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Paddy Cultivation.
Paddy Cultivation.

Paddy Cultivation Information For Beginners

Paddy Cultivation:

Introduction To Paddy Cultivation

Paddy is grass seed which is popularly known as rice is the most widely consumed staple food across the globe. Paddy is grown commercially in most of the Asian Countries. Paddy or Rice is 3rd largest agriculture commodity after sugarcane and maize/corn. Paddy growing is very easy and is a short duration crop of 4 to 5 months depending on rice variety. The paddy plant has slender leaves and can reach up to 3.5 feet to 6 feet depending on soil fertility and paddy cultivar (variety). The edible seed is a grain of 4 mm to 12 mm in length 1 to 3 mm in thickness. Paddy cultivation ideal for regions with plenty of rainfall or abundant water sources and cheap labor. Paddy cultivation can be done as a rain-fed crop as well as irrigated crop. Paddy is a labor-intensive crop if you are thinking of old traditional methods. However, nowadays, with modern rice farming methods, there is plenty machinery available from land preparation for seeding to irrigation. Even harvesting is done by paddy harvesting machine. Paddy can be cultivated practically anywhere, even on a steep hill or mountain regions. As rice can be grown in both tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world, one can get excellent profits under ideal paddy agriculture practices. The best part of paddy is, depending upon the climatic conditions and availability of irrigation, it can be cultivated in all the 3 seasons, Kharif, Rabi, and Summer. China tops in rice production followed by India. Let us discuss more paddy cultivation methods or Rice farming in the upcoming section.

Scientific / Botanical Name of Paddy

  • Oryza sativa.

Rice in Indian Languages

  • English – Rice.
  • Tamil –  Pacharisi.
  • Malayalam –  Pachari.
  • Telugu –  Biyyam.
  • Kannada –  Akki.
  • Hindi –  Chawal.
  • Bengali –  Chaal.
  • Konkani –  Soorev Orovu.
  • Marathi –  Taandul.
  • Oriya –   Chaula.
  • Punjabi –  Chawal.

Paddy  Varieties / Paddy  Cultivars

There are many improved and hybrid paddy varieties grown in India. Some of the popular paddy varieties are given below.

  • CO-51.
  • MCM 100.
  • MCM 101 .
  • R-64, CO-47.
  • DT-36, ADT-37 to 48.
  • ASD-16 to ASD-20.
  • MDU-5.
  • CORH 1.
  • CORH 2.
  • CORH 3.
  • ADTRH 1.
  • Seeraga Samba.
  • Srikakulam Sannalu (RGL-253).
  • Surekha.
  • Surya (BPT-4358).
  • Swarna (MTU-7029).
  • Swarnamukhi (NLR-145).
  • Swathi (NLR-33057).
  • SYE-ER-1 (IET-9296).
  • Tara (IET-9215).
  • Tellahamsa.
  • Terna.
  • Tikkana (NLR-27999).
  • Triguna (IET-12875).
  • Udaya (CR-190-103).
  • Vajram.
  • Vanaprabha (IET-9804).
  • Vasista.
  • PR 111.
  • HKR 47.
  • Hybrid 6201.
  • Ratnagiri 1& 2.
  • CSR 30.
  • Punjab Basmati.
  • Pusa Basmati.
  • pusa 44.

Types of Rice

  • Long Grain Rice.
  • Medium Grain Rice.
  • Short Grain Rice.
  • Red Rice.
  • Black Rice.
  • Basmati Rice.
  • Jasmine Rice.
  • Sticky Rice.
  • Parboiled Rice.
  • Polished Rice.
  • Brown Rice.
  • Forbidden Rice.
  • Wild Rice.

Top Rice Production States in India

  • West Bengal.
  • Uttar Pradesh.
  • Andhra Pradesh plus Telangana.
  • Punjab.
  • Orissa.
  • Bihar.
  • Chhattisgarh.
  • Tamil Nadu.
  • Assam.
  • Haryana.

Climate for Paddy Cultivation

Paddy can be cultivated in tropical climatic conditions as well as in humid to sub-humid areas under sub-tropical and temperate climatic conditions. With good annual rainfall, high humid conditions and under high temperatures, paddy can be grown in most of the soils.

Soil Requirement for Paddy Cultivation

Paddy can be gown on a wide range of soils with low permeability. Sandy loams, clay loams and silty loams soil with well-drainage with low permeability are best suited for paddy cultivation. Soils rich in organic matter with a pH value of 5.0 to 9.0 results high crop yields. However, if you are not sure about the soil type and fertility, you better go for soil test so that any nutrient (like N:P:K) deficiencies can be supplemented during land preparation. Avoid soils that are more prone to waterlogging conditions.

Land Preparation in Paddy Cultivation

The paddy growing field should be prepared thoroughly by 3 to 4 ploughing. You should irrigate, puddle and level the field. You must ensure uniform levelling of the field for better water management to encourage the fast establishment and profused tillering.

Propagation in Paddy Cultivation

Propagation of paddy is done by seeds.

Paddy Sown in Nursery Beds.
Paddy Sown in Nursery Beds.

