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close this bookBetter Farming Series 21- Wet Paddy or Swamp Rice (FAO - INADES, 1977, 40 p.)
close this folderTaking care of the rice field
View the documentWeeding
View the documentFlooding and draining
View the documentApplying fertilizers
View the documentProtecting the rice from pests


30. Why must weeds be removed?

Weeds take mineral salts out of the soil, so the rice cannot use them and will be undernourished. Weeds get in the way of harvesting. Weeds prevent the rice from growing and tillering well.

What does tillering mean? We say the rice tillers when It develop several stems on the same plant. The buds at the bottom of the stem develop and make new stems.

After tillering, each grain you have sown will have several stems, and every stem makes a panicle (or head) of rice. But weeds prevent tillering.

Why must weeds be removed

31. When to weed.

If you have flooded your field before transplanting, no weeds will have grown. But when you transplant, you drain the water away, and then the weeds can grow.

Weed 2 weeks after transplanting. Pull the weeds out by hand.

Later more weeds will have grown. You must weed again.

Every time when weeds have grown, you must pull them out.

This means a lot of work, but costs no money. Rice grows much better in a field without weeds, and you will get a much bigger yield.

Flooding and draining

32. Flooding.

If you want water in any particular check, block up the main irrigation channel with earth. The water then flows into the distribution channel.

Make a hole in the levee of the check you want to flood Block up the distribution channel with earth. The water will flood the check.

When there is a good depth of water in the check, close the hole in the levee, open the distribution channel and flood the next check.


33. Draining.

When you want the water to flow out of a check, you can make a hole in the levee that divides the check from the feeder drain. Or you can push a pipe through the levee, for example a bamboo, to connect the check with the drain .


To connect the check with the drain

34. When to flood and drain.

In order to produce a higher yield, the rice must constantly stand in water.

But It Is wrong to flood the field always to the same depth of water.

For the first 6 to 8 days after transplanting, leave the soil a liquid mud.
If the soil becomes dry, let in only a little water.

About a week after transplanting, when the rice has begun to grow, flood the field with 2 to 3 centimetres of water and leave for 45 days.

But, twice during these 45 days, drain the field in order to apply fertilizers.

Each time, drain for 2 days.

After 45 days, that is, 2 months after transplanting, increase the depth of water to 10 centimetres.

When the panicles have formed and are turning yellow, the rice field must always be well flooded. It should have about 20 centimetres of water.

Afterwards gradually make the water less deep.

10 days before harvesting, drain all the water away.

Drain all the water away

Applying fertilizers

35. 2 weeks after transplanting, pull out the weeds. Drain all the water away. Apply 100 kilogrammes of ammonium sulfate for every hectare of rice field. This fertilizer contains nitrogen. When the panicles are forming, drain and apply 50 kilogrammes of ammonium sulfate for every hectare.

Protecting the rice from pests

36. Rata and birds often do much damage to rice nerds.

They eat the grains. It is difficult to keep off these pests.

You can have a watchman near the field. Noise can frighten the birds away. Rice fields must be watched especially at the time when the grain begins to ripen.

There are also certain insects that damage rice, for example rice borers which lay their eggs on the leaves. When they grow, they eat through the stem. When you see stems going white, apply BHC and Aldrin, a product which can kill these insects. Ask your extension service for this product.