Organic rice cultivation is easy

In Japan, rice paddies are available in various sizes and styles. Like the number of rice paddies, various rising methods come in an abundance as smartly. Especially relating to organic rice. Though, selecting the proper way for rice production very much is determined by the farm’s surroundings. Japan is a very lengthy stretched nation, compared to my own home nation, the Netherlands. Climate contrast of Japan’s maximum northern and southern area are massive. With cool summers and icy/snowy winters in the north and a extremely popular and humid sub-tropical local weather in the south.

According to skilled Japanese organic farmers I’ve met, rice is one of the absolute best crop to develop organically, if accomplished right.

Organic rice cultivation

I’ll explain the fundamentals of organic rice growing and give an introduction into a few different strategies.

Every aspect of a paddy box was invented with weed management in mind.

Flooding the fields, planting seedlings as an alternative of direct sowing, integrating animals and so forth.

Sustainable weeds and pest control in rice field

These inventive manner of coping with weed problems had been utilized since earlier period. In common, the better the soil becomes, the fewer weed drive you’ve gotten.

But the beginning section is essentially the most important moment in the pursuit for weed control.

“Aigamo Method”

Recently farmer Shiramizu explained me his means of rice manufacturing.

He makes use of the “Aigamo method” which permits for the production of natural rice whilst relying on much less guide hard work.

By the use of the Aigamo approach, Aigamo geese are released into the rice paddy.

Between 15 and 20 of these birds are needed for each and every 1,000 square meters of rice paddy.

Duck introduction in rice field

The benefits of the use of Aigamo ducks are amazing. Aigamo ducks assist the rice seedlings grow via consuming both bugs and weeds that get in the way. Consequently, the farmer is free from the back-breaking work of bending over to pull weeds by way of hand or using different weeding equipment. Living within the rice paddy, the geese fertilize the field with their manure. In addition, they stir up the soil within the rice paddy with their feet and expenses, a process that increases the oxygen content material of the soil, making it extra nutritious for the seedlings. But most significantly, since the ducks fire up the soil, weeds don’t get the danger of reaching the skin.

And finally, when it comes time to reap the rice within the fall, the geese have grown fat and will also be slaughtered for his or her meat. Farmer Shiramizu and his spouse experience Aigamo duck meat all through the iciness in quite a lot of cuisines.

Though, the advantages are great, one still must believe all the different predators that want to come and consume your ducklings. It’s now not uncommon to see crows flying away together with your newly launched yellow ducklings, as farmer Shiramizu describes. I still keep in mind my process of taking pictures fireworks every time crows got here just about the sector, 3 years in the past.

Other animals that hunt your ducks are: foxes, weasels, raccoons, canines and so forth. That’s why you can’t use the Aigamo way without the usage of a proper fence round the whole box and protective fishing line from above. Also important is a refuge where the ducklings can leisure and take safe haven from rain. And finally, the ducklings must be fed within the beginning segment. (no longer sure if fed throughout the season)

But in any case, I don’t suppose the disadvantages weigh as much as the many nice benefits of the use of Aigamo geese.

Shiramizu’s Aigamo method:

  1. Skipping a couple of steps, we start with a flooded field.
  2. Rice bran pallets are scattered everywhere the surface. This causes the water to grow to be cloudy, bring to mind it as an underwater mulch.
  3. The field is then cultivated, together with the rice bran. This will purpose the flooded field to transform a slimy mud, which makes it exhausting for weeds to make their manner up.
  4. Muddy box will then be left for 1-2 weeks.
  5. The field is cultivated another time getting rid of any weeds that might have sprouted and again makes the sphere a slimy dust.
  6. Then, rice seedlings are planted. Meanwhile rice field ducklings are saved in a small phase of the paddy.
  7. After the seedling have grown to the fitting measurement, about 1-2 weeks, Aigamo ducklings are allowed into the paddy. Just just like the tilling with the tractor they too fire up the soil, combating weeds from rising.
Rice brain application in field

The key to his manner is to make sure that the surroundings in the rice paddy remains unsuitable for weeds to grow. Rice bran, or rice bran pallets, causes the surface to turn into cloudy. Some farmers may additionally unfold rice bran after the planting of the rice seedlings. This method, weeds don’t get a chance in the beginning segment after planting.

Shiramizu releases Aigamo ducks that fire up the soil, so he simplest spreads rice bran once ahead of tilling. Secondly, tilling the sphere two times sooner than planting eliminates most weeds and makes for muddy prerequisites. Even just before harvest length, the field remains mostly blank of weeds.


