Paddy Direct seeding to take quantum jump amid corona caused labor shortage

DSR paddy

The state governments across India have been trying to promote Paddy direct seeding since last decade , but could not convert more than 2 lakh acres Pan India . The thrust was to save the water for other crops and keep the water level up .

Due to labor migration from Punjab and Haryana to Bihar and UP has caused 4 fold rise in paddy transplanting charges . Now per acre cost of paddy transplanting is 7000 rupees per acre as per as stated by a north Indian farmer over social media.

Seeing the current trends and farmer sentiments up to 10% area from north Indian states can come under DSR paddy cultivation .

As per IIT K agro advisory this is how the DSR paddy is cultivated


Direct seeding in watered field

  • Land preparation – The land is prepared wet.
  • Puddling – several ploughing and laddering in standing water. The land may be impounded with rain or irrigated water.
  • Incorporation of weeds into the soil and allowed to decompose for almost 3 weeks.
  • The mud in the field is then leveled for seeding.
  • Drainout excess water
  • Pre-germinated seed with radicle length of 1 to 2 mm long is broadcast by hand 
  • Seed rate – 90 to 100 kg/ha.


(a) Seeds are exposed to rat and bird attacks

(b) Seeds are carried or washed away during heavy rains resulting in poor seedling stand.

Use of Drum seeder

  • Requires less number of labourers
  • Suitable to sow the pre-germinated paddy seeds directly in wetland.
  • Before using this seeder, the land has to be ploughed, puddle and levelled properly and left for 2 days.  Immediate use of this seeder after puddling is discouraged since pulling the seeder will be difficult.
Paddy drum seeder

Advantages of direct seeding are:

  • Lower labour cost
  • Seed bed preparation, care of seedlings in the seed bed and pulling of seedling as required in transplanting operations can be eliminated
  • Crop matures 7 to 10 days – earlier than transplanted crop this may be adjusted for multiple cropping.

Disadvantages of direct seeding are:

  • After sowing, the seeds are exposed in the field – bird or rat attack which may cause poor establishment.
  • In the broadcast fields, the crop seedlings and the weeds start growing together and the more hardy weeds arrest the growth of crops markedly. Weeding is a great troublesome and costly affair in direct seeding parti¬≠cularly in broadcast crop.
  • Direct seeded crop has a greater tendency to lodge than the transplanted one as the root anchorage and develop¬≠ment become poor in direct seeded crop.

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