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Rice Seeds

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Seed is an important and basic input for achieving higher crop yield and increasing a country's agricultural economy. Thus it is very important to maintain seed quality by understanding the right mechanism. Seed markets are generally built around hybrid varieties, which do not reproduce and so force farmers to purchase new seeds every season. Rice, however, is a self-pollinating crop, making hybrid rice seed production costly and difficult, and nearly all rice in Asia is still grown with farmer-saved seeds.

We can study this category under the following heads :

Different methods of Seeding

Methods of Nursery raising

Selection of Seeds

Sowing of Seeds

Seeding is done in three different ways. They are as follows:

Sowing in the furrow behind a plough.

Sowing seed by making holes in soil with a pointed implement.

To sow seed over a wide area, especially by hand.

Seeding with drilling method has got a greater advantage over other methods, because of the uniformity of the stand and the control of the population of the plants per unit area. Heavy soils which do not come in conditions quickly, other methods except broadcasting are not feasible. It has been found that drilling or dibbling always gives considerably better yields than broadcasting system.

There are three major methods of raising nursery in India. They are :

  • The Wet Nursery
  • The Dry Nursery
  • The Dapog Method

The Wet Nursery
The general practice in India is to go in for wet nurseries. Wet nursery is that where sprouted seed is sown on the moist puddled soil. Wet nurseries are preferred under irrigated condition. Young, healthy and vigorous seedlings establish themselves faster and grow better and the major objective of nursery management should be aimed at obtaining such seedlings.

The Dry Nursery
In regions of non-assured water-supply, where wet-bed nurseries cannot be raised, dry nursery-raising is practiced. The dry nursery where the dry seed is sown in dry soil. The seedlings obtained from the dry nurseries are generally hardy and establish themselves very fast when transplanted.

The Dapog Method
Dapog method is commonly prevalent in Philippines, which is also practiced in India. The essential feature of this method is to have a very thick stand of the nursery seedlings without any contact with the soil. Generally, this method is used especially in places where there is assured water-supply and when early transplanting is needed. Seedlings become ready for transplanting in 12 to 14 days. This method of nursery is useful for raising a post-flood rice crop in Assam and West Bengal.

Selection of Seeds

Seed selection is a complex and sometimes misunderstood process. Some farmers assess individual entire plant's performance through the season when selecting seed, while other farmers select seed post-harvest from threshed crops in their storage. Seed of rice varieties are harvested, processed and stored separately, while the grain is often harvested and sold/consumed in variety mixtures.

The use of quality seeds in cultivation of rice is an important factor to get better crop yield. Therefore, proper care has to be taken in selecting seeds of the best quality. Much of the success in raising the healthy seedlings depends on the quality of seed. 

Seeds intended for sowing should satisfy the following requirements :

  • The seed should belong to the proper variety, which is proposed to be grown.
  • The seed should be clean and free from mixtures of other seeds.
  • The seed should be mature, well developed and plump in size.
  • The seed should be free from obvious signs of age or bad storage
  • The seed should have a high germinating capacity.

Before sowing, the seed should be treated with fungicides which protects the seed against soil-born fungi and also give a boost to the seedlings.


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