Shiramizu doesn’t in point of fact fertilize his rice paddy. Obviously, the Aigamo ducks play crucial position in enriching the soil with their manure. In addition, mountain river water not simplest maintains the best water level in the field, but is also a valuable supply of quite a lot of vitamins.

Fertilizer application in rice field

Cover vegetation

(plants grown for the security and enrichment of the soil.)

Most typical farmers in Japan will go away their rice paddies fallow after harvest till subsequent season’s rice planting. It’s the organic farmers that still care in regards to the soil and make the most of duvet crops. Below are some commonplace cover plants:

Fish and Rice

Italian Ryegrass

The cover crop Shiramizu these days uses.

Italian ryegrass is sown within the box just a few weeks ahead of rice is harvested. Once harvest is finished Italian grass fill the sphere. The intensive root system of this cap crop tolerates compacted soils and will conserve residual nitrogen within the soil after rice harvest. Can also be used as feed for farm animals.

Chinese white milk vetch

A Chum of Shiramizu is the one farmer in Irokawa who grows milk vetch after rice harvest.

Milk vetch fertilizes the paddy fields, feeds cattle, and is a source of honey. Until only a while in the past, many paddy fields everywhere Japan used to be drenched pink with vetch blossom, waiting for next season’s rice planting. Being a legume, it’s able to fix nitrogen through a symbiotic dating with Rhizobia. Besides serving as nice fertilizer, the flowers are fit for human consumption and include several medicinal effects.

Other possible choices

Other possible choices are Hairy vetch and more than a few kinds of clovers.

Besides the use of Aigamo, other strategies include:

Releasing Koi carpers within the rice paddy for a similar reason as Aigamo ducks.

Flooding fields in iciness to draw swans.

Soybean cultivation on ridges between rice fields.

Manchurian wild rice Cultivation (マコモタケ; Makomo) in a piece of the rice box.

I try my highest to put up weblog put up more frequently, but I nonetheless will have to find a steadiness between farm work, Japanese find out about, agriculture find out about, crafting and writing.

Maybe shorter articles are higher instead of writing these extremely long weblog posts…

How System for Rice Intensification (SRI) mitigates greenhouse gas emissions

How System for Rice Intensification (SRI) mitigates greenhouse gas emissions

Rice Intensification (SRI) management contributes to mitigation objectives by decreasing the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) when continuous flooding of paddy soils is stopped and other rice-growing practices are changed.

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

  1. Methane (CH4) is reduced between 22% and 64% as intermittent irrigation (or alternate wetting and drying, AWD) means that soils have more time under aerobic conditions (Gathorne-Hardy et al. 2013, 2016; Choi et al. 2015; Jain et al. 2014; Suryavanshi et al. 2013; Wang 2006; Dill et al. 2013).
  2. Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions increase only slightly with SRI or sometimes decrease as the use of N fertilizers is reduced. No studies so far have shown N2O increases offsetting the gains from CH4 reduction (Kumar et al. 2007; Visalakshmi et al. 2014; Vermeulen et al. 2012; Gathorne-Hardy et al. 2013, 2016; Choi et al. 2015).
  3. Total global warming potential (GWP) from rice paddies was reduced with SRI methods in the above studies by 20-30%, and up to 73% in one of the studies (Choi et al. 2015).
  4. Rice production’s carbon footprint is reduced to the extent that less fertilizer and fewer agrochemicals are used. GHG emissions from producing, distributing and using these inputs equal about 5-10% of the global warming potential (GWP) from all direct emissions from food production (Vermeulen et al. 2012). GHG emission studies with SRI are still in the early stages, and more detailed studies are needed to better link and understand how individual practices contribute to increasing or reducing GHG emissions. However, the mitigation potential of alternate wetting and drying, a component of SRI, is well established (Richards and Sander 2014).

System of rice intensification: a beneficial option

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) used to be advanced in Madagascar through Henri de Laulanie, in the 1980s. He labored with Malagasy farmers and associates to support the chances of rice production. The follow contributes to both fitter soil and more fit plants, supported by means of better root growth and the nurturing of soil microbial abundance and diversity. It is in line with quite a lot of well-founded agroecological principles. SRI concepts and practices have additionally been effectively adapted to upland rice. SRI comes to transplanting very young rice seedlings (normally eight-12 days outdated with just two small leaves) carefully and briefly to be able to purpose minimal disturbance to the roots.

