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Aerobic system of Rice cultivation

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Technology 13: 

Aerobic system of  Rice cultivation 

DRRDhan44 under aerobic system- 54% water saving – Nandaram, Vikarabad Dist. Telangana

Broadcasting Aerobic Rice – Machilipatnam Guntur Dist, Sprinkler System, Ananthapur Dist. Andhra Pradesh

Technology Profile 

Aerobic rice is a viable option where the shortage of water does not allow the growing of lowland rice. It is growing rice like an upland crop, such as wheat, on non-flooded aerobic soils without stress, thereby eliminating continuous seepage and percolation and greatly reducing evaporation. 

Brief description of the technology 

  • The cultivation package developed, recommended, demonstrated and implemented by the farmers included 
  • High yielding drought tolerant short duration varieties e.g., DRRDhan42, DRRDhan 44 and DRRDhan46 @20-30kg/ha seed rate
  • Well ploughed, and no or very little clods/clumps in field is required like any dry land crops.
  • Sowing by dibbling or drilling at 2-3 cm depth, at a spacing of 20-25 X5cm for HYVs and 25-30X10  cm for Hybrids.
  • Pre-sowing herbicide application of Glyphophate @2.5 to 5 l/ha in the main field 15 days before field preparation. Application of pendimethalin @ /ha within 3 days of sowing and penoxsulam+cyhalotofop butyl @2.5 l/ha. at  20-30 DAS (2-4 leaf stage of weeds)
  • 50%Nitrogen should be applied at 10-12 days after rice emergence, 25% at maximum vegetative stage (45 DAS), 25% N, 25% K at 50% flowering stage is recommended. If Iron deficiency is noticed, spraying of ferrous sulphate @2.0% ferrous sulphate 3 to 4 times at weekly interval.
  • Upon noticing visible symptoms of hairline cracks on soil surface, irrigation is needed to maintain soil at field capacity. Maintenance of saturated condition at critical stages of Active Tillering,Panicle Initiation, Flowering to grain filling stage is essential.
  • Need based application of plant protection chemicals


Need: This can increase cropping intensity and income by growing short duration aerobic rice in kharif and safflower/sunflower in early rabi and vegetables in summer season where water scarcity, labor scarcity, high labor wages and poor economic status of farmers is a problem.

Existing practices: When water is limited farmers donot grow rice though they are in need of the staple Crop. Majority of the rice farmers practice flooding irrigation. 

Areas: Wasting of precious water with wrong notion that flooding is compulsory for rice. In majority of the rice growing areas in Telangana and Andhrapradesh. 

Empirical Evidences

Demonstration yields and incomes 

  • Water saving of 30 to 56% compared to conventional flooded irrigation. Aerobic rice requires only  470 to 644 mm water
  • By reduced cost of cultivation with Opportunity costs with fertilizers, pesticides
  • By way of increasing cropping intensity, crop productivity and income

Practical utility/Scalability 

Demonstrations were successful and other rice farmers in the Demo villages are asking for provision of technology and inputs.

Some Progressive farmers are practicing aerobic rice cultivation successfully even with drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation 

Technology / Concept developed by Dr. B. Sreedevi and team



Related Terms: EISProduction Know How
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