The Punjab government recently announced Rs 1,500 incentive per acre for farmers opting for Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR), which is known for saving water.
- With DSR, paddy seeds are sown directly with machine.
- With DSR technique, which is called ‘tar-wattar DSR’ (good soil moisture), farmers must sow paddy only after pre-sowing (rauni) irrigation and not in dry fields. Further, the field should be laser levelled.
- DSR technique can help save 15% to 20% water.
- DSR offers avenues for ground water recharge as it prevent the development of hard crust just beneath the plough layer due to puddled transplanting and it matures 7-10 days earlier than puddle transplanted crop, therefore giving more time for management of paddy straw.
- DSR can solve labour shortage problem because as like the traditional method it does not require a paddy nursery and transplantation of 30 days old paddy nursery into the main puddled field.
- Suitability of soil is the most important factor as farmers must not sow it in the light textured soil as this technique is suitable for medium to heavy textured soils including sandy loam, loam, clay loam, and silt loam which accounts for around 80% area of the state.
- It should not be cultivated in sandy and loamy sand as these soils suffer from severe iron deficiency, and there is higher weed problem in it.
- Also, avoid direct seeding of rice in fields which are under crops others than rice (like cotton, maize, sugarcane) in previous years as DSR in these soils is likely to suffer more from iron deficiency and weed problems.