Japon­ica rice pro­duc­tion

Agriculture - - Contents - BY MIRIAM DU-BAL­TAZAR, Ph.D.

The cul­tural man­age­ment prac­tices for Japon­ica rice pro­duc­tion are rel­a­tively sim­i­lar to that of Indica. How­ever, Japon­ica rice com­mands higher prices than the typ­i­cal Indica va­ri­eties be­cause of its ex­cel­lent eat­ing qual­ity, mak­ing it more prof­itable for farm­ers.

Cul­ti­vat­ing Japon­ica rice in Cavite would gen­er­ate in­creased in­come for farm­ers. Of the three Japon­ica va­ri­eties, MS 11 gives the best profit, both as raw palay or milled rice in both sea­sons. Japon­ica 1 and Japon­ica 2 are prefer­ably cul­ti­vated dur­ing the dry sea­son rather than in the wet sea­son. A higher in­come can be ob­served if farm­ers sell ttheir pro­duce as milled rice in­stead of as raw palay. Their in­di­vid­ual an­nual net in­come can reach R113,059.22 from raw palay and R179,018.37 from milled rice from a one hectare Japon­ica rice field.

STEPS IN PRO­DUC­ING JAPON­ICA RICE The steps to fol­low in pro­duc­ing Japon­ica rice in­clude the choice of seeds; land prepa­ra­tion; seedling prepa­ra­tion and trans­plant­ing; fer­til­izer ap­pli­ca­tion; wa­ter man­age­ment; weed man­age­ment; pest man­age­ment; har­vest­ing and thresh­ing; dry­ing and stor­ing; and milling.

1. Choice of seeds: Use filled, healthy and good qual­ity seeds with high per­cent­ages of ger­mi­na­tion. Sources of good seeds are the In­ter­na­tional Rice Re­search In­sti­tute (IRRI) and the Philip­pine Rice Re­search In­sti­tute (PhilRice).

2. Land prepa­ra­tion: Pre­pare the land 2–3 weeks prior to trans­plant­ing to en­sure that weed emer­gence is sup­pressed. Plow the field 21 days be­fore trans­plant­ing (DBT) at a depth of ap­prox­i­mately 10–15 cen­time­ters (cm). If pos­si­ble, ap­ply rice straw and other crop residues be­fore plow­ing. Har­row the field 1 week af­ter plow­ing and re­peat 1–2 DBT fol­lowed by lev­el­ing.

3. Seedling prepa­ra­tion and trans­plant­ing

(Wet-bed method) • Seedbed prepa­ra­tion: Se­lect a site near the main field with good wa­ter sup­ply and ac­cess to full sun­light. Use a 400 square me­ter (m2) seedbed for ev­ery 1 hectare of field to be trans­planted. Use 20-30 kilo­grams (kg) of seeds. For easy man­age­ment, the seedbed must be 1.5–2 me­ters (m) wide.

Ir­ri­gate the area for one week then plow and har­row thrice 21 days be­fore sow­ing. Con­struct small canals of 0.4 m wide in be­tween seedbed plots. Col­lect the soil from con­structed ir­ri­ga­tion canals and put on the bed to raise it to 5 cm above the orig­i­nal soil level. In­cor­po­rate 30–40 bags (600–800 kg) of mixed rice hull and car­bonized rice hull mix­ture for healthy seedling growth and eas­ier pulling. • Seed prepa­ra­tion: Soak the seeds in clean wa­ter for 24 hours. Change the wa­ter ev­ery 6 hours to avoid fer­men­ta­tion. The seeds may also be placed in run­ning wa­ter. Re­move the seeds from the wa­ter and place them in a clean con­tainer. Cover and keep air­tight for 12–24 or un­til “white dots” or swollen em­bryos are ob­served.

• Sow­ing and seedling man­age­ment: Broad­cast the pregermi­nated seeds onto the seedbed. Main­tain ir­ri­ga­tion in the small canals be­tween the seedbed plots. Af­ter 10 days, ap­ply 1.6 kg of 14-14-14 and 3.2 kg 46-0-0 fer­til­izer. Safe­guard the grow­ing seedlings from dis­eases by us­ing the rec­om­mended in­sec­ti­cide or fungi­cide; snails can be thwarted by ap­ply­ing mol­lus­ci­cide. Keep birds away by plac­ing old VHS or cas­sette tape rib­bons (or any­thing shiny that could scare birds) around the seedbed.

• Pulling and trans­plant­ing: Trans­plant the 18–21 day old seedlings. Pull the seedlings on the seedbed 1 DBT. Pull them care­fully with few seedlings at a time to re­duce root dam­age. Re­move the soils that ad­hered to the roots by wash­ing them with wa­ter. Bun­dle the seedlings in con­ve­nient sizes for easy han­dling dur­ing trans­plant­ing. Trans­port the bun­dled seedlings to the field where they will be trans­planted. Han­dle the seedlings care­fully to en­able them to quickly re­cover from stress. Trans­plant 2–3 seedlings per hill at a depth of 2–3 cm, with a plant­ing dis­tance of 20 x 20 cm. Re­plant miss­ing or dead hills within 7 days.

(‘Da­pog’ method)

• Seedbed prepa­ra­tion: The lo­ca­tion and size of the seedbed are sim­i­lar to that of the wet-bed method. Use 40–60 kg of seeds. Plow and har­row once to pre­pare the land. Ir­ri­gate the soil sur­face. Out­line the bed area us­ing string and bam­boo stakes. Col­lect mud around the out­lined area then trans­fer it to the bed to raise it to 4–5 cm above the orig­i­nal soil level. Smooth and level the sur­face of the seedbed. Sur­round the seedbed with ba­nana bracts or thin ply­wood about 25 cm high. Al­low 1 day for the mud in the seedbed to set­tle then cover it with plas­tic sheets.

