1. Agripedia

Rice Cultivation in Assam - A Complete Guide

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Farmer

In Assam, rice is the most significant crop. It covers 2.54 million ha of the state's gross cropped area of 4.16 million ha and accounts for 96% of the state's total food grain production. Assam is well-known for its extensive rice genetic diversity. Rice cultivation under a variety of agro-ecological settings has resulted in the formation of a variety of strains with specialized adaptations over time, thanks to natural selection and farmers' discretion.

The state's physical characteristics, geographical position, and historical reality have resulted in ethnic mobility and immigration, which has resulted in the introduction of several types of rice genetic stock over time.

The state has three rice-growing seasons due to agro-climatic variance, seasonal variations in temperature and rainfall, and agriculture's reliance on natural precipitation.

- Sali or winter rice (June/July – Nov/ Dec)

- Ahu or Autumn rice (March / April – June / July) and

- Boro or summer rice (Nov / Dec – May/June) .

Cropping System Approach:

Based on six zones namely Upper Brahmaputra Valley Zone, North Bank Plain Zone, Lower Brahmaputra Valley Zone, Hill Zone, Central Brahmaputra Valley Zone and Barak Valley Zone.

Rice Varieties:

Flood Tolerant Rice Varieties include BINA Dhan 11, Ranjit-Sub1, Bahadur-Sub1 and Swarna-Sub1.

Drought Tolerant Varieties include DRR Dhan 44 and DRR Dhan 46.

Premium Quality Rice Varieties include DRR Dhan 45, Bokul Joha, Keteki Joha (IET – 14390), Kola Joha, Joha (aromatic) rice, CR Dhan 909, CR Dhan310, RNR 15048 and Zinco Rice.

Best Management Practices:

- For Sali season in Transplanted Rice in Assam:

The varieties for various growing circumstances are mentioned below, along with a brief discussion of their features:

Variety

Days to maturity

Grain type

Plant height (cm)

Yield (t/ha)

Salient features

Swarna- Sub1

140-145

Medium bold

100

5.5-6.0

Suitable for cultivation in lowland areas. Submergence tolerance up to two weeks However, if stagnation prolongs for more than a month over 25 cm water depths, tillering is drastically reduced.

Ranjit- Sub1

150-155

Short fine

115

5-5.5

Bahadur-Sub1

150-155

Medium Bold

115

5-5.5

BINA Dhan 11

115-120 days during Sali season, may extend to 135 days in Boro season

Medium Slender

107-115

5.5-6.0/td>

Suitable for medium shallow land. Submergence tolerance up to two weeks. Shorter duration may permit delayed transplanting/sowing, and timely maturity help escaping drought.

- For Boro and early Ahu seasons in Assam:

The varieties for various growing circumstances are mentioned below, along with a brief discussion of their features:

Name of variety

Days to maturity

Grain type

Plant height (cm)

Yield (t/ha)

Salient features

BINA Dhan 11

135 in Boro and 125-130 in early Ahu season

Medium slender

107-115

5.5-6.0

Suitable for medium-shallow land, short to medium duration, suits for delayed transplanting/sowing and can help escaping drought

DRR Dhan 44

120-125

Long slender

100-105

5.0-5.5

Suitable for medium or upland, drought-tolerant

Jayamati

160-170

Medium slender

120

6.5

Long duration variety, suitable for early nursery planting in November-December

Dinanath

160-165

Medium slender

90-95

6.3

Moderately resistant to blast and sheath blight

Swarnabh

160-165

Medium slender

85-90

6.2

Resistant to blast and moderately resistant to sheath blight

Kanakalata

160-165

Medium slender

115-120

6.5

Long duration variety, suitable for early nursery planting in November-December

Production Process:

- Pre-planting: Choosing the correct variety, creating a cropping calendar, and preparing the rice field for planting are all part of the pre-planting process.

