Aerobic Rice Cultivation

Target area

Aerobic rice can be found, or can be a suitable technology, in the following areas:

  • “Favorable uplands”: these are areas where the land is flat, and where rainfall with or without supplemental irrigation is sufficient to frequently bring the soil water content close to field capacity, and where farmers have access to external inputs such as fertilizers.
  • Fields on upper slopes or terraces in undulating, rainfed lowlands: quite often, soils in these areas are relatively coarse-textured and well-drained, so that ponding of water occurs only briefly or not at all during the growing season.
  • Water-short irrigated lowlands: these are areas where farmers do not have access to sufficient water anymore to keep rice fields flooded for a substantial period of time.


Suitable variety PMK (R) 3


Optimum plant population: 50 hills per m2 (20 x 10 cm)

Land preparation

The usual establishment method is dry direct seeding. Aerobic rice also allows practices of conservation agriculture as used in upland crops, such as mulching and minimum tillage. Ridges and furrows were suitable for Aerobic rice. Green manure intercrop in aerobic rice: Daincha intercropping and incorporation at 25 DAS

Weed Management

Pre emergence application of pendimethalin at 0.75 kg/ha followed by two hand weeding or mechanical weeding on 25 and 45 DAS

PE pendimethalin 1.0 kg ha-1 along with single tyne sweep weeding on 45 DAS which was comparable with PE along with hand weeding

Nutrient Management

Fertilizer dose : 150 : 50 : 50 kg NPK/ha.

N in four splits: 20 % at 15 DAS, 30 % at tillering and PI and 20% at flowering or Nitrogen management at LCC value of 4

Basal application of ZnSO4 at 25 kg/ha and FeSO4 at 50 kg/ha is desirable wherever zinc and iron deficiency were noted (or) apply TNAU Rainfed rice MN mixture @12.5 kg/ha as EFYM at 1:10 ratio incubated for 30 days at friable moisture.

Need based foliar application of 0.5% ZnSO4 and 1% FeSO4 may be taken up at tillering and PI stages

Water Management

Aerobic rice can be rainfed or irrigated. Irrigation can be applied through flash-flooding, furrow irrigation (or raised beds), or sprinklers. Unlike flooded rice, irrigation—when applied—is not used to flood the soil but to just bring the soil water content in the root zone up to field capacity.

IW/CPE ratio of 1.0 with 3 cm depth of water – total water requirement of 650 mm.

Surface drip fertigation: 
Under aerobic rice conditions, schedule surface drip irrigation (with the lateral distance of 80 cm) at 125 % Open Pan Evaporation (PE) for clay soil / 150 % PE for sandy soil along with fertigation of 500 ml / ha of Azophosmet (composite biofertilizer) as seed treatment (@ 200 g / 10 kg seeds) and fertigation through drip system @ 500 ml / ha to be given during panicle initiation and flag leaf stages.

Sub-surface drip biogation: 
Under aerobic rice conditions, schedule sub-surface drip fertigation (laterals concealed at 10 cm soil depth at a distance of 80 cm) scheduled at 125 % Open Pan Evaporation (PE) for clay soil / 150 % PE for sandy soil along with fertigation of Azophosmet as seed treatment @ 200 g 10 kg / seeds and fertigation @ 500 ml / ha and along with biogation of seaweed extract @ 500 ml / ha to be given during panicle initiation and flag leaf stages

Plant protection

Soil-borne pests and diseases such as nematodes, root aphids, and fungi are known to occur more in aerobic rice than in flooded rice, especially in the tropics. It is recommended to grow aerobic rice in rotation with upland crops suitable in the area.