Quality rice seed seen requiring smaller quantities per hectare

RICE FARMERS are overseeding their fields, with the ideal volume for quality seed seen at between 20 to 80 kilograms per hectare depending on planting method, much less than what farmers are actually sowing, a researcher from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said.   

Senior science research specialist Marvin J. Manalang said during a webinar that farmers need 20 to 40 kilos of seed per hectare for transplanted rice and 60 to 80 kilos for direct wet seeded rice. 

 

“Studies show that most farmers in the country use 80 to 160 kilograms of rice seed per hectare thinking that sowing more results in high yield,” Mr. Manalang said.   

According to Mr. Manalang, one kilo of rice seed contains 45,000 grains, which means 40 kilos will have 1.8 million grains. Assuming an 85% germination rate, 40 kilos should yield more than 1.5 million seedlings.   

“If a farmer transplants at a 20 centimeter by 20 centimeter distance, there will be 250,000 hills in a hectare. At three seedlings transplanted per hill, a hectare would require 750,000 seedlings. This is half of the seeds that germinated,” Mr. Manalang said.   

Meanwhile, Mr. Manalang said the production of sufficient healthy seedlings for transplant rice can be achieved with the use of quality seed and proper seedbed technique, and healthy seedlings.   

He added that farmers need to prepare land properly, manage pests, and adopt the correct sowing practices. 

“If sufficient healthy seedlings are planted, it will lead to high yield, high grain quality, high profit, and minimal damage to the environment,” Mr. Manalang said. – Revin Mikhael D. Ochave