowing. Paddy microbes should be used as it is most beneficial for water logged crops like paddy.
Active tillering stage:
Tiller formation occurs over a period of 2-3 weeks. The number of tillers depends on the plant population. Usually, there are two to four tillers per plant. Urea and MOP should be used in this stage.
In the reproductive phase of growth, panicle initiation is the first stage. The developing panicle is microscopic in size and is associated with the beginning of stem internode formation. Urea or ammonium is used in this stage.
The heading stage starts when a portion of panicle starts growing out of the end of the rice stem. This stage is identified by percentages. 50% heading stage occurs when 50% of the rice stems are headed (panicles have completely emerged).
Urea or ammonium sulphate should be used in this stage.
Silfert should be sprayed as it enhances growth and yield. It is a micronutrient and enhances silica absorption in plants. Utkarsh NOP (13:00:45) (Potassium Nitrate) Specially Crystalline 100% Water Soluble Complex Fertilizer (Foliar Spray Nutrition)
Rice is harvested by draining, cutting and drying. Intime rice harvest is very necessary, otherwise the grains would shed. A week before harvesting, irrigation is stopped completely. The dehydration caused because of this helps in grain ripening. They are usually harvested when the moisture content is about 25%. If harvested by hand, it is harvested by sickle, and if not harvested manually, it is harvested by combine harvester machine.
The average yield of rice is 3-6 tons per hectare.
There is a wide scope for increasing productivity since rice yields are quite below potential yield and variation is large in productivity among the main rice-producing states.
Improvement can efficiently be attained through further expansion of irrigation facilities and subsidies for irrigation, fertilizer, seeds, machinery, and appropriate technologies for increasing rice productivity in both irrigated and rainfed areas.
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