Experts of the Agriculture Department, Punjab Agricultural University and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) are jointly make efforts to increase the area under direct seeding of rice (DSR) in the district. The farmers, who seeded rice crops directly, faced several issues and many of them again returned to the puddling method to transplant the paddy.

Taking it as a challenge, this year agricultural experts came up with the “tar-wattar” (high moisture condition) technique to address the issue of seed germination.

Dr Narinderpal Singh, district extension specialist at Farm Advisory Service Center, KVK, Amritsar, said, “Germination of seed was the major issue being faced by farmers in direct sowing of rice. The farmers used to sow the paddy seeds in optimum moisture, which is good for the wheat germination but not for the paddy seed. The paddy seed needs high moisture. The farmers should irrigate the field and then sow the seeds before it gets dry. It can be measured if tractor tyre tread forms a similar texture on the clay in the field. Then it is accurate moisture to sow the paddy seeds.”

Experts at Farm Advisory Service Center asked to prefer ‘Lucky Seed Drill’ which sow rice and spray pre-emergence herbicide simultaneously. Lucky seed drill (with press wheel attachment) helps in solving the problem of krand formation, conserves soil moisture for a longer period and enhances efficiency of applied herbicide. If this machine is not available, then use conventional rice seed drills fitted with an inclined plate metering mechanism and spray herbicide immediately after sowing. Press wheels can also be fitted to any existing rice drill. The experts advocate placing seed at 3 to 4 cm for good germination of seeds.

Last year the district witnessed an increase in the area under DSR due to shortage of labour after outbreak of Covid. The experts claimed that when some farmers sow the paddy for the first time he faces several problems such as germination, weeds and low yield. Some of them return to the puddling method but those repeat it for a few years, they become experts to address all the problems with their first-hand experience.

“The puddling technique should be replaced with direct sowing as it needs a lot of water. It affects the water recharging process and hardens the soil, which further leads to aeration to roots of plants. It is our agenda to motivate maximum farmers for DSR to save the water and ecology system”.

Source: 08 June, 2021, The Tribune