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Direct Seeding of Rice

Context:

Recently, the state of Punjab was unable to achieve its target in the water-saving method (direct-seeded rice).

Relevance:

GS III- Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is DSR?
  2. How much water can DSR help save?
  3. Advantages of DSR tech
  4. Disadvantages of DSR tech

What is DSR?

Direct Seeding of Rice (DRS):

  • Direct Seeded Rice(DSR), also known as the ‘broadcasting seed technique,‘ is a water-saving method of sowing paddy.
  • In DSR, a tractor-powered machine drills the pre-germinated seeds straight into the field.
  • This procedure does not require nursery preparation or transplantation.
  • Farmers only need to level their soil and apply pre-sowing irrigation once.

Normal Paddy Transplanting:

  • Farmers create nurseries where paddy seeds are first sowed and nurtured into young plants before transplanting paddy.
  • The nursery seed bed takes up 5-10% of the transplanted area.
  • These seedlings are then pulled and transplanted on the puddled land 25-35 days later.

How much water can DSR help save?

  • According to an analysis by the Punjab Agriculture University, DSR technique can help save 15% to 20% water. In some cases, water saving can reach 22% to 23%.
  • With DSR,15-18 irrigation rounds are required against 25 to 27 irrigation rounds in traditional method.
  • Since area under rice in Punjab is almost stagnant around 3 million hectares for the last three to four years, DSR can save 810 to 1,080 billion litres water every year if entire rice crop is brought under the technique.

Advantages of DSR tech:

  • Solve labour shortage problem: Like the traditional method it does not require a paddy nursery and transplantion of 30 days old paddy nursery into the main puddled field. With DSR, paddy seeds are sown directly with machine.
  • Offers avenues for ground water recharge: It prevent the development of hard crust just beneath the plough layer due to puddled transplanting and it matures 7-10 days earlier than puddle transplanted crop, therefore giving more time for management of paddy straw.
  • Higher yield: A PAU study said that results from research trials and farmers’ field survey have also indicated that yield, after DSR, are one to two quintals per acre higher than puddled transplanted rice.

Disadvantages of DSR tech;

  • Suitability: This is the most significant element since farmers must not seed it in light textured soils because this approach is only suitable for medium to heavy textured soils such as sandy loam, loam, clay loam, and silt loam, which make up around 80% of the state’s land.
    • Avoid using this approach in fields that were previously planted with crops other than rice (such as cotton, maize, or sugarcane), as DSR on these soils is more likely to suffer from iron deficiency and weed problems.
  • Compulsory Laser and Leveling: The field should be levelled with a laser.
  • Herbicide Spraying: Herbicide spraying must be done at the same time as sowing and the initial irrigation.

-Source: Indian Express


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