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Production Know How
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Conclusions about SRI

1. System of Rice Cultivation is one of the options

towards enhancing water productivity in rice cultivation. The system involves few modifications in nursery raising, age of seedlings at planting, planting geometry, nutrient and water management.

2. Planting young seedlings and aeration by alternate wetting and drying and cono weeding has significant positive effects on crop growth and development.

3. Rice plants grow profusely under SRI due to favourable rhizhosphere activity and the yields are reported to be 15- 20 % higher as compared to the conventional method of rice cultivation.

4. SRI cannot be adopted everywhere and by everyone. The system is little intensive and requires adequate attention during crop growth.

5. It would be difficult to adopt SRI in low lying/heavy rainfall areas and command areas during kharif season where water control is extremely difficult. Weeding is the most common problem in SRI. Manual cono weeding is laborious.

6. Development and use of improved and mechanized cono weeders to suit different soil types would pave the way for adoption of SRI in wider scale. Farmers and farm labourers have to be trained on the simple but crucial components of this system to make SRI popular among the farmers.

7. Adoption of SRI wherever feasible would help us to march forward to face the looming water crisis which is becoming a threat for rice cultivation.


The reasons for success of SRI

1. Planting of young seedlings prolongs the 

vegetative growth period and facilitates the production of maximum number of tillers.

2. The aerobic conditions created by alternate wetting and drying and cono weeding facilitate profuse root growth and tillering.

3. Mechanical weeding with cono weeder facilitates soil churning and incorporation of weeds which adds biomass to the soil.

4. Activity of the beneficial microbes in the root zone is enormously increased due to aerobic condition.

5. Maximum utilization of available carbon and efficient uptake and translocation of nutrients due to favourable conditions.

6. Proper utilization of fertilizers, which would otherwise be leached out due to excess water under traditional method of cultivation.

7. Wider spacing, aerated soil, sturdy plants coupled with organic manures result in lesser pest and disease problem.


A few don’ts in SRI adoption

1. Do not go for SRI in undulated, ill drained 

and saline soils. SRI is not suitable in low lying areas, command areas especially during kharif season.

2. Do not raise nursery in small areas (less than recommended).

3. Do not puddle the field deep especially in clay soils which creates problem for running weeds.

4. Do not uproot the nursery seedlings (lift gently with a shovel together with seed and some soil).

5. Do not plant too deeply and do not water under full sun.

6. Do not wash the seedlings to remove the soil.

7. Do not irrigate the field frequently and to keep the field in moist condition.

8. Do not allow the soil to form deep cracks.

9. Avoid flooding the field before panicle initiation.

10.Do not run the weeder without water in the field. And don’t let out water after weeding.


A few do’s in SRI adoption

1. Choose a well levelled field with good 

water control and drainage system.

2. Choose the high yielding varieties with high tillering ability possessing resistance to major pests and diseases.

3. Choose healthy and bold seeds and raise the nursery carefully in specified area.

4. Apply water with rose can twice a day in the nursery.

5. 8-12 day old seedlings (2 leaf stage) with intact soil are ideal for planting in Kharif. During rabi season under cold temperatures seedling age at planting may go up to 18-20 days (till 2 leaf seedling age). Better to consider the 2 leaf stage criteria to decide the age of seedlings for planting as the criteria is season neutral.

6. Transfer the nursery with seed and soil adhered to the seedlings (supply the nursery in the tray within an hour).

7. Nursery to be lifted without disturbance and transferred to main field for planting as per need.

8. Perfect levelling of main field is needed and drainage channels should be made all along the field to drain out excess water.

9. Monitor the crop at regular intervals.

10. Prefer using organic manures and bio- fertilizers for ensuring soil health and good yields.

11. Irrigation should be given a day prior to weeding and weeding should be done with a cono weeder 3-4 times.


Constraints in adoption of SRI technology

1. Some of the SRI practices such as planting young seedlings at shallow depth, raising specialized nursery require skills and need more labour, especially in the initial stages of adoption.

2. SRI cannot be adopted everywhere. It may not be suitable in command areas where water release is highly uncertain and in low lands under uncontrolled water situations especially in kharif season.

3. Weeding is reported as one of the major constraints in adoption of SRI. Availability of soil specific cono weeder is still a problem and mechanized multi row weeders are yet to be developed to reduce the drudgery for farm labour ( a person has to walk 16 km /ac for weeding with cono weeder in one direction).

4. As quality organic manures (FYM/compost) are not available in sufficient quantities, farmers are finding it difficult to adopt this principle in total.


Higher yield in SRI

1. SRI improves the productivity of land, 

labour, water and capital used in rice cultivation.

2. Implementation of SRI has helped to improve the yield of local varieties by 6 - 8 tonnes per hectare.

3. With improved management, hybrid varieties have yielded between 10 and 12 tonnes per hectare under SRI.

4. Often a 20 to 40% increase in yield compared to that under conventional methods is observed in SRI. However, the actual yield increase depends on how well farmers practice SRI.


Higher ripening ratio/less chaffy grains in SRI

1. Under SRI due to wider spacing, each plant 

get larger area, nutrient and light per hills which gives more dry matter and tillers per hill.

2. Higher availability of resources produces more number of effective tillers and filled grains compared to conventional practice.


Soil health improvement through biological activity in SRI

1. Under SRI, the biological activity of soil is maximum due to use of organic manures.

2. The activity of free bacteria and other microbes around the roots of rice improves.

3. Use of organic manures also improves soil physicochemical parameters results over all improvements in soil health.


Eco-friendly practices and Drought tolerance rice in SRI

1. Since, in SRI methods of cultivation, 

use of fertilizer and pesticides is encouraged, there is less possibility of pollution and contamination of produce under this method.

2. SRI plants produce stronger and healthier roots due to continuous mechanical disturbances to soil and higher availability of resources.  

3. In SRI method of cultivation, rice plant are exposed to alternate wetting drying and exposed to hardening due to moisture stress.

4. Whereas under conventional practice, due to continuous submergence the roots are weak and more fibrous. Under the condition of short season drought SRI plants perform better compared to conventional practice.


Cost-effective in SRI

1. The SRI improves yields with less water, less seed, and less chemical inputs than most conventional methods of rice cultivation.

2. This means that the returns on inputs are higher, making the method potentially more profitable than most of the traditional methods.

3. Initially it does require significantly more labour – mainly for preparing land and weeding.

4. SRI could contribute to job creation in rural areas. It is a different matter that SRI is becoming popular more for the obvious overall productivity gains in land, labour, water and capital.

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