There are over 7000 rice varieties that are cultivated nowadays. As a rule of thumb, we need a large supply of water and low labor costs (or mechanical means of production) in order to establish a successful commercial rice field.
There are mainly 3 ways to grow rice:
- Lowland or Paddy rice cultivation (the majority of worldwide commercial rice cropland). Rice is grown in a land that is flooded, either rain-fed or irrigated. The depth of water ranges from 2 to 20 inches (5 to 50 cm).
- Floating and deepwater rice. Rice is grown in land that is highly flooded. The depth of water exceeds 20 inches (50 cm) and can reach 200 inches (5 meters). Only certain rice varieties can be grown this way.
- Upland rice cultivation (a very small percentage of world rice cropland). Rice is grown in non-flooded land, and the crop depends highly on raining water. Natural rainfall is the only way to irrigate these fields. In such a case, we must take into consideration that there should be a 3 to 4 months period of frequent rainfall, something that is absolutely necessary so that the plants can develop properly.
In general, water protects the rice plants from extreme cold and heat. The water also prevents weeds from growing.
How to grow Rice – Rice Complete Growing Guide from Seeding to Harvest
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