Seed Rate in Paddy Cultivation

  • Choose disease resistant and quality high yield variety to transplant in the main field.
  • The seed rate of the paddy depends on sowing method, variety, season (Kharif and Rabi), irrigation method (rain-fed or irrigated) and soil type.
  • In case of broadcasting or direct sowing: 8 to 9 kg/acre.
  • In case of the dibbling method: 8 to 10 kg/acre.

For nursery growing seedlings, 11 to 12 kg of paddy required to cover the 500 to 550 sq.meter area which in turn cover a 1-acre area of the main field with seedling transplantation.

Seed Treatment in Paddy Cultivation

Seed treatment of paddy should be carried out protect the crop from seed-borne diseases. Soak the paddy seeds in the solution of carbendazim W.P @ 1 gram/liter of water for 1 day (24 hours). This kind of treatment can protect the rice crop from fungal diseases such as brown spot, root-rot, and blast. Areas where the bacterial leaf blight disease is possible, you can treat the paddy seeds by soaking in a solution of 0.5 grams of streptocycline/ liter water for 11 to 12 hours. Ensure the seeds are properly dried after the treatment under the shade before sowing in the main field.

Sowing Season for Paddy Cultivation

  • High altitude areas: April mid – 1st week of May
  • Mid-altitude areas: May – June.
  • Low altitude areas: June – 1st week of July.
  • For rainfed crop, Nursery Preparation of seedling should be from 15th to 30th May.

Sowing, Planting Methods and  Spacing in Paddy Cultivation

Paddy Transplantation.
Paddy Transplantation.

Method of sowing adopted in paddy cultivation is “Broadcasting method”. Generally, a spacing of 20 to 23 cm between rows is advisable. In case of late sowing,  you can go for spacing of 16 to 18 cm. You should transplant the paddy seedlings when they are at 3 to 4 leaf stage. Generally, paddy seedlings will be ready for transplantation after 1 month of sowing on beds. The paddy seedlings should be transplanted at 2-3 cm depth. For better yields, maintain shallow planting.

Irrigation in Paddy Cultivation

A 5 cm of water depth should be maintained in the paddy field right from 7 days after transplanting till 15 days before harvest. Before applying (broadcasting) fertilizers, you can drain out water to prevent the loss of fertilizer due to runoff. You can water the field 2 days after atop dressing.

Manures and Fertilizers in Paddy Cultivation

Paddy crop responds very well to manures and fertilizers. The N:P:K of 50:12:12 kg per 1 acre should be applied in paddy field (This can be supplied in the form of  (Urea at 110 kg per acre, SSP at 5 kg per acre, and MOP at 20 kg per acre). Commercial rice growers should apply fertilizers based on soil test results. In case of DAP, Urea of 100 kg per acre, DAP of 30 kg per acre and MOP at 20 kg per acre should be applied. Apply full dose and P and K and 1/3rd of N before the last puddling. The second dose of fertilizers should be applied 20 days after paddy transplantation. After 20 days of the second dose of fertilizers, remaining ‘N’ should be applied. For better utilization, neem coated urea is the best option. In case of zinc deficiency, you can apply zinc sulphate monohydrate at the rate of 16 kg per acre at the time of puddling. In areas where there is a scarcity of water, paddy seedlings may turn into yellowish color after 2 to 3 weeks of transplantation. To overcome this problem, immediate irrigation of paddy field should be done along with spraying of ferrous sulphate at 1 kg/100 liter of water per acre, 2 to 3  times with 7 days (weekly). intervals.

Intercultural Operations in Paddy Cultivation

Re-planting of deceased hills need to be performed within 7-10 days of transplanting with seedlings of the exact same age. Pre-emergence Compounds like Butachlor @ 25 kg/Ha may be atop dressed following transplanting to assess the development of weeds. Perform hand weeding at tillering phase, which is 21 to 24 days after transplanting, until use of first atop dressing of fertilizers. Maintaining 5 cm depth of water regularly from rooting phase until 2 weeks prior to harvesting.

Pests and Diseases in Paddy Cultivation

Insect Pests:

Stem Borers:  These insects bore into paddy stem causing the damage. They also feed internally by causing the death of central shoot. Affected paddy plants produce white chaffy earhead at the time flowering. To control this pest, Seedling roots should be dipped in a solution of chlorpyriphos 1 ml in 1 liter of water for 3 to 4 hours before transplanting in the field. Ploughing and destroying the stubbles after harvest can prevent this pest. Apart from this, collect and destroy egg masses in nursery transplants.

Root Knot Nematodes: These are tiny worms and can cause a formation of galls on the roots. This pest attack the paddy crop in early stages of growth. To control this pest, use resistant varities and carry out the appropriate seed treatment. you can clip off affected leaves of paddy if an infestation is noticed on nursery beds.

Plant Hopper: These pests damage the paddy crop by sucking the sap. These pests can reduce the vigor and height of the plants. The affected crop turns into yellow color and eventually dries up. To control this, timely weeding should be carried. Selecting resistant varieties along with adopting recommended spacing may reduce the impact. You can also drain out the paddy field to flush out these insect pests.

