|Low-external Input Rice Production (IIRR)|
Seeds for planting constitute a considerable portion of a farmer's production inputs. Ordinary seeds cost from P5.00-P5.50/kg; certified seeds can cost as much as P8.00-P10/kg. Although the production of rice seeds for planting requires more special care than production of rice grain for food, it is possible for the farmer to produce seeds right in the farm. These simple procedures guarantee reduction in production costs and a steady source of quality seeds for planting.
1. Seed and Area Requirement. Estimate the farmer's production per unit area. For example, if the farmer produces 100 cavans/ha (10,000 sq.m), then he needs 100 sq.m to produce 1 cavan (50 kg). If seeds are of high quality, 1 cavan is often sufficient to plant 1 hectare (for most cultivars). Thus, if the farmer needs to plant 5 hectares, then a 500 sq.m seed production area would be required to harvest 5 cavans of seeds.
Seed and Area Requirement
2. Site Selection and Preparation. Select the best area within the field for seed production. It should be near the water source, with good drainage and accessible. The soil should be free from weeds, relatively fertile and well-prepared. Mark the required seed production area.
3. Transplanting. If possible, use only seedlings of high quality (high viability, pure, healthy, etc.) seeds. To ensure uniformity of growth end easy identification of off-types, transplant only 1 seedling/hill, in straight rows.
Ideally, plant the whole area with the cultivar of interest to avoid contamination. However, if there are not enough seeds of the desired variety, keep the designated seed production area at least 5 m away from other cultivars.
If using certified seeds, seeds of the same variety which are not certified can be planted around it. However, 4-5 rows surrounding the seed production area should be planted with the same certified seeds. These border rows will act as "screen," but seeds coming from them will not be used for planting.
4. Field/Crop Maintenance. Visit. the area several times during the growing season especially from tillering up to harvesting. Pull out unwanted plants such as off-types (see box), weeds and other crops. Follow regular soil management (fertilization, irrigation, etc.) and crop protection practices to ensure healthy crops.
5. Harvesting. To avoid contamination and possible mixture, harvest the designated seed production area first before the rest of the field. Seeds can be harvested a few days earlier than the usual harvest time without sacrificing quality.
6. Threshing, Cleaning, Drying. Process the seeds produced from the designated seed production area separately. Be sure to clean the thresher, drying surfaces and seed container properly such that they are completely devoid of other seeds and other contaminants. Keep seeds of different cultivars well-dried and distinctly labeled in separate containers.
PULL OUT THESE OFF-TYPES:
1. All plants growing outside or between the rows -- whether
rice or weeds.
2. At tillering stage, all plants not having the same height, average tiller number, stem and leaf color as the majority.
3. At flowering stage, all plants not having the same height, average tiller number, stem and leaf color, average flowering time, flag leaf length and angle as the majority.
4. At harvesting stage, all plants not having the same height, average tiller number, average maturity, color, size, shape of grains end presence of own, flag leaf length and angle as the majority.