As is the case in many other commercial crops, commercial growing of rice can start either by direct sowing of seeds or by raising the plants in nurseries and then transplanting them in a field free from weeds. There are pros and cons for each method. In a few words, direct broadcast seeding is a cost effective and quick method, but results in greater problems afterwards. Transplanting the plants is a cost heavy method, but results in a plantation free from weeds. Moreover, through the transplanting method, the proper and predefined distances between the plants ensures the proper aeration of the crop. It also ensures that there is enough room for every plant to grow.
Direct seeding: In a few words, we need on average about 220 to 350 lbs (100 – 160 kg) of seeds per hectare. In some varieties, we may need 485 to 550 lbs. (220-250 kg) of seeds per hectare. In most cases, the seeds have been germinated and incubated 1-2 days before the direct seeding. We plant the seeds linearly, leaving a distance of 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm). between seeds. Then, we let the water fill our field either immediately or about 8-12 days after the direct seeding is completed (ask a local certified professional Agronomist).
Transplant: We should have in mind that we need a seedbed with an area of 2-10% of the field where we want to finally transplant our rice plants. If our field is 10 hectares (100.000 square meters), our seedbed should be at least 0.2 hectares. We need about 1500 lbs (700 kg) of seeds per hectare of seedbed (this can range heavily depending on our variety). We sow in lines that have a distance of 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm). Once we have finished the sowing in the seedbed, we let the water fill the seedbed at a maximum depth of 2 inches (5 cm). Rice plants are kept to the nursery from 15 to 40 days (depending on the biological cycle of the variety). The rice plants are normally ready to be transplanted when they reach a height of 8 to 12 inches (20-28 cm). We transplant them in the field linearly in a 8 inches X 8 inches (20cm X 20cm) scheme (8 inches distance between the plants in the row and 8 inches distance between every row).
Rice Planting, Seeding Requirements – Seed Rate of Rice
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