Crop Establishment

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Dry-seeding is sowing of dry seeds into dry or moist, non-puddled soil.  This can allow for quicker land preparation and reduces the irrigation water required for crop establishment as “soil puddling” is not required.

Land preparation

The object is to produce a level seedbed with fine soil tilth and free of established weeds.  Depending on the available machinery locally, this may be achieved by ploughing at the end of the dry season followed by harrowing or firstly using heavy disc harrows followed by light harrowing, or rotovation with a single axle tractor.  Allowing weeds to grow between cultivations may reduce the incidence of weeds in the subsequent crop.

Stale-seedbed. This technique involves repeated plowing and harrowing before planting. Weeds are allowed to emerge and are then killed by cultivation. This technique is effective in reducing the reserve of weed seeds in the soil, and will greatly reduce weed infestation in the subsequent crop.


Cultivating the soil dry



Harrowing to level the soil

Plant population

The target number of plants to be established ranges from 100 to 150 plants per m2. To meet this target, seeding rates vary between 50 and 150 kg per ha depending on the growing conditions and seedbed, seeding method, and quality of the seed. 

Sowing methods

Sowing by hand or using fertilizer spreader could be done either by use of a seed drill to place the seed in rows or by broadcasting.  Seeds should be placed (not more than 2 cm) covered lightly.  Avoid burying the seeds too deep which may cause poor germination.


Broadcast seeded


Seeding in furrows


Emerged seeds of dry-seeded rice before flooding