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Paddy Cultivation

Paddy is a type of grass which belong to cereals families such as corn and wheat. Cultivated paddy is considered as a semiaquatic annual grass. Plant height is ranging from 0.4 m to more than 5 min some floating rice according to variety and environmental condition. According to variety and environmental condition also differ in the growth duration which is around 3 to 6 months. Rice grain is the product of the paddy plant after harvesting process. Rice grain is categorized under carbohydrate in the food pyramid. It is has a lot of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that healthy for health if taken under a suitable portion. Rice is a staple food for more than 3 billion people.

Based on International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in paddy production, there are 3 steps which are pre-planting, growth and postproduction. Pre-panting activities involves choosing the right variety, developing a cropping calendar according to the variety and preparing the rice field for planting. In growth step, important management factors should be considered. These factors include planting method, water, fertilizer, weeds, and pest and disease. Postproduction step in a process after harvesting including drying, storage, and milling to make sure the quality of rice grain is good for marketability.

Seed quality and selection of seed is important as good quality seed can increase yields by 5% to 20%. Good seeds can increase crop emergence, reduced replanting, lower seeding rates and more vigorous early crop growth. Seed quality also is chosen based on the environment, land and water availability. Before the seed is planted, the soil preparation must be in the best physical condition for crop growth and the soil surface must be level. The land needs to be leveled to decrease the amount of water wasted by uneven pockets of too-deep water or exposed soil. Effective land preparation will reduce the amount of effort required to manage the crop and it will increase the rice yields.

Paddy can be planted in a wide range of environment. More than 90% of global rice production is harvested from irrigated or rainfed lowland paddy fields. Irrigated lowland paddy is grown in bunded fields with ensured irrigation for more crops a year. Rainfed lowland paddy is grown in bunded fields that are flooded with rainwater for at least part of cropping season to water depth that exceed 100 cm for no more than 10 days. For upland paddy, it is grown under dryland conditions where no ponded water, without irrigation and without puddling, usually in nonbundled fields.

Crop establishment technique is divided into two which are transplanting and direct seeding. Most popular crop establishment technique in Asia is transplanting. Transplanting technique is a process of transferred pre-germinated seedlings from a seedbed to the wet fields. This technique is an effective method to control weeds but it requires more labor to transfer the seed to the wet field. However, seedling can be transplanted by either machine or hand. The second technique is direct seeding. It involves broadcasting dry seed or seedlings by hand or planting them by machine. In irrigated areas, the seed is normally pre-germinated prior broadcasting while in rainfed areas, the dry seed is manually broadcast onto the soil surface, then incorporated either by plowing or by harrowing while the soil is still dry.

Water use and management are important in paddy cultivation, especially for lowland areas. This is because paddy cultivation is extremely sensitive to water shortages. Farmers mostly need to maintain flooded conditions in their paddy field to ensure the water is sufficient for the paddy plant. In lowland areas, it focuses on conserve water while ensuring sufficient water for the crop. In the rainfed environment, when optimal amounts of water may not available for paddy production, the suitable options is to help the farmers to cope with different degrees and forms of water scarcity.

Harvesting is the process of collecting the mature paddy crop from the field. The paddy plant will reaches maturity at around 105 – 150 days depending on their type of variety or seed. Harvesting activities are including cutting, stacking, handling, threshing, cleaning, and hauling. Harvesting can be done manually or by machine.

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