Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rice farming - June 2013 season

I have been doing rice farming since 2010, but failed miserably,so far, but had a great learning. To summarise, in 2010 it was transplanting into a field full of weeds which completely failed, because of weeds completely took over the fields and plant density was too low. From half an acre, I got just 4Kgs of paddy. In 2011, I did it very minimally on raised bed, it was completely grazed by cows. In 2012, I had tilled the land and put different varieties of upland rice, in two fields weeds completely took over and in another field, in some area it grew, and just got 16 Kgs of paddy. In this case, the failure was because of poor plant density and weeds had taken over. I did weeding, but it had delayed, so grass took over. This year I wanted to continue my experiments but minimally, documenting it in photos allow me to review the issues again and again.

In this season, I just tried on some areas...

1. Kattuyanam transplanting with light tilling

In one area of the farm I had grown sunhemp for a complete year and completely left it without doing anything. In the summer sunhemp/grass had completely dried and it was a good start for rice farming. This area is upland, water does not get stagnated so not ideally suitable for normal rice, not sure how kattuyanam will come up. In a small area, I just removed the mulch using a rake tool and slighly raked the soil and transplanted about 3 weeks old, kattuyanam seedlings. Around 375gms of kattuyanam was  put in the nursery for this. Seedlings were not enough for this complete area, and in a small area, just broadcasted the seeds and raked the soil. Chickens sensed this and they were eating the seeds, but since seeds were hidden in the soil, they couldn't get all, so some has come up. Since I removed the mulch and land was completely naked, I just planted a few leguminous plants - one is Desmodium Scorpiurus and other one is Wild black gram.

Seeds were put on the nursery on June 1st, transplanting done on June 22

Aug 2,2013

Field after 2 months..

Some weeds are seen at the ground, but anyway paddy has become tall so weeds won't compete

Aug 25,2013

Rains have stopped and field has gone dry, since there is no mulch at the ground, water retention is bad.
I had moved the mulch to the side to make the planting easier.

Of late, this area was not having enough water and plants were turning yellowish. Also since sunlight was less, it was not flowering, so it was not a good idea to do kattuyanam in this area. 
Because of lack of water this didn't give any yield

2. Upland rice Vysakh sown in grass growing area

In one area of the farm which has not been tilled for an year, I just cut the grass and creepers were removed and then sown Vysakh rice seeds densely. Weeds had started coming by this time. Rice seeds has come up, but as usual weeds has taken over. No weeding was done, just left it as it is, since weeding strong grasses like crab grass, bermuda grass etc are difficult to handle. Crab grass has a very strong root system, it is not easy to handle them.

The activities were completed by June 10th

Aug 25,2013

Here since there was mulch, moisture is not a problem

Sept 22, 2013

I will get some harvest from this completely no-tilled rice, but it will be far from a decent yield. But there are many things to improve on this - applying some cowdung or chicken manure, having a cover crop, and proper timing so that putting rice before any weeds come out.

Finally I was little late for harvest and peacocks harvested this completely.

3. Kattuyanam transplanting to tilled area

In around 10 cents, I and helpers tilled the land using spade and then transplanted the kattuyanam seedlings. When there was enough water, spading was easy. Similarly transplanting was also easy when there was water released from from irrigation pond. Transplanting was completed as of July 15th, seedlings were around 3 weeks old. I think it is better done at very early stages, like SRI method, since the seedlings were getting broken while transplanting. Two/or three seedlings were put at one place.

Aug 2, 2013

Since there is heavy rain, there is enough water and because of standing water, there is less weeds.

Aug 25,2013

Sept 22, 2013

There is planty of rain this time, so 6 months kattuyanam is doing well.

November 13,2013

By November 20, it will be 5 months, but still no flowers are seen. Checked with Karikalan and he says it will flower at 5th month and will mature in 1 month. So just waiting...

December 15,2013

strong wind was there and plants completely fallen down..rice in milky stage. Finally when harvested, most of the paddy seeds were void, as some insects had sucked the milk, just got some seeds.

 Have very thick mulch in the field

Kuttadan on raised bed

I just put a handfull of Kuttadan rice seeds in a raised bed...just wanted to see how they come up. Seeds were put on July 28,2013.

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