Selecting rice varieties:

Variety selection should be based on high production potential, disease and insect pest resistance, weed competitiveness, good eating attributes, high milling percentage, and market appropriateness.

Quality of seed:

Seed of good quality minimizes the sowing rate required and creates robust, healthy seedlings, resulting in a more uniform crop with higher yields.

Crop Calendar:

A cropping calendar depicts the rice growing season in its entirety, from fallow and land preparation to crop planting and management, harvest, and storage.

Preparation of Land:

A levelled and well-prepared field produces a uniform, healthy crop that can compete with weeds, requires less water, and offers larger yields for less money.

- Growth: During the growth of the rice crop, important management variables should be considered. Planting method, water, fertilizer, weeds, pests and illnesses, and harvesting are among them.

Planting:

Rice can be direct-seeded in the field or transplanted from a nursery using both dry and wet seeding methods. Transplanted crops usually take less time in the production field, but the total crop duration is 10–15 days longer. A well-prepared seedbed is required in both circumstances.

Management of water:

Rice is usually planted in bunded fields that are watered regularly for 7-10 days before harvest. Flooding is a good way to make sure there's enough water and keep weeds at bay. Lowland rice necessitates a large amount of water.

Management of Fertilizer:

The amount and kind of fertilizer used are calculated based on the premise that 1 ton of grain removes 15 kg nitrogen (N), 2–3 kilogram phosphorus (P), and 15–20 kg potassium (K) (K). These basic rates must be adjusted based on the soil type, cropping season, variety, ecology, crop state, prevailing weather conditions, and nutrient application efficiency.

Management of Weed:

Weeds directly compete with rice plants, reducing rice yield. Weed presence equals 1 kilogram grain loss per 1 kg dry matter of weeds. Within the first 20-50 days after crop establishment, weeds cause the most yield loss. Weeding following panicle initiation may be necessary to avoid weed seeds being shed for subsequent crops.

Pest and Disease control:

Rice hispa, yellow stem borer, rice bug, brown plant hopper, leaf folders, caseworm, rice gundhi bug, gall midge, and thrips are the most common insect pests. Major diseases include sheath blight, bacterial blight and blast in Sali, blast and sheath rot in Ahu, and sheath rot and sheath blight in Boro.

The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method is one of the most sustainable ways to handle pests and diseases in the field. IPM combines preventive and corrective strategies to protect pests from causing major damage while posing the least amount of risk or hazard to humans and desired environmental components.

Post Production:

Rice paddy undergoes post-harvest operations such as drying, storage, and milling after harvesting to ensure good eating quality and marketability.

Harvesting:

To maximize yields and grain quality, it's critical to harvest the crop on time. Crops that are harvested too early will have a large number of unfilled and immature grains. Shattering and bird attack occur when crops are harvested late, resulting in significant losses. Grain weathering also reduces quality, resulting in breakage and downgrading owing to poor grain colour.

Drying:

Rice is typically harvested with a grain moisture content (MC) of 20 to 25%. (wet basis). Any drying delay, incomplete drying, or uneven drying results in a loss of quality and quantity.

Storing:

Because the husk protects against insects and prevents grain quality deterioration, rice is best stored as paddy. A secure or hermetic storage system protects the grain from insects, rodents, and birds while also preventing it from getting wet after drying.

Milling & Processing:

Rice paddy is milled to remove the husk and bran layer, resulting in white rice. Rice is best milled when it has a moisture content of 13–15 percent. During the procedure, grain temperatures should not surpass 45°C. A good mill removes the husk (20%), the bran or meal (8–10%), and leaves 70% of the rice as white rice. Irrigated rice should have 60 percent white rice as head rice (unbroken, white kernels), while rainfed rice should have 40–50 percent white rice as head rice.

Market Intelligence:

The market value of milled rice is governed by a variety of physical and chemical qualities, as well as consumer preferences, which vary both within and between nations.

Source: Rice Knowledge Bank, Assam

https://www.rkbassam.in/

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