Gundhi Bug: These insects suck the sap from the developing grains. This insect mostly attacks where paddy is grown continuously in the same field. You can use bug traps or chemical controls like Chlorpyriphos 2% dust @ 20 kg/ha. This can be done in the morning hours with dusters.

Leaf Folders: This larva pest feed on leaves and grains. To control this, remove weeds and any grasses from the neighboring fields which are the host for these kinds of pests. Case Worms: These caterpillars damage the paddy crop by feeding on leaves and making the leaves to appear in white color. To control this, drain the field water to flush out the insects and tubular cases floating in the field water. As part of a chemical control, Endosulphan solution @ 27ml per 18 liters of water may be sprayed on the paddy crop.

Rice Hispa: These insects are a small blue-green beetle with spines all over the body and damage the paddy crop by scraping the upper surface of leaves. The affected paddy plants appear in white color. To control this, monitor seedlings at nursery stage clip the affected transplants. As part of chemical prevention, you can dip the rice seedlings in Chlorpyriphos of 0.02 % for 30 to 35 minutes before transplanting in the main field. You can also remove weeds and grasses from nearby fields which are alternate hosts for these insect pests.

Army Worms: These caterpillars feed on leaves and can cause a severe infestation in an entire paddy field. You should monitor the crop regularly especially before maturity. Proper water management practices should be carried out. The chemical used in case of stem bores can prevent these caterpillars. However,  by placing straw beds in the paddy field at various locations can trap these hiding caterpillars.

Integrated Pest Management Practices for Paddy Cultivation.

  • Constant monitoring of the field or nursery beds is required for insect pest population and its build up.
  • You should collect egg masses manually and kill them.
  • You should conserve and encourage parasites and predators in the field.
  • You must implement only the selective insecticides.
  • Carry out timely weeding and any other intercultural operations.
  • Better use organic fertilizers rather chemical ones unless it is required.
  • balance fertilizers and proper irrigation practices should be implemented.
  • Always select quality/high yielding and pest resistant varieties.
  • Carry out seed treatment before sowing in the field or on nursery beds.

Diseases in Paddy Cultivation:

Blast: It is a fungal disease can affect the paddy crop in all paddy growth stages. The symptoms of this disease on leaves include eye-shaped spots with grey centers. The infected crop turns black and breaks due to rotting. To prevent this, select disease resistant cultivars (varieties) and avoid applying of heavy nitrogen nutrient. Appropriate seed treatment before sowing can also prevent this paddy disease.

Bacterial Blight: This is a bacterial disease that can affect the paddy crop with typical symptoms of yellow to white lesions on leaves along the margins. This disease can spread very fast especially under high temperatures, windy conditions, and heavy rains. As part of control measurements, sow the disease resistant varieties and avoid applying excessive Nitrogenous fertilizers.

Utbatta Disease: This is a seed borne fungal disease. This disease can cause serious damage of the crop by preventing the grain formation. To control this, disease resistant varities should be used and excessive use of nitrogen should be avoided. Proper seed treatment with Carbendazin @ 1 grams per kg of seed before transplanting in the field.

Sheath Blight: This diseases is soil-borne and initially affects the leaf sheath and under favorable conditions. This can result in lower yields. To control this, maintain recommended plant spacing  and avoid heavy nitrogen  fertilizer.

Harvesting in Paddy Cultivation

Paddy Harvesting by Machine (Picture Source Wikipedia).
Paddy Harvesting by Machine (Picture Source Wikipedia).

Harvesting of paddy should be done when paddy grains and plants turn yellow. You should stop  irrigation at least 2 weeks before harvest. You can cut the crop manually by sickles or by harvesting machine. The harvested crop should be bundled and tied. Let these bundle dry for 2 to 3 days before threshing.

Yield in Paddy Cultivation

Yield of the crop depends on many factors like soil type, season, planting method, variety and other rice cultivation practices.

On an average one can obtain 20 to 30 quintals of paddy per acre.

Post-Harvesting in Paddy Cultivation

Post harvest tasks include  threshing, cleaning, drying, storage in warehouse, milling for rice. You can directly sell paddy to nearest rice mills or government markets. In order to protect the paddy grains from pest and diseases.  mix 500 grams of Neem seed dust with 10 to 12 Kg of seed.

Cost of Paddy Cultivation 

Cost of Paddy Cultivation.
Cost of Paddy Cultivation.

The economics of paddy cultivation mainly depends on variety and market price. To cultivate 1 acre of land, you may incur 20,000 to 22, 000 Indian Rupees (which includes from seed to harvesting).

1 acre gives you  yield of  20 to 30 quintals based on variety (like long or short types).

If you take an average 25 quintals per acre, the net income would be 25 x 2000 (if 1 quintal paddy fetch you 2000 Rs.) = 50,000.

Total profit of paddy per acre = 50,000 – 22,2000 = 28,000 Rs.

Read more here about Polyhouse Cultivation.

Read here about Common Plant Diseases.

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