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Land Preparation

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  • Land preparation is done by ploughing, harrowing, and levelling the field to make it suitable for crop establishment.
  • Ploughing should be done 3-4 weeks prior to sowing.
  • Plough your field upto 12-15 cms deep and make sure the weeds and the stubbles get incorporated in the soil and get decomposed. This is necessary to avoid the self sown seeds to grow and become admixtures.
  • Draft animals, such as oxen, 2-wheel tractors or 4-wheel tractors or rotavator can all be used for ploughing the land effectively.
  • Implements used for ploughing are mouldboard plough, disc plough, sub- soiler etc.
  • After ploughing, harrowing the field should be done twice, with one week gap between the two. First harrowing should be done after 1 week of ploughing. The second harrowing should be done across the first harrowing.
  • Implements used for harrowing are Spike tooth harrow, Chain harrow, Disc harrow, Inter-cultivating harrow.
  • Generally rice fields are first flooded with water before tillage. This tillage of flooded soil is referred to as puddling. Puddling is very efficient in clay soils that form deep cracks penetrating the plough pan at about 15 to 20 cm soil depth during the period of soil drying before land preparation.
  • Land should be levelled after ploughing and harrowing is done so as to avoid undulating topography which leads to uneven distribution of water and others. Levelling with laser leveler helps in saving water and ensure uniform crop growth.
  • The land should be submerged in 2-5 cms of standing water so that pudding is done and decomposition of organic matter occurs soon.
  • Bunds should be prepared and cleaned thoroughly to check weed growth as they harbour pests and diseases.
  • Bunds should be compacted to prevent seepage, and properly maintained at 15 cm height x 20 cm width to prevent rat burrowing.
  • Once you complete all these activities, you can now go for transplanting / direct seeding.
  • A fallow period of at least a month from harvest to establishment of the next crop has to be there. This can break the pest cycle and facilitate the success of crop management practices.

File Courtesy: 
Shaik N. Meera, R. Mahender Kumar, P. Muthuraman, L.V. Subba Rao and B.C. Viraktamath (2014). A Handbook of Package of Practices for Rice. Directorate of Rice Research, Book No. 80/2014. p.365.
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