Manual system is the most common means of rice harvesting. The rice crop is cut by using simple hand tools like sickle (best for cutting 15−25 cm above ground level), and simple hand-held knives (best for cutting just below the panicle, e.g. ani ani in Indonesia).
When cutting crop with a sickle, always hold the stems with thumb pointing upwards, away from the blade.
- Advantages: Very effective in lodged crop conditions
- Disadvantages: Labor-intensive; Manual harvesting requires 5−10 person days per hectare. It will take additional labor to manually collect and haul the harvested crop.