Robert is an Agribusiness Consultant, who studied Agribusiness Management
Rice is considered one of the major staple foods in countries around the globe and is consumed across all socioeconomic classes. Nowadays it is becoming common to see people shifting to rice from other food alternatives like Maize (Corn Field) and this makes rice consumption to be increasing rapidly in the world. In some people as their daily income level changes, they shift their main food meal to Rice making it to have an ever increasing demand across the world. Much as this is the case, a lot of farmers are looking for various ways which would enable them to grow Rice in the most efficient way. This article will provide you in detail on how to grow Rice and it explains the agronomic requirements for optimal yields.
Rice crop performs well in areas having hot and high humidity climatic conditions and has optimum temperature requirements of 21 to 37 °C, however, it can also be grown in areas which has a temperature as high as 42 °C and still gives a better result. Rice performs better in regions having prolonged sunlight and has optimal germination temperature requirements of a range of 25 to 30℃.
Rice cultivation requires well distributed rainfall having an optimal annual requirement of 1750 mm to 3000 mm. However, it can also be grown in areas having annual rainfall as low as 711.45 mm.
Rice cultivation gives optimal yields when grown on clay or clay loam soils having an optimal soil pH of a range of 6 to 7 with best results be achieved in 6 which is uncommon in most soils.
For best results, make sure you select a good site which have all the rice cultivation ecological requirements. Some people grow Rice on lowland, which are areas very close to flood places) while others grow Rice in uplands, which are areas having 700 mm of rainfall annually and has good soil fertility. The key point here is that, the site where you want to select, should match all the required conditions for growing Rice as stated in adaptability section.
Make sure you select good and healthy seeds with high germination percentages at least 80% to reduce the extra cost in Rice production. The best way to do this, is by buying certified Rice seeds from certified companies in your local area.
Dormancy is a problem in Rice cultivation, and is defined as the inability of a seed to germinate under good conditions required for germination. Dormancy in Rice is solved by heating to a temperature around 50 °C. Alternatively, you can also break the dormancy in Rice by soaking the Rice in a concentrated nitric acid for a period of 16 to 24 hours. Concentration percentage of nitric acid should be 69% per litter of water.
Three methods can be used to plant rice, namely; Drill, Broadcast and Dibble. For straight row planting and optimum plant population, make sure you use the Drilling and Dibbling methods.
Time of sowing
A time to plant depends on the place where you want to cultivate your Rice as lowland closest to flood area has moisture all the time suitable for growing Rice, while upland areas will have to wait for rain season. In case you want to grow Rice in rain period, make sure you plant your Rice at the beginning of the rainy season.
Transplanting of Rice
Rice can be sown in a nursery bed and when all the seedlings have germinated, you can transfer them to the main field. This method works best when you want to cultivate Rice on a small piece of land, but it becomes tiresome when you want to grow more hectares of land and you want doing transplanting manually. Transplanting has a potential of ensuring uniformity of plant growth and it also protect Rice against weeds.
Before any application of fertilizer is done on your Rice plant, make sure you conduct the soil analysis to be able to know the right type and quantity of fertilizer to apply to your Rice field. For lowland Rice production, it is recommended to apply 60 to 80 kg of nitrogen per hectare and 13 kg of phosphorus per hectare. It is recommended to apply 4 bags of N-P-K fertilizer per hectare of Rice to achieve required nutrients. Similarly, you can also apply similar quantity in uplands Rice cultivation.
In Rice cultivation it is recommended to weed the Rice field 2 times in 3 to 6 weeks and this can be done manually using a hoe. Herbicides can also be used to control the weeds in Rice field, but make sure you follow the required instructions.
From the time of planting, the Rice harvesting starts in a range of 125 to 136 days depending on type of varieties and other factors. Each plant is able to produce 70 to 100 grains. Harvesting is done by cutting the rice stem close to the base and this can be done using a sickle.