Rice

Rice

Rice is grown in States like Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. The type of rice that should be planted in your region depends on the altitude of your region and whether you are living in an upland or lowland area. Rice is one of the chief grains of India. Moreover, this country has one of the biggest area under rice cultivation, as it is one of the main food crops. It is in fact the dominant crop of the country. India is one of the leading producers of this crop. Rice is the basic food crop and being a tropical plant, it flourishes comfortably in hot and humid climate. Rice is mainly grown in rain fed areas that receive heavy rainfall. That is why it is fundamentally a kharif crop in India. It wants temperature of around 25 degree Celsius and above and rainfall of more than 100 cm.

Rice is also grown through irrigation in those areas that receives comparatively less rainfall. Rice is the staple food of eastern and southern parts of India. In 2009-10 total rice production in India is estimated to 89.13 million tonnes, which was much less than production of previous year, 99.18 million tones.

Upland areas are dry or semi-dry and don't have supplementary irrigation facilities. Here farmers depend on rain to irrigate their fields. After ploughing, farmland manure is distributed uniformly around 2 to 3 weeks before sowing. The seed is sown immediately after the onset of the monsoon showers by broadcasting the seed, sowing the seed behind the plough or drilling. Seeds should be sown 20 cm row to row (5gm seed / 3 meter row). The best form of cultivation is line sowing as it leads to easy weeding, intercultural and requires a reduced seed-rate. In States like Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, the system of 'Beushening' is common. This involves cross ploughing the dry seeded standing crop after the fields get filled with around 15 to 20 centimeters of rain water. This helps in controlling weeds and adjusting population. More information on controlling weeds and adjusting population(External website that opens in a new window).

There are around 2,00,000 varieties of rice in India where around 4,000 are cultivated. The type of rice grown in different parts of India depends on the weather, soil and structure. India has the world's largest harvesting area for rice. Rice cultivation in India is in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha and Bihar being the chief rice producing States.

Basmati Rice is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, Sona Masuri in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Molakolukulu in Andhra Pradesh, Patna Rice in Bihar and AmbeMohor in Maharashtra. Other popular varieties of rice are Champa rice, Ponni Rice, Sujatha and Raja Hansa.

The use of hybrid rice is a new development in India. Hybrid rice is the commercial rice crop from F1 seeds of cross between two genetically different parents. Good rice hybrids may yield up to 15-20 per cent more than the best inbred variety grown under similar conditions. Hybrid rice is not used much in India because farmers need to buy fresh seeds every cropping season and the rice also cooks slowly.


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