RICE (Oryza sativa)
ORIGIN: Indo-Barma region
Rice is the staple food of people from Southern and eastern parts of India. It is hence widely cultivated in India and other parts of Asia such as China, Japan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, etc. Globally, China is the leading producer of rice with India being the next. As per statistics, West Bengal is the leading rice producer in India followed by Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra, Punjab, Orissa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Haryana. Cultivating rice is indeed laborious and it needs a lot of water. Therefore, rice cultivation is practiced in those places wherein the labor cost is less and rainfall is high.
- Aizon Rice.
- Basmati rice.
- Bhut Muri.
- Champaa Rice.
- Clearfield Rice.
Rice is a tropical climate crop that can grow from sea level to an altitude of 3000 meters. Paddy cultivation can also be done in temperate and sub-tropical climate under humid conditions. A high temperature, humidity and sufficient rainfall with irrigation facilities are the primary requirements of paddy cultivation. It also needs bright sunshine with temperature ranging between 20 and 40⁰C. It can tolerate temperature upto 42⁰C.
Almost every type of soil can be used for 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. It can be even cultivated on silts and gravels. If the cultivating soil has rich organic matter and if it powders easily on drying or forms a puddle when wet then it is considered to be ideal.
Rice can be cultivated in both acidic as well as alkaline soil.
Bund farming system is followed in case of rice cultivation wherein the fields are flooded continuously upto 7-10 days before harvesting. To produce a kilogram of rice the crop on an average needs about 1500 liters of water. In other words, rice needs a huge amount of water for cultivation. This continuous flooding practice is followed to ensure weed control and sufficient water supply. Flooded soil also ensures:
- Better nutrient availability
- Moisture stress elimination
- Micro-climate for favorable crop production.
Treatment of Seeds
The seeds must be soaked in salt solution for 10 minutes. The ones that float must be discarded while the ones that sink are mature seeds that must be used for planting. Immediately wash the seeds after removing from the solution. Farmers are advised to soak the seeds in a good fungicide solution like carbendazim for 24 hours. This ensures the seed protection from fungal diseases. If the area of cultivation is prevalent in bacterial diseases like leaf blight, then the seeds must be soaked in Streptocycline solution for 12 hours. After this, they must dried thoroughly under shade and then used for sowing. Normally seeds are sprouted before sowing or then grown in nurseries before transplanting.
Rice is cultivated in different methods depending on the water availability and weather. In areas where the rainfall is abundant clubbed with abundant water supply, wet system of cultivation is followed. On the other hand, in 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
In this rice cultivation process the soil must have a good tilth hence it must be ploughed thoroughly. In addition, 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. There are four different practices of cultivation of rice, viz. transplantation method, drilling method, broadcast method and Japanese method.
Methods of Rice Cultivation:
Following methods of rice cultivation are practised in India.
1. Broadcasting method:
Seeds are sown broadcast by hand. This method is practised in those areas which are comparatively dry and less fertile and do not have much labour to work in the fields. It is the easiest method requiring minimum input but its yields are also minimum.
2. Drilling method:
Ploughing of land and sowing of seeds is done by two persons. This method is mostly confined to peninsular India.
3. Transplantation method:
This method is practised in areas of fertile soil, abundant rainfall and plentiful supply of labour. To begin with, seeds are sown in nursery and seedlings are prepared. After 4-5 weeks the seedlings are uprooted and planted in the field which has already been prepared for the purpose. The entire process is done by hand. It is, therefore, a very difficult method and requires heavy inputs. But at the same time it gives some of the highest yields.
4. Japanese method:
This method includes the use of high yielding varieties of seeds, sowing the seeds in a raised nursery-bed and transplanting the seedlings in rows so as to make weeding and fertilizing easy. It also involves the use of a heavy dose of fertilizers so that very high yields are obtained. The Japanese method of rice cultivation has been successfully adopted in the main rice producing regions of India.
Diseases and Plant Protection in Rice Farming
- 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.
- 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.
- Dark brown, oval spots on stems, leaves and plumes.
- Occurs in poor and deficient soils.
- Can occur in nursery or in field.
- Since it occurs in deficient soils, the deficiency must be corrected by adding nutrients and fertilizers.
- Resistant varieties must be cultivated in deficient soils.
- Treating the seeds with Agrosan is also effective in controlling the disease.
- Yellow to white lesions along the margin gradually spreading around the whole leaf.
- Spreads fast in case of winds, incessant rain and warm temperature.
- Infection occurs during transplantation.
- Avoid nitrogen fertilizers in excess.
- Soak the seeds in Streptocycline for 12 hours before planting.
- Affected crops are sprayed with Agrimycin 100.
- Fungus attacks panicles and spikelets stick together. Hence no grains are formed.
- Infected plants are shorter and hence go unnoticed.
- Use disease free seeds for cultivation
- Avoid heavy nitrogen doses
- Treat the seeds with carbendazim before planting. The affected seeds can also be sprayed with it during the initiation of panicle.
- Affects the sheath of the leaves.
- The affected parts are blighted.
- Being soil-borne disease, planting closely must be avoided.
- Avoid applying heavy nitrogen fertilizers.
- Spray the affected crop with carbendazim.
One of the essential factors in rice cultivation is in-time rice harvesting otherwise the grains would shed. Irrigation of the field is completely stopped about a week before harvesting. This dehydration process helps in grain ripening. It also hastens maturity. In case of early and medium maturing varieties, harvesting should be carried out 25- 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.
Good variety an average yield of 2500 kg/ha. can be achieve.