Dryseeded Rainfed Rice Cultivation- Supplemental Irrigation

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 13 Dec 2018 | read

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Semi dry rice

It is called as semi-dry rice. Crop establishment is as that of rainfed rice but the rain water collected in village tank (Kanmai) is supplemented to protect the crop during peak vegetative and reproductive phases. Interaction between applied nutrients and crop is positive here due to better moisture availability than rainfed rice and hence varieties may be improved ones and nutrient levels may be higher than the previous system.


  • Kanchipuram/Tiruvallur, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Kanyakumari, Nagapattinam/ Tiruvarur and Pudukottai.


  • July to August  - Kanchipuram/Tiruvallur, Kanyakumari

  • August - Nagapattinam/Tiruvarur, Pudukottai

  • September to October - Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga


  • Short duration varieties as mentioned in season and vanities including local land races suitable for those tracts.

  • Since there is supplemental irrigation high yielding improved short duration varieties can yield more yield than the land races.

Field preparation

  • Dry plough to get fine tilth taking advantage of rains and soil moisture availability.

  • Apply gypsum at 1 t/ha basally wherever soil crusting and soil hardening problem exist.

  • Perfect land leveling for efficient weed and water management.

  • Provide shallow trenches (15 cm width) at an interval of 3m all along the field to facilitate draining excess water at the early growth stage.


  • Seed rate: 75kg/ha dry seed for any recommended variety.

  • Seed hardening with 1% KCl for 16 hours (seed and KCl solution 1:1) and shade dried to bring to storable moisture. This will enable the crop to withstand early moisture stress.

  • On the day of sowing, treat the hardened seeds first with Pseudomonas fluorescens 10g/kg of seed and then with Azophos 1 kg/ha or Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria @ 1 kg/ha each per ha seed, whichever is available.

  • Drill sow with 20 cm inter row spacing using seed drill.

  • The seeds can also be sown behind the country plough

  • Depth of sowing should be 3 - 5 cm and the top soil can be made compact with leveling board.

  • Pre-monsoon sowing is advocated for uniform germination.

After cultivation

  • Azospirillum inoculants 10 packets (2000g/ha) and Phosphobacteria 10 packets (2000g/ha) or 20 packets (4000g/ha) of Azophos mixed with 25 kg of FYM may be broadcasted uniformly over the field just after the receipt soaking rain / moisture.

  • Thinning and gap filling should be done 14-21days after sowing, taking advantage of the immediate rain.

  • Spray Cycocel 1000 ppm (1 ml of commercial product in one lit. of water) under water deficit situations to mitigate ill-effects.
  • Foliar spray of Kaolin 3% or KCl 1% to overcome moisture stress at different physiological stages of rice.

Manures and fertilizer application

  • Blanket recommendation : 75:25:37.5 kg N:P2O5:K2O /ha

  • Apply a basal dose of 750 kg of FYM enriched with fertilizer phosphorus (P at 25 kg/ha)

  • Apply N & K in three splits at 20-25, 40-45 and 60-65 days after germination.

  • Each split may follow 25kg N and 12.5 kg K2O.

  • If the moisture availability is substantial, split application at panicle initiation may be done with 40 kg N and 12.5 kg K2O.

  • If the moisture availability is substantial, the split at 40-45 DAS (panicle initiation) may be applied up to 40kg N and 12.5kg K2O to enhance the growth and the grain yield.

  • Basal application of ZnSO4  at 25kg/ha and FeSO4  at 50/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.

  • Foliar spray of 1% urea + 2% DAP + 1%KCl at PI and 10 days later may be taken up for enhancing the rice yield if sufficient soil moisture is ensured.

Weed management

  • First weeding should be done between 15 and 21 days after germination.

  • Second weeding may be done 30 - 45 days after first weeding.

  • Apply pendimethalin 1.0kg/ha on 5 days after sowing or Pretilachlor + safener (Sofit) 0.45kg/ha on the day of receipt of soaking rain followed by one hand weeding on 30 to 35 days after sowing.

  • PE butachlor 1.0 kg ha-1 followed by weeding using finger type single row and double row rotary weeders resulted in higher grain yield and net profit.

   Unweeded Rainfed RiceImage title

Application of post emergence herbicide

(Pretilachlor + safener (Sofit) 0.45kg/ha)Image title

Water management

  • The crop is irrigated from 30-35 days onwards, utilizing water impounded in the tanks.

  • Irrigation may be to a depth of 2.5 -5.0cm only. Follow the schedule of one day after disappearance of ponded water in order to save water and to bring additional area under this type of rice cultivation.


  • It is same as that of transplanted rice.

  • These areas are more suitable for combine-harvester