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

The seedlings are planted individually, in contrast to the traditional way the place clumps of 3-four are planted together, minimising root competition between the seedlings. The seedlings are saved widely spaced to allow better root and cover growth, in a square grid development at a spacing of a minimum of 25 x 25 cm. Planting will also be carried out even wider at 30 x 30 or 40 x 40 cm or even up to 50 x 50 cm in the most efficient quality soils.

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI), used to be first employed outside Madagascar in 2000, has since developed when peasant farmers additional evolved the device relying on their location’s local weather. Some of the world’s largest governments and meals firms are also growing rice following the SRI rules as it additionally greatly reduces emissions of the methane, a formidable greenhouse gasoline, that escapes when rice or any other crop remains waterlogged for weeks at a time.

Methane is 30 occasions more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gasoline and rice releases as much as 1.five% of the sector’s total greenhouse gasoline emissions.

With the inhabitants in southeast Asia expected to develop in the subsequent 20 years, methane discharge from rice growing could building up via 30 percent or extra. The alliance of businesses, NGOs, and governments that use the SRI concept sets the world’s first voluntary sustainability standards for rice rising. They adopt the basic SRI rules of planting seedlings further aside through holding them moist rather than flooded, and provides objectives or measurements to supply consistency.

Green touch to rice production

PADDY farmers within the Long Langai village situated in the Ba’Kelalan highlands of northern maximum Sarawak have accomplished a pioneering feat. They have produced padi harvests the use of a chemical-free farming means referred to as System of Rice Intensification (SRI). Last week, the farmers proudly confirmed their rice, which they named Adan Rice, to the clicking all over a talk over with organised by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia and the Long Langai residents.

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

WWF senior programme, neighborhood engagement and training officer Alicia Ng said the SRI manner was once proven to be sustainable. It used fewer rice seedlings and no more water during the expansion cycle, enabled more straightforward transplantation of younger seedlings, more effective weeding keep watch over and extra fertile soil conditions as organic fertiliser was once used. “We encourage the farmers to return to organic farming. “I Hope through this harvesting, the farmers will teach others concerning the SRI means. “The reason we embarked on the SRI pilot challenge here’s because Long Langai is the second one biggest village in Ba’Kelalan.

“The village is also a 20-minute drive away from Ba’Kelelan airport. “Most of the villagers are padi farmers whilst some are considering tourism actions like offering homestays. “As an environmental organisation, we’re having a look at quite a lot of actions together with eco-tourism. Sustainable rice farming is a part of it and shall be a continuing task. “We don’t seem to be advertising or sales mavens. We handiest have a look at how farming has an affect on the environment.

That is our major worry. “This SRI method will take a lot of hard work, but is worth it because it will save cost, chemical-free farming and a healthy option for the community,” stated Ng all the way through the seek advice from. WWF additionally held workshops for the farmers and Sarawak Agriculture Ministry guided them on eco-friendly agriculture practices. For example, the farmers learnt about built-in soil nutrient control, insect or pest control management and weed control.

At the workshops, they exchanged studies and shared in regards to the challenges confronted. Matius Padan, head farmer of Long Langai village, mentioned he was hoping more people will soak up this system of farming. “This just right effort was started by WWF, making Long Langai a mission web site with collaboration from the Agriculture Ministry. “We are not only able to learn a new method or gain knowledge, but also maintain a sustainable environmental balance,” mentioned Matius.

In 2014, Department of Agriculture Sarawak (DoA) introduced SRI farming in Long Rusu village, Ba’ Kelalan, with five farmers joining the three-year take a look at plots programme below its agriculture research centre. WWF used to be additionally involved in the programme, which aimed to advertise chemical-free farming while decreasing pests such as the golden apple snail. WWF and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd (CIMB Islamic) subsidized local farmers to participate in DoA’s programmes, which included visiting the SRI Lovely Farm in Sik, Kedah, to be told concerning the theories and technical facets of the method. In 2017, SRI farming expanded to Long Langai village, with 11 farmers committing to the project.

This was made imaginable beneath a pilot challenge via WWF thru a RM1.5mil investment via CIMB Islamic in a three-year partnership (2017-2019). In Ba’Kelalan and Long Semadoh, Sarawak, the whole allocation is RM600,000. “As a company that embraces sustainability group-wide, CIMB Islamic is proud to be related to tasks that aren’t handiest socio-economically really useful, but in addition kind to the environment. “SRI organic farming suits smartly into this concept and our sustainability targets.

