Rice Cultivation
Sona Masuri/BPT 5204/Samba Masuri rice is being cultivated mainly under irrigated condition and to a small extent under rain fed condition It is being grown under irrigated condition adopting channel, tank and lift irrigated condition mainly in kharif season in almost all districts of AP. It is being grown in large areas of Kurnool, Warangal and Nellore and to a small extent in all other districts of AP. It is also being grown in Raichur, Bellary, Belgaum and Bijapur districts of Karnataka. It is also being grown as drill sown or dry sown rice which is irrigated later in KC canal belt of Kurnool district of AP and in Dharwad, Belgaum, Raichur, Bidar districts of Karnataka. Among released varieties of rice BPT 5204 or Sona Masuri from Bapatla in AP is being cultivated in large tracts of rice growing area in other states outside AP during kharif season. Depending upon irrigation availability suitability of climate Sona Masuri rice is also being grown in rabi and summer conditions, both put together is only about 10% of