Paddy Farming

Paddy Farming The scientific name of the paddy is Oryza sativa. Flooded land with water ensures proper growth and yield. You need to grow paddy during monsoon.

Climate for Paddy Cultivation:
Rice is a tropical climate crop that can grow from sea level to an altitude of 3000 meters. Can also be done in temperate and sub-tropical climate under humid conditions. High temperature, humidity and sufficient rainfall with irrigation facilities are the primary requirements of paddy cultivation. Temperature ranging between 20 and 40⁰C. It can tolerate temperature upto 42⁰C.

Season for Rice Crop: In areas of high rainfall and low winter temperature rice crop is grown once a year during May to November.

Summer Rice: Rice cultivated during rabi season is also called as summer rice. It is sown in the months of November to February and harvested during March to June. 9% of total rice crop is grown in this season. The pre-kharif or ‘autumn rice’ is sown during May to August. The sowing time also depends on the rainfall and weather condition.

Soil for Rice Cultivation: Rice cultivation provided the region has a high level of humidity, sufficient rainfall with irrigational facilities, and a high temperature. 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.

pH Level for Rice Farming: Rice can be cultivated in both acidic as well as alkaline soil.

Water: Bund farming system is followed in case of rice cultivation wherein the fields are flooded continuously upto 7 to 10 days before harvesting. To produce a kilogram of rice the crop on an average needs about 1500 liters of water.

Better nutrient availability: Moisture stress elimination, Micro-climate for favorable crop production, In the wake of water scarcity threatening the world, efficient practices are being followed to optimize the yield.

Some of the practices are as listed below: Field Channels: Separate field channels are constructed to allow water to be delivered to individual seed beds. Thus the main field is not watered till it is time to actually plant in the main field. Control the water flowing to the field or draining away from the field.

Filling the Cracks in Soil: When there are deep cracks present in the soil a huge amount of water can be lost due to drainage of water through these cracks that run below the root zone. Cracks must be filled before soaking. One of the ways is to do a shallow tillage before soaking the land. In case of clayey soils the land is puddled since it results in a hard pan.

Leveling the Field: A field that is uneven in level consumes nearly 10% extra water than what is necessary for growth. The field is generally plowed twice before leveling. The second plowing is done with water in the field so as to define the high and low areas.

Bund Construction: Bunds form a boundary and hence limit water loss. They must be compact and high enough to avoid overflowing of water in case of rains. Rat holes and cracks must be plastered.

Crop Rotation with Rice Crop: Legumes are the most commonly used crops used for crop rotation with rice. 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. Hence planting legumes in such period would optimize land use and also help increase fertility of soil.

Planting Material: Rice is propagated from paddy seeds. Therefore, seed selection plays a critical role in the yield.

Selecting best quality seeds are: Seeds must be fully-developed and mature, Clean paddy seeds, No signs of aging, High capacity of germination, Treatment of Seeds.

Seeds must be soaked in salt solution for 10 minutes: That float must be discarded while that sink are mature seeds that must be used for planting. Immediately wash the seeds after removing from the solution. Soak the seeds in a good fungicide solution like carbendazim for 24 hours.

Land Preparation: Rice is cultivated in different methods depending on the water availability. In areas where the rainfall is abundant clubbed with abundant water supply, wet system of cultivation is followed. Areas where irrigation facilities are unavailable and water is scarce, dry cultivation system is followed.

Wet Cultivation System: The land is thoroughly ploughed and flooded with water upto 5cm in depth. In case of clayey or loamy soil the depth must be 10 cm. Post puddling the land is levelled so as to ensure uniform water distribution. Seedlings are sown or transplanted after leveling.

Dry Cultivation System: Soil must have a good tilth hence it must be ploughed thoroughly. Farm yard manure must be distributed on the field uniformly at least 4 weeks before sowing. The seeds are then sown with 30 cm spacing between the plants.

Rice Cultivation Method: Most farmers practice nursery bed method. Nursery beds are made occupying about 1/20th of the total field area. The paddy seeds are sown in the bed. They are ready within 25 days of sowing in low land areas while in higher altitudes they take about 55 days to become ready for transplantation.

Different Practices: There are four different practices of cultivation of rice, transplantation method, drilling method, broadcast method and Japanese method.

Broadcast Method: Broadcast method generally involves scattering of the seeds manually over a large area or in the entire field. Labor involved is very less and so is the precision. This method produces very less yield as compared to others.

Diseases and Plant Protection in Rice Farming: Symptoms, Spindle-shaped spots on leaves with grey centers. Nodes rot turning black and thus breaks, Neck of the panicle rot, Grains are chaffy. This disease can affect the crop at all the growing stages nursery, tillering and flowering.

Management: Soak the seeds in carbendazim for 12 hours before sowing, Avoid a heavy dose of nitrogen fertilizer, During transplantation, the roots must be dipped in carbendazim solution immediately upon uprooting. Use resistant varieties.

Harvesting Rice: Irrigation of the field is completely stopped about a week before harvesting. This dehydration process helps in grain ripening. It also hastens maturity. Harvesting should be carried out 25 to 30 days after flowering. The late maturing varieties are harvested 40 days after flowering. They are generally harvested when the moisture content is about 25%. Post harvesting, drying is carried out gradually under shade.

Wishing you all the best,