We are happy that extra farmers have authorized and followed the SRI method. “With such encouraging progress, we believe the project can deliver a better outcome by benefiting more communities over time,” stated CIMB Group Islamic banking leader executive officer Rafe Haneef.



The system of rice intensification is a set of insights and principles applied through certain management practices that promote more productive phenotypes from existing genotypes of rice, whether improved or local varieties.

This is accomplished by:

  1. Inducing greater root growth; and
  2.  Nurturing more abundant and diverse populations of soil biota which provide many benefits for plants (Wardle, 2002).

Altering the management of rice plants’ soil, water and nutrients is a low-cost way of enhancing plant root growth and the activity of soil organisms. Non-SRI practices can be detrimental in various ways:

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

  1. Flooding of rice plants has been practised for centuries, even millennia. It constrains growth, functioning and survival of the roots. Up to threequarters of the rice roots degenerate by the start of the plant’s reproductive period (Kar et al., 1974).
  2.  Crowding rice plants in dense hills or close spacing of hills results in the growth potential of the canopies and root systems being inhibited. The “edge effect” – i.e. the more vigorous and productive growth of widely-spaced plants – is thus limited to the borders of rice fields.
  3.  Heavy application of fertilizers and agrochemicals can have adverse impacts on the soil biota, which provide numerous services to plants: N fixation, N cycling, P solubilization, protection against diseases and abiotic stresses, and induced systemic resistance, for example (Tan, Hurek and ReinholdHurek, 2002; Doebbelaere, Vanderleyden and Okon, 2003; Randriamiharisoa, Barison and Uphoff, 2006).

 SRI methods create above-ground and below-ground environments that are more favourable for the rice plant’s growth (Stoop, Uphoff and Kassam, 2002; Randriamiharisoa, Barison and Uphoff, 2006). SRI involves transplanting young seedlings (<15 days, preferably 8-12 days), singly (not in clumps), very>carefully and gently, with optimal wider spacing (starting at 25×25 cm and increasing whenever better soil fertility permits). Irrigated paddy soils are kept moist but are not continuously saturated, maintaining mostly aerobic soil conditions, either by daily applications of small amounts of water or by alternate wetting and drying.

 For best results, weed control is done with a rotary hoe several times during the vegetative growth phase before the canopy closes, aerating the soil as well as removing weeds. Organic fertilization (compost, manure, mulch etc.) is utilized to the greatest extent possible, although synthetic fertilizers can be used if insufficient biomass is available.

Although SRI was developed for irrigated rice production, a new variant is rainfed SRI, where SRI concepts and methods are adapted to upland circumstances. Yields of 6 to 8 tonnes/ha have been reached with such adaptations in northern Myanmar, southern Philippines and eastern India (Kabir, 2006; Gasparillo et al., 2003; Sinha and Talati, 2005).

A Future Out of Poverty with SRI

A Future Out of Poverty with SRI

In village 10, Bao Dap communes, Tran Yen district, Yen Bai province, 57 out of the 60 households are agricultural-based families. For years, Mr. Nguyen Van Thinh’s circle of relatives used to be one of the most 3 poorest families in the village. His spouse could no longer share box work with him due to her deficient health. His circle of relatives has just 5 sao (1800 squarem.) of rice field.

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

Kharif crops, Vegetables, Fruits and Pulses

Previously he cultivated rice with conventional strategies that required huge inputs of seed, fertilizer and pesticide that he may no longer find the money for. Therefore the absolute best productiveness harvested was once 1,300 kg of paddy in keeping with sao. We met Mr. Thinh on an early May day at the Farmer Field School .

He simply gained 30 kg of rice as food help from the commune. In the recent crop season, with encouragement from the Commune and District Plant Protection Station group of workers, Mr. Thinh participated in the FFS and has an SRI trial on 2.5 sao of his rice field.

He excitedly said he would have a good first SRI harvest within the next month because the rice in his box is growing very well; every hill has healthy crops and extra productive tillers and a better selection of grains in line with tiller. On Mr Thinh’s SRI trial rice box, there is not any wish to spray pesticides and he invested less seeds.

On his different 2.5 sao of rice land, the place he invested extra seed, and employed workers to spray insecticides four occasions, the rice was not having a look as just right as in his SRI box. Excited from the results of this SRI field check, he stated that in subsequent cropping season he’ll follow SRI on all of his field.

He believes that he’s going to no longer need to receive rice help and soon might be off the record of the deficient households in his village.

