India: No-till rice

The “thrown seedling” technique in actionField demonstrations in West Bengal prove that using paraquat and no-till


Also known as conservation tillage or zero tillage is a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage ie cultivating the soil usually with tractor-drawn implements.

Authoritative On-line References and Resources  A portal for on-line information about no-till farming.
plus thrown seedling technology in paddy rice is enhancing productivity. Paraquat and no-till are providing a solution that minimizes the cost and number of days required for rice cultivation.
“Minimizing costs includes the cost of plowing, which is about Rs. 2250 to 3000,” commented Mr. Tapas Kundu, District Plant Protection Officer, North 24 Parganas, for the Government of West Bengal’s Department of Agriculture. He goes on to explain, “Normally, establishing rice requires 12 to 14 days for land preparation, including one or two days of plowing and eight to 10 days of stoppage to allow the weeds to decompose before the farmer gives the field a final cultivation and levels the field for rice transplanting. By using paraquat, a farmer can transplant in just four days. So, he can save an average of 10 days using this method and can use this time to establish his next crop, like early potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables, which fetch an attractive market price.” At first farmers were doubtful, but seeing is believing…and now government officials are extremely positive.  Seven days after being thrown into the paddy, seedlings had established themselves and stood at 90-degree angles. The seedlings in these no-till plots also demonstrated more root growth and improved coloration compared to plots planted using conventional tillage


Full width tillage which disturbs all of the soil surface and is performed prior to and/or during planting. There is less than 15 percent residue cover after planting. Generally involves plowing or intensive (numerous) tillage trips. Weed control is accomplished with crop protection products and/or inter-row cultivation.

Authoritative On-line References and Resources A news item from FAO discussing the problems with plowing and the advantages of conservation agriculture.
Local farmers who witnessed the results of the demonstration plot referred to the approach as revolutionary:  "We never thought that rice planted by dropping can establish so well. Now we are confident in this new technology," commented farmers Abdul Rahup Molla, Abdur Rahim, and Abdul Karim Molla. The outstanding results shown by the demonstration plot also prompted immediate reaction from government officials who committed 21 farmer-owned plots in Boro to create their own model demonstration plots featuring paraquat and no-till techniques. Similar demonstration plots are being established in other West Bengal territories as well. No-till systems, were developed to prevent soil erosion


Displacement of solids (soil, mud, rock and other particles) usually by the agents of currents such as, wind, water, or ice by downward or down-slope movement.

Authoritative On-line References and Resources This site brings together reliable information on soil erosion from a wide range of disciplines and sources. It aims to be the definitive internet source for those wishing to find out more about soil loss and soil conservation.
and reduce labor and fuel costs. Paraquat’s contact-only action allows farmers to control weeds without killing the weed root structure, making it an ideal herbicide for use in conservation and no-till systems.