Rice is cultivated in many different ways around the world, the different methods used can differ greatly even in the same locality.
In most Asian countries the ancient primitive methods for cultivating and harvesting are still practised. The fields are prepared by:
- Ploughing – Usually with a simple plough drawn by water buffalo, ploughing breaks up the soil.
- Fertilised – Naturally fertilised.
- Smoothing – Where a log is dragged over the field to smooth the earth, giving a smooth bed for the seedlings to be planted on and ensures the water depth is equal.
Seedlings are started in beds and a after a period of 30 -50 days are transplanted by hand to fields which have been flooded by rain or river water. The seedlings are often placed a hand span apart. During the growing season, irrigation is maintained by dike controlled channels or by hand watering. The fields are drained before cutting of the crop commences.