Aringay woman improves rice yield by 40%

Philippines: Julita Colcol, “Kit” to pals, was understandably proud once we visited her trial plot in Sta. Cecilia, a village in the municipality of Aringay, La Union Province, remaining March five, 2014. The 49-year old farmer’s visitors integrated municipal officials not only from her native land of Aringay, but in addition from the neighboring provinces of Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, in addition to farmers from her town’s other villages.

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

They have been all attending a two-day round-table and workshop at the device of rice intensification (SRI), a new approach of growing rice. The job was once hosted by the Aringay municipal executive and performed by way of the non-profit SRI Philippines. Her rice crop was maturing and everybody noticed the promise of a just right harvest. Kit basked in the admiration of work-mates and officials, but silently prayed that her plot be spared from freak failures or pest attacks. It was no longer like this to start with, Kit recalls. Her newly planted SRI trial plot of around 900 square meters, had regarded definitely bare then, as if it used to be nonetheless being ready for planting.

Only when one came nearer and seemed more closely, would one understand the tiny seedlings, slightly ten days outdated, with simplest two leaves to show. Since every seedling had been planted ten inches clear of its neighbor – much farther than same old — the plot appeared spacious certainly. Kit nonetheless bristles on the name callings thrown her means by way of neighbors, when they noticed the newly planted seedlings. They questioned brazenly whether she had long gone mad. Kit had learned earlier the reason for planting seedlings singly quite than in clumps: rice seedlings were like babies. We don’t feed our youngsters from a unmarried plate with food enough just for one child, can we? For precisely the similar explanation why, Kit learned, we need to give each and every seedling its own “plate”, with enough nutrients and daylight for itself.

As a girl, she grasped the analogy at once. The knowledge made it more uncomplicated for her to forget about the name callings. There is another reason rice seedlings must now not be planted in clumps, Kit discovered. When several seedlings are planted beside every other, in one hill, they compete against every other like pups or piglets competing for their mom’s teats. In this competition, there will at all times be winners and losers. The taller seedlings get extra sunlight and grow quicker.

The shorter ones get less and develop extra slowly. The shortest of them, shaded by the remaining, turns into the “runt”. This sickly seedling will attract pests and illness. Since each and every clump can have this type of runt, the whole field can be vulnerable to pest and disease. Why should seedlings be transplanted whilst they just have two leaves? To others, this appeared a lot too early, compared to the conventional follow of transplanting seedlings with four to five leaves.

To Kit, it used to be the right time to transplant. In tropical international locations, she had realized earlier, the rice seedling’s first tiller appears on the fourth leaf. If the seedling is uprooted at the moment, the tillering process is interrupted, delaying if no longer aborting the method. When Kit transplanted her two-leaf seedlings, they nonetheless had greater than a week to calm down earlier than the tillering procedure started. Thus, with early transplanting, tillering can get started and continue with out interruption. In quick, Kit transplanted her seedlings in some way that gave them more time and area to supply more tillers. Instead of the standard five to seven tillers, Kit’s rice crops grew a mean of 32 paniclebearing tillers every and a most of 46. This is how, through SRI, Kit’s yield progressed.

By how much did her rice yield enhance? In Kit’s village, the everyday yield all over the second one cropping is four.75 lots consistent with hectare. In her SRI trial plot of 900 square meters, two samples of a 2×5-meter crop lower finished through the municipal agriculture place of work yielded an average of 7.5 heaps/hectare, contemporary weight. Corrected for moisture, this meant a yield of 6.7 heaps/ha, 40% higher than the typical yields in the area. Kit is doubly proud, because she did not use expensive hybrid seeds or industrial fertilizers.

For seed, she used C-four, a standard inbred selection standard for its eating qualities (see the image above). Decades ago, it was once a popular business variety. Today, it is infrequently noticed in markets. To enrich the soil, Kit used no artificial fertilizer. Instead, she implemented a combination consisting of 25 50-kg luggage of manure and 25 bags of rice hull, giving the rice crops no longer most effective more time and area, but additionally more vitamins.

She installed that a lot, Kit explains, because soil exams had shown that her trial plot was once extremely acidic. She doesn’t have to make use of as much within the succeeding seasons, she provides. The six farmers in Aringay who first attempted SRI in 2013, received encouragement and support from the municipal agriculturist Ben Magno and the Sangguniang Bayan (the town council) chairman of the committee on agriculture Ramsey Mangaoang. Through Mangaoang’s efforts, the council allotted an preliminary P200,000 price range to advertise SRI among Aringay’s rice farmers. Of the six SRI pioneers of Aringay, Kit was once the one girl. It makes her even prouder.