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Methods of Rice Cultivation in India

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The systems of rice cultivation in various rice-growing areas of the country are largely dependent upon the rice-growing conditions prevalent in the respective regions. The method of cultivation of rice in a particular region depends largely on factors such as situation of land, type of soils, irrigation facilities, availability of labourers intensity and distribution of rainfalls. The principal systems followed in India are :

1. Dry or Semi-Dry Upland Cultivation

2. Wet or Lowland cultivation

 

1. Dry or Semi-Dry Upland Cultivation

The dry and semi-dry systems of cultivation are mainly confined to tracts which depend on rains and do not have supplementary irrigation facilities. 

The fields are ploughed and harrowed in summer for achieving the required-tilth. Farmyard manure is uniformly distributed 2-3 weeks before sowing. The seed is sown directly with the onset of the monsoon showers, either by

  1. Broadcasting the seed
  2. Sowing the seed behind the plough or drilling

Line-sowing is preferable, as it ensures an adequate stand establishment and facilitates easy weeding and interculture. The reduced seed-rate requirement is another advantage. The row spacing may be suitably adjusted from 20 to 25 cm. Under the semi-dry system, the rain-water is impounded when the crop is about 1½-2 months old and thereafter it is converted into a wetland crop.

By that time, major operations, such as weeding, interculturing and fertilizer application might have been completed. 'Beushening' still prevalent in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh under this system helps to control weeds and adjust population. The latest thinking is to promote line-sowing using a higher seed-rate so as to have a uniformly higher population density for effective competition from weeds and to use effective methods of interculture to solve the weed problem.

2. Wet or Lowland cultivation

The wet system is practiced in areas with assured and adequate supply of water, either by way of rainfall or by irrigation.

In Wet or Lowland Cultivation, the distinguishing factors are :

  1. Transplanting in puddled fields
  2. Broadcasting sprouted seeds in puddled fields

Under Wet or Lowland Cultivation, the land is ploughed thoroughly and puddled with 3-5 cm of standing water in the field. The optimum depth of puddling is found to be around 10 cm in the clay and clay-loam types of soils. The primary objective is to obtain a soft seedbed for the seedlings to establish themselves faster, to minimize the leaching losses of nutrients and thereby increase the availability of plant nutrients by achieving a reduced soil conditions which facilitates a better availability of nutrient elements, to incorporate the weeds and stubble into the soil and to minimize the weed problem. Puddling can be done with ploughs, tillers or tractors, depending upon their availability and soil conditions. The land is leveled after puddling to facilitate a uniform distribution of water and fertilizers.

 


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