Upland rice field preparation:
Cultivate the land after harvest of the previous crop preferably with a MB plough. Summer ploughing should be done after summer showers. It
Final land preparation may be done with pre-monsoon showers for sowing. Stale seed bed (Paga Bhangiba) method may be followed by allowing 5-7 days time after a pre-monsoon shower to have the first batch of weeds come up and destroyed by the final ploughing. Apply adequate amount of compost or FYM @ 5t/ha for improving soil structure and water holding capacity of soil.
Sowing - Early sowing may be done in uplands soon after one or two good early monsoon showers in last week of May or first week of June, to take a second crop. In certain areas and years dry seeding should be adopted in anticipation of late onset of monsoon. Test the germination percentage before sowing. Sow the seeds in line preferably with seed drill or three tyne cultivator-cum-seed drill or by opening lines at 15 cm apart. It has the following advantages:
Seed should be placed at a depth of 4-6 cm. Use 60-80 kg/ha of good quality seeds depending on the test weight of the seed. Interculture Timely weed control of the direct seeded crop is very important. Weeds compete with young rice plant for space, nutrient, water, light and serve as alternate host for pest. Weeding should be done at two weeks of germination. In line sown crop, it will be economical to work in the interspace with a rake weeder or any hoe. In broadcast crop, ploughing of the land on the third day of sowing (mendha) and working with a tooth harrow (bida) two weeks after germination in a sunny weather reduces weed population. When labour is scarce, adopt chemical weed control method with pre-emergence application of butachlor or pendimethalin @ 1.0 kg/ha, or arozin @ 0.3 kg/ha or oxyfluorfen @ 0.03 kg/ha the day following sowing or after first shower in case of dry sown crop followed by one hand weeding at 30 days after.
Apply well decomposed FYM or compost @ 5 t /ha with chemical fertilizers. It is better to apply fertilizer on the basis of soil test recommendation. N:P:K @ 40:20:20, 30:20:20 and 60:30:30 kg/ha for improved, local and HYV, respectively be applied depending on the initial fertility of the soil and the yield potential of the variety. Full P & K be applied as basal by broadcasting and mixing at final ploughing. Wherever possible, these should be preferably placed below the seed with a seed-cum-fertilizer drill. In case of placement, 25% of N should be supplied as basal application to have early vigour of the seedlings where line sowing has been done. When no basal application is possible, 75% N be applied as first top dressing at the time of interculture (hoeing and weeding) in the third week from germination and the rest 25% at the panicle initiation (PI) stage (18-20 days before panicle emergence). In well drained sandy soil, apply full P as basal and N & K in split. In other soils, apply full P & K as basal and N in splits Water management. The crop is most sensitive to water stress in the reproductive stage. Wherever water is available, irrigate the crop at this stage if rain fails. Collect rain water after 45 days by strengthening the bunds (refer the topic on dry land agriculture). Harvest the crop when the grains in the panicle are grey in colour. Delayed harvesting causes considerable loss by shattering and due to damage by rats and birds. However, early varieties should be harvested 25 days after 50% flowering. Improved sickle should be used for harvesting the crop as it reduces drudgery of the worker and gives 20% more coverage than local sickle. The improved sickles are GAIC sickle (Gujurat Agro Industires Corporation, Ahmedabad), Naveen sickle (CIAE, Bhopal), Dev sickle (Dev industries, Bangalore). For hard soil and non-lodged crop, power tiller or tractor front mounted vertical conveyor reaper should be used. Post-harvest technology - the early crop is to be threshed within a day or two after harvest otherwise there would be fermentation and discolouration of grains. Reduce the moisture content of grains to 14% by drying. Pedal operated and power operated thresher should be used for threshing. Hand operated winnower should be used for cleaning the grains. Power operated thresher-cum-winnower should be used for simultaneous threshing and cleaning of the grains.
Medium and low land rice direct seeding
Field preparation-Plough the field with a MB plough soon after the harvest of the Rabi crop when adequate moisture is available. Repeated summer ploughing or harrowing is needed to keep down weeds and maintain tilth and keep the soil exposed to sunlight and air.
Dry sowing should be done from second half of May to first half of June till the onset of monsoon. Sowing should be done preferably in lines 20 cm apart to ensure better plant population. Line sowing will eliminate ‘Beusan’ operation which reduces plant population. If sowing is delayed due to unavoidable circumstances, pregerminated seeds can be directly sown on the puddled field in lines after providing proper drainage. Wet seeding in line can give as much yield as the transplanted crop. Use a seed rate of 60-80 kg/ha depending upon the test weight and tillering habit of the variety. Line sowing behind the plough or seed drill may be taken under suitable field condition. Three row pre-germinated seeder should be used to sow germinated seed. The field should be puddled, levelled and well drained at the time of using seeder. Seeds with 2 mm sprout are most suitable for the pre-geminated seeder.
In the line sown crop the interspace can be worked out with a narrow plough or rotary weeder or rake weeder after 3 to 4 weeks of germination. In broadcast crop, Beusan is the common practice for killing weeds. This operation is followed by proper “Khelua” to maintain adequate plant population. Do not Beusan the crop, if it is delayed beyond 45-50 days after sowing due to want of standing water. Weed out the field and apply fertilizer. Control weeds with pre-emergence application of butachlor @ 1.25 kg/ha or pretilachlor @ 1.00 kg/ha or pendimethalin @ 1.00 kg/ha or arozin @ 0.4 kg/ha or oxyfluorfen @ 0.04 kg/ha. Herbicides should be sprayed in moist soil one day after sowing or after first shower in case of dry sown crop. Manuring - Apply FYM @ 5 t/ha at the time of final ploughing for sowing. Besides, adequate amount of N:P:K in form of chemical fertilizer be applied in splits as indicated in Annexure-II. Use fertilizer as per soil test report. Meet 50% N requirement of rice from organic sources and rest 50% N through inorganic fertilizer for sustenance of soil fertility. In low land situation, where top dressing of N is not feasible apply moderate dose of NPK(40:20:20 kg/ha) at sowing. Application of slow release nitrogenous fertilizer like urea super granule, large granule urea or coated urea would prove still better under this condition. However, in extra long duration varieties if the crop shows the sign of nitrogen deficiency at the PI stage one or two urea sprays may be given, if possible at 25 days and 10 days before panicle initiation stage (3-4% urea spray to supply 15-20 kg N/ha). Use always ammonium containing or ammonium forming fertilizer (urea) at basal application.
Fertilization for beusan rice - Apply full P at the time of seeding. 50% N and full K at Beusaning, and 50% N in two equal splits i.e., at 3 weeks after first application and at PI stage. If application of P at sowing is not possible, it can be applied at Beusaning. If N is not given at Beusaning it can be applied at Khelua. Water management - Wherever possible, maintain soil moisture at saturation for 20-25 days to induce tillering and about 3 cm standing water till primodia initiation. This will prevent weed growth and will not interfere in tlllering. Thereafter, maintain 5 cm depth of water in the field. Drain out water about a week before harvest. Where cutworms are likely to appear, water should not be drained out till harvest. There is no extra benefit if depth of water is maintained at more than 5 cm. Cyclic submergence (5+2 cm) 3 days after disappearance of ponded water saves water without reduction in yield.
Harvesting and post-harvest technology
Dry the grains to reduce the moisture content to 14% for consumption and 12% for seed purpose.
Field preparation-Maintain standing water and plough the field to incorporate the weeds and rice stubbles for proper decomposition. Level the field by repeated laddering. A well levelled field is beneficial for uniform fertilizer distribution, water management and weed control. Use MB plough, puddler and plank to achieve a good puddle. The power tiller operated rotavator, tractor with single cage wheel and cultivator or tractor with double cage wheel should be used to achieve a good puddle in all types of soils.
Nursery raising - Raise the nursery during the first week of June with water available from wells, tanks, ponds, katas, nallas, dugwells, reservoirs, canals etc for planting early in July. Dry seed bed is better than wet seed bed. Apply 6-3-3 g of N-P2O5-K2O/m2 in less fertile soil. Raising of seedlings with sufficient farm yard manure may not require fertilizer during the Kharif season. Precautions necessary in raising nursery are (i) addition of compost/farm yard manure and phosphatic fertilizer at sowing (ii) top dress nitrogen and potash after weeding at 15 days of germination (iii) application of granular insecticides a week before uprooting and (iv) keeping standing water of 1-2 cm depth on the bed a day before uprooting. If monsoon or canal water supply is delayed, 40 days old seedlings of short duration varieties (110-120 days) and 60 days old of medium and late duration varieties (120-150 days) can be planted with no appreciable loss of yield. Early planting has many advantages i). It encourages good tillering while delayed planting affects tillering. ii). Likely to escape gallmidge, stem borer and blast attack. iii). Photo-insensitive varieties if planted early will be harvested early which will permit a second crop in rainfed lands and third crop in irrigated lands.
Planting - Erect and shallow planting of 2 seedlings per hill with required spacing ensures adequate plant population. The following spacing and plant population should be maintained for varieties of different duration. Variety Spacing No. of hills/ha (in lakh) Early and early medium 15 cm x 10 cm 6.7 Medium and late 20 cm x 10 cm 5.0 Late (if planted in July) 20 cm x 15 cm or 15 cm x 15 cm 3.4 4.5 Erect planting helps in quick establishment. Conventional planting requires more time and energy to strengthen and establish the seedlings. Use of transplanting guide reduces the labour requirement for line transplanting by 30% as compared to existing rope and guide method of line transplanting. Shallow planting helps in quick tlllering. If the basal node is planted deep in the mud, tillering is delayed. Use rice transplanter and mat seedlings to reduce the cost of transplanting and ensure timely planting.
Weeding of the crop should be done within 3 weeks of transplanting, Weed can be controlled with herbicides recommended for direct sown medium land rice - 12 - applied 3 days after transplanting. Herbicides can be applied mixed with clean and dry sand @ 50 kg/ha. Fertiliser use - Apply full P, K and 25% of N at planting, 50% of N at tillering (3 weeks after transplanting) and rest 25% of N at PI stage. Forms of fertiliser and methods of application are same as that of direct seeded crop. Apply urea at 5 cm depth preferably by an urea applicator to increase its efficiency. In case of randomly planted crop, fertilizer broadcaster should be used for uniform application. Water management -Water should not be allowed to stand in the field for 5-7 days after transplanting. Maintain saturation to 3 cm standing water till 25-30 days after transplanting and low depth of 3-5 cm of water till 15 days after flowering. Drain out water at yellow ripe stage (10-15 days before harvesting) for uniform maturity and efficient use of paddy reaper.
i)Line sowing of the direct seeded crop and early weeding
iii) Growing short duration high yielding varieties to avoid moisture stress and to accommodate the second crop
vii) Manage water properly
viii) Timely pest management