Q 1: What are the varieties for dry or aerobic rice cultivation?

Ans: There is no specific rice variety for the aerobic rice planting. The rice varieties being used by the farmers can also be used in dry rice planting. Aerobic or dry rice culture is a new method in which rice is planted as direct seeding like wheat or maize crop. , any other approved rice variety can be used for this system.

Q2: What is the method of aerobic rice planting?

Ans: First of all, prepare the land in dry to fine seedbed and then irrigate it. At optimum moisture condition, again prepare the seedbed to fine with 2-3 ploughings and planking. Then, use Rabi Drill/Zero-Till Drill in well-leveled field at optimum moisture level for seed sowing at a distance of 9”. In case, the drill is not available, seed (soaked for 30-35 hours) may be broadcast in open tilled field and then planked.

Q3: How much seed can be used?

Ans: For basmati rice varieties, seed should be 12-14 kg per acre. The seed may be soaked for 15 hours and dry it for few hours in the shade to decrease its moisture content which facilitates its free flow during seed drilling. Soaking of seed with Topsin-M/Vitawax (@ 2 gram/Kg of seed) eliminates or reduces seed borne and soil-born diseases.

Q4: What is the optimum time for aerobic rice cultivation?

Ans: The best planting time of aerobic rice is 15 to 20 days earlier than the traditional transplanting period. So, for basmati rice varieties, June 10-30 is optimum time while, for non-basmati rice varieties, May 15-June 10 is the appropriate time.

Q5: Do we need to keep the flooding condition in aerobic rice?

Ans: Absolutely not. Aerobic rice crop does not require continuous flooding and can be safely irrigated. First irrigation may be given when germination completes and plants require irrigation water, most probably at 12-15 days after sowing. Subsequent irrigations may be given in 3-4 days intervals to keep the field saturated up to 40 days. Then, the interval between irrigations may be increased to keep the field at optimum moisture level (Watter). However, water stress be avoided at tilling, panicle initiation, and grain filling stages which are very crucial for obtaining higher yields.

Q6: How to control weeds in aerobic rice culture?

Ans: Weeds are a major concern for high productivity in aerobic rice crop. The pre planting herbicides like Pendimethalin, Stamp should be applied immediate after seeding. Then, at 30-35 days after sowing, when maximum weeds appear, post-emergence herbicides like, Clover (Nominee; marketed by Four-Brother Ltd) can be used for effective control of grass weeds. For the control of Sedges (Deela, ghuin, bhuin, etc), Sunstar/Starline may also be used.

Q7: What is fertilizer dose to be applied in aerobic rice?

Ans: Full dose of P and K (1-1.5 bags DAP and 1 bag SOP per acre) may be applied at sowing. While, 80 per cent of the recommended dose of Nitrogen (2.0-2.5 bags Urea for Basmati & 2.5-3.0 bags for non-basmati) should be applied between 30-70 days after sowing of rice. The remaining 20 % nitrogen may be applied before flowering.

Q8: What is a good quality rice seed?

Ans: Good quality seed is pre-requisite for high productivity. It should possess the following characteristics:

• Varietal purity

• High germination capacity and vigour

• Uniform size

• Free from weed seeds and diseases

Q9: Where from we can get certified rice seed?

Ans: Farmers can get certified rice seed from the following sources.

• Punjab and Sindh Seed Corporations

• Rice Research Institute (RRI), Kaka Shah Kaku and RRI, Dokri, Larkana

• Private seed companies

These agencies supply only 8-10% of the total required seed. The remaining 90% seed is produced by the farmers themselves

Q10: How can farmer produce good quality rice seed?

Ans: Farmers can produce the seed of approved rice varieties at their own farms to meet their needs. Farmers must follow the given instructions.

• Selection of field: Select a field of farm which is free from soil borne diseases.

• Isolation: For Seed purpose, different varieties should not be grown adjacent to each other to avoid out crossing. 
Isolation in time may be a possibility otherwise suitable space isolation could be used effectively.

• Protection from insect pests, diseases and weeds: Crop must be fully protected through cultural practices and pesticide use.

• Rouging: Removal of undesired plants from seed crop is necessary for seed purification. Best rouging time is when the 
crop is in full flowering stage.

• Harvesting and threshing: Normally the appropriate harvesting time ranges from 30-35 days after flowering 
when 85-95% panicle becomes straw coloured. Keep the harvested crop 2-3 days for drying before threshing. 
Do not harvest seed crop with combines to avoid admixture. Threshing floor should be kept clean during
harvesting and threshing operations. After drying and cleaning, seed should be packed in bags, labeled and stored properly.

Q11: What is seed rate and time of sowing?



Variety type

Seeding time

Seed rate/acre


IRRI type

Basmati type

May 20-June 7

June 1- June 20

7 kg

5 kg

Lower Sindh

Upper Sindh

All varieties

All varieties

April 25-June 10

May 15-June 30

7 kg

7 kg

KPK (plains)

KPK (Swat etc)

All varieties

All Varieties

May 1- May 30

May 1- May 20

7 kg

8 kg


All varieties

May 15-June 30

7 kg

In all parts of the country, rice crop is established by transplanting 30-35 days old nursery. To get higher yields, recommended sowing and transplanting schedule must be followed.

Q12: What are the recommended rice varieties and their area of cultivation?

Ans: There are three types of rice varieties are grown in Pakistan, viz; Basmati type, IRRI type and Cold tolerant (bold and short grains). These varieties are area specific depending on environmental condition. 

Area of cultivation


Central Punjab

Southern Punjab

Basmati 370, Basmati Pak, Basmati 385, Super Basmati, Basmati 2000, Shaeen Basmati, Basmati 515, KS-282, KSK-133, NIAB IR-9.

Basmati 198, Super Basmati, KS-282, KSK-133, and rice hybrids

Upper Sindh

Lower Sindh

IR-6, DR-82, DR-83, DR-92, Sada Hayat, Sarshar, Shahkar and rice hybrids

IR-6, Shadab, Shua-92, Khushboo-95 and hybrids


IR-6, DR-83, Sarshar, Sada Hayat, Shahkar and rice hybrids

KPK (plains)

KPK (Swat area etc)

IR-6, KS-282, KSK-133

JP-5, Kashmir Nafees, Swat-I, Swat-II, Dilrosh-97, Fakher-e- Malakund

Q13: Are there recommended rice hybrids available and their area of cultivation?

Ans: The rice hybrids are getting popular in the country and so far 36 six rice hybrids belonging to different Seed Companies have been recommended by VEC for general cultivation in Sindh, Baluchistan and Southern Punjab only.

Q14: What is the recommended dose of fertilizers for rice crop?


Rice varieties

Fertilizer dose (N-P-K kg/acre)

Basmati type

55-30-25 (N-P-K)

IRRI type

70-40-25 (N-P-K)

All Phosphorus (P) and Potash (K) and half of the Nitrogen (N) should be applied at the time of land preparation. The remaining Nitrogen should be applied in two splits; one after 35 days of transplanting and other before flowering. The fertilizer doses can be adjusted according to level of soil fertility.

Q15: Do we need Zinc to rice crop?

Ans: Yes, all the rice soils in Pakistan are deficient in Zinc. The symptoms zinc appears after 3-4 weeks after transplanting in the shape of brown spot on leaves. To overcome this problem, apply Zinc Sulphate (35%) @ 8 kg per acre after two weeks of rice transplanting. Or enrich rice nursery with Zinc Sulphate (35%) @ 30 kg per acre of rice nursery. In this way, there is no need to apply Zinc to transplanted crop.

Q16: How can we improve rice soil health?

Ans: Rice soils have been exhausted by continuous cultivation of rice and wheat and have become deficient in organic matter. To improve physical health of soil, green manuring (with dhaincha or sunnhemp or guara or cowpeas) or inclusion of legumes in between rice and wheat crops is must. Similarly, incorporation of rice and wheat straw (instead of burning) in soil can also help in increasing organic matter of the soil.

Q17: What are main diseases and how can we manage them?

Ans: The rice mainly suffers from bacterial leaf blight, blast and brown leaf spot, stem rot, kernel smut and false smut which cause substantial losses annually. These diseases can be managed by applying integrated approach. Such as:

• Seed treatment with available seed dresser like Topsin M (70%) WP

• Planting resistant varieties

• Using fungicides/bactericides (Copper oxychloride, Cobox etc for BLB)

• Balanced fertilizer application

• Crop rotation

• Field sanitation

• Proper water management

Q18: What are major insect pests of rice and their management?

Ans: In Pakistan, major insect pests are stem borers, leaffolder and whitebacked planthopper, which cause 15-20 % on recurrent basis. The mealy bugs occur periodically in Sindh. The incidence of pests varies from one region to other: Leaffolder is predominant all over the rice growing areas, stem borers are predominant in Punjab and D. I. Khan areas, whitebacked planthopper in Sindh and Baluchistan and grasshoppers in Swat areas.

Farmers mainly use insecticide to control these pests. No single method can mange all the pests or even a single pests under all situations. Integrated pest management (IPM) offers promise to reduce dependence on pesticides. IPM is an intelligent selection and use of pest management tactics by taking into consideration appropriate economical, ecological and sociological factors. Pests can be managed by logical integration of various tactics like use of resistant varieties, modifications of pest environment (removal of alternate food sources, timely sowing, water management (AWD) and manipulation of biodiversity in agri-matrix), conservation and utilization of bio-control agents (parasitoids, predators etc), balanced use of fertilizers and when necessary, an appropriate and timely use of insecticides. It is therefore, imperative to adopt integrated approach for the management of these pests and achieve sustainable crop production and environmental protection.

Q19: What is the appropriate time of rice harvesting and threshing?

Ans: Timely harvesting ensures optimum grain yield and quality, higher market and consumers’ acceptance. Generally, the appropriate harvesting time ranges from 30-35 days after flowering. This is the stage when 85-95 % of upper portion of panicle is straw coloured. Harvested crop is left 2-3 days in field for drying. Best results can be obtained only if crop is harvested in the morning and threshed in the afternoon on the same day. Threshed paddy should be cleaned properly to fetch good market price. Now a days, mostly paddy is harvested with combines in Punjab, which causes lot of damage to grains and reduce less milling recovery.

Courtesy ppra

Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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