Paddy for marketability. Seed quality and selection of

Paddy is a type of grass which belong to cereals family 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 m in 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 food
pyramid. It is has a lot of minerals, vitamins and nutrients that healthy for health
if take under suitable portion. Rice is 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.

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            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 need to
be leveled to decrease the amount of water wasted by uneven pockets of too-deep
water or exposed soil. Effective land preparation will reduces the amount of
effort required to manage the crop and it will increase the rice yields.

            Paddy can
be planted in 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 nonbunded fields.

Crop establishment technique are
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 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. Second technique is direct seeding. It
involves broadcasting dry seed or seedlings by hand or planting them by
machine. In irrigated areas, seed is normally pre-germinated prior to
broadcasting while in rainfed areas, dry seed is manually broadcast onto the
soil surface, then incorporated either by ploughing or by harrowing while the
soil is still dry.

Water use and management is
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 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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