• Seed prepa­ra­tion: Soak the seeds in clean wa­ter for 24 hours or place them in run­ning wa­ter. The wa­ter should be changed ev­ery 6 hours to avoid fer­men­ta­tion. Re­move the seeds from the wa­ter. Trans­fer the seeds to a clean con­tainer. Cover and keep it air­tight for 12–24 hours or un­til “white dots” or swollen em­bryos are ob­served.

• Sow­ing and seedling man­age­ment: Broad­cast the seeds onto the seedbed. Pack the seeds to make a uni­form layer of 3 seeds

thick. Use a sprin­kler to wa­ter the seeds thrice daily. Press the seeds gen­tly with a wooden board daily un­til the fourth day. This main­tains even ger­mi­na­tion and keeps the roots of the seedling in con­tact with the plas­tic sheet. Ir­ri­gate the seedbed con­tin­u­ously to a 1-2 cm wa­ter level. Ap­ply rec­om­mended in­sec­ti­cide on the seedbed and around it at 5 and 10 days af­ter sow­ing (DAS). Ac­tiv­i­ties to pre­vent dis­eases and pests from in­fest­ing the bed are sim­i­lar to those used in the wet-bed method.

• Trans­plant­ing: Trans­plant the seedlings when they are 10–12 days old. Loosen and roll the da­pog into a con­ve­nient bun­dle. Roll the da­pog with the leaves turned in­ward and roots out­ward. Bring the da­pog to the field where they will be planted. Trans­plant by tear­ing a small part (around 4–6 seedlings) of the da­pog at each hill at a depth of 2–3 cm with a plant­ing dis­tance of 20 x 20 cm. Re­plant miss­ing or dead hills within 7 days.

4. Fer­til­izer ap­pli­ca­tion (Basal ap­pli­ca­tion): Broad­cast basal fer­til­izer on the last day of har­row­ing. Re­peat ap­pli­ca­tion 10–14 DAT. Top­dress ap­pli­ca­tion-broad­cast fer­til­izer dur­ing ac­tive tiller­ing and pan­i­cle ini­ti­a­tion.

5. Wa­ter man­age­ment: • Seedling stage – Keep the soil damp within the first week af­ter trans­plant­ing to con­trol snail in­fes­ta­tion and es­tab­lish bet­ter soil-root con­tact. Ir­ri­gate the field to around 2–3 cm af­ter a week.

• Tiller­ing to boot­ing stages – Oc­ca­sion­ally drain wa­ter from the field to stim­u­late root pen­e­tra­tion and firm an­chor­age, cor­rect mi­cronu­tri­ent im­bal­ances, and drain toxic sub­stances from the soil.

• Flow­er­ing stage – Main­tain a wa­ter level of 2–5 cm to avoid drought stress.

• Ripen­ing stage – Stop ir­ri­ga­tion and drain the field 1 week and 2 weeks be­fore the ex­pected har­vest time dur­ing dry sea­son and wet sea­son, re­spec­tively.

6. Weed man­age­ment: Ir­ri­gate the field prop­erly to con­trol weeds. It is im­por­tant to elim­i­nate weeds within the first 35 DAT. Re­move weeds by hand-pulling or her­bi­cide ap­pli­ca­tion 30–35 DAT.

7. Pest man­age­ment: • Snails – Hand-pick the snails if pop­u­la­tion is still low; oth­er­wise, ap­ply mol­lus­ci­cide.

•Black bug-Use 2.5-5 kg of Met hariziu man is op lie dis­solved in 5 spray knap­sack while the in­sect pop­u­la­tion is still low. Mon­i­tor the den­sity of the in­sect pop­u­la­tion af­ter 4-6 days af­ter spray­ing. If there are more than 4 bugs/hill are still present, re­peat ap­pli­ca­tion within 1 week. Al­ter­na­tively, in­stall light trap­pings or use an in­sec­ti­cide rec­om­mended by the Of­fice of the Pro­vin­cial Agri­cul­tur­ist for im­me­di­ate con­trol of the in­sect.

• Rice blast – Ap­ply rec­om­mended amount of fungi­cide.

• Stem borer – Use sys­temic pes­ti­cide on the base of the rice plants when high den­sity of white heads and dead heart are ob­served.

8. Har­vest­ing and thresh­ing: Har­vest the crop when al­most all the grains are al­ready ripe to in­crease thre­sha­bil­ity. Thresh rice im­me­di­ately af­ter har­vest­ing. Japon­ica rice is more re­sis­tant to grain shattering than Indica rice, mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult

to thresh. In the ab­sence of Japon­ica thresher, the com­mon thresher for Indica can be used. Hold a bun­dle of har­vested Japon­ica rice then care­fully feed the pan­i­cle to the thresher with­out re­leas­ing the bun­dle. Ro­tate the bun­dle un­til all grains are re­moved. Al­ter­na­tively, thresh Japon­ica rice in two pass­ings.

9. Dry­ing and stor­ing: Dry the threshed rice for 2–3 days un­der the sun or us­ing a me­chan­i­cal drier. And, store the grains in a dry and cool place free from in­sects and other pests.

10. Milling: Mill rice with 14% mois­ture con­tent us­ing a Japon­ica rice miller if avail­able, to avoid low milling re­cov­ery. The typ­i­cal milling ma­chine can also be used but lower milling re­cov­ery rates are to be ex­pected.

Ta­ble 1. Fer­til­izer guide of trans­planted Japon­ica rice per hectare of field in Cavite.

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