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Dry Direct Seeding in rainfed systems

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1. Small outlets can be made across the field to help drain the field and avoid snail damage and seed emergence problems in areas where water may stand.

2. Use sufficient seed of a variety suited for direct seeding to achieve a plant population of 100-150 plants/m2. This will usually require around 120-150 kg seed/ha. Farmers often use more seed (e.g., up to 150-200 kg/ha) because of poor field levelling, poor seed and seed loses to birds and rats.

3. Sow the seed uniformly. For hand broadcasting, mark the field in 5 m wide strips (the typical distance over which seed can be uniformly distributed by hand).

4. Divide the seed into uniform lots to allow the person sowing to sow up the field and back (i.e., a 10 m wide strip) before getting the next seed lot. (e.g., if the field is 20 m wide, then there will be 4 passes of 5 m each and the seed should be divided into 2 equal size seed lots).

5. Broadcast the seed and lightly incorporate. Care is taken not to incorporate the seed too deeply (i.e., > 1-2 cm) into clay soils or where surface sealing is a problem.

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