Context: The Punjab government has announced a Rs 1,500 per acre incentive to farmers for adopting the DSR method.
- But they are returning to the traditional method of puddled transplanting of rice in majority of the paddy area.
Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR):
- In DSR, the pre-germinated seeds are directly drilled into the field by a tractor-powered machine.
- There is no nursery preparation or transplantation involved in this method.
- Farmers have to only level their land and give one pre-sowing irrigation.
- In transplanting paddy, farmers prepare nurseries where the paddy seeds are first sown and raised into young plants.
- The nursery seed bed is 5-10% of the area to be transplanted.
- These seedlings are then uprooted and replanted 25-35 days later in the puddled field.
Advantage with Direct Seeding of Rice
- Water savings
- Less numbers of labourers required.
- Saves labour cost.
- Reduce methane emissions due to a shorter flooding period and decreased soil disturbance compared to transplanting rice seedlings.
Drawbacks of Direct Seeding of Rice
- Non-availability of herbicides
- The seed requirement for DSR is also high, 8-10 kg/acre, compared to 4-5 kg/acre in transplanting.
- Further, laser land levelling is compulsory in DSR. This is not so in transplanting.
- The sowing needs to be done timely so that the plants have come out properly before the monsoon rains arrive.
- Weed management plays a big role in harvesting a successful crop in DSR. This is because the technique doesn’t require flood irrigation for three weeks after sowing, and weeds tend to grow easily, unlike the conventional method.
Source: The Indian Express