Netafim’s precision irrigation solutions increase rice yield, improve crop quality through an efficient precision irrigation system, and the right water supply. With Netafim’s drip irrigation, you grow one kg rice in around 60-70% less water than the conventional cultivation system. Also, with drip irrigation, you reduce agricultural investments and increase profits.
Rice is a water-intensive crop. It requires water for three primary purposes – preparing land (puddling), recover water loss due to continual seepage, percolation, and to grow the actual crop. Further, you have to keep the area spread continually flooded with 5-10 cm of water throughout the crop season, which results in substantial unproductive water losses (up to 80%) for reasons other than rice cultivation.
Puddling causes the land to shrink on drying and results in surface fissures. It reduces tilth for the next crop and affects the root growth/ yield of the aerobic crop. Besides, conventional rice farming demands land leveling to maintain consistent water presence across the land spread, and which constitutes another significant expense for growing rice through traditional techniques.
Traditional rice cultivation demands high investments in water, labor, pre-crop preparation, and fertilizers as well. The collective cost incurred in each of these factors increases the production costs. However, despite these investments, farmers don’t get the expected returns. This is because factors including water inefficiency, lower crop yield, and reduced crop-quality affect their profits, and they keep incurring financial losses every year.
Considering the existing and futuristic scarcity of water, the growing food demands, expensive land preparation, wastage of water through flooding, and the inefficiency of conventional techniques reducing land fertility and restricting crop choice in crop rotation, Indian farmers must shift from flood irrigation to drip irrigation.
Drip irrigation is a new-age efficient irrigation technique that packs several benefits, right from huge water-savings, labor-savings, reduced farming investments, to increased crop yield and quality. Scroll down to the next section to know why you must cultivate rice through drip irrigation.
Drip irrigation techniques prove useful in many different ways. Here are some reasons why you must choose to cultivate rice through drip irrigation.
The new generation of rice agriculture
Can I increase my rice yield with drip irrigation?
Yes! With precision irrigation, you can reach a yield of 8 -12 tons/ha – a 50% production increase over production with flood irrigation.
How much water can I save by using drip irrigation?
With drip, you can use up to 70% less water than traditional flood irrigation requires.
Can I grow rice in sloping terrains?
Again, yes! Pressure-compensated dripper lines deliver the precise amount of water required, regardless of pressure changes due to elevation shifts. There is a flexible diaphragm within the emitter which regulates the water flow, guaranteeing no flow variation across the entire field.
Without flooding, how can I control weeds?
Just like when growing any other crop, there are recommended herbicides, ideal times for applications, and mechanical cultivation practices that farmers can easily follow to maximize weed control in aerobic conditions. Drip irrigation also gives farmers easier access to fields for pest and disease control.
Can I grow other crops with the same drip system?
Yes, absolutely. Drip irrigation allows you to rotate several crops on your land, including vegetables like tomatoes or onions, or open field crops including soybeans or corn. Growing legumes in the same field will also improve your soil’s fertility.
How can drip irrigation help me reduce the cost of crop production?
Drip irrigation is an efficient drip irrigation technique. Unlike traditional rice cultivation techniques, it brings a considerable reduction in crop production costs, making farming a more profitable venture for farmers.
Drip allows you to cultivate rice like other garden crops through regular land preparation, and direct seeding. You use fertilizers according to the crop stages and supply them directly to the crop root zone. This way, you require lesser fertilizers, and subsequently, you reduce fertilizer investments.
Furthermore, with drip irrigation, you can manage tasks such as land preparation, planting, irrigation, fertilization in a lesser amount of workforce. All these factors, along with the precise use of water, contribute to a significant drop in rice crop production cost.
How does drip irrigation prove beneficial to Basmati rice?
Drip irrigation brings the following five sustainable advantages to Basmati rice farmers
Which crops can I select in crop rotation after rice?
If you bring rice under drip irrigation, you can choose any seasonal close spacing crop after rice. It includes maize, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, etc. based on the local market demand.
Is it possible to implement drip irrigation systems for rice fields that use surface area water?
Yes. Suppose you are a group of farmers sharing common tanks, ponds, canal water, etc. In this case, Netafim can install drip irrigation systems in the community irrigation mode to all the farmers involved. Drip systems installed in community irrigation mode benefit every farmer, including the smaller ones, as everyone gets the right and equal quantities of water during the crop season.
Can I increase my annual income through the installation of a drip system? If yes, how?
Drip irrigation reduces your farming investments. Unlike conventional rice cultivation, you don’t have to invest a lot in the water, labor, fertilizers, and other vital resources. So, here you save a lot of money. But drip irrigation does not limit itself to cost-savings. It also creates wealth for farmers! How?
Bringing rice under drip allows you to increase your cultivable land, save water, and take a more significant number of high-value crops in rotation after rice. So, although you grow more and better-quality rice, you don’t rely solely on rice to increase your agricultural income. You create wealth through different crop sources, and you don’t spend much on labor, land preparation, water, and fertilizers with the other crops either. This way, eventually, and in the long run, you save and earn money!
Which cultivation practices should be taken care of more under the drip system? How can we manage it?
Weed management should be taken care more under drip system. The following points should be followed for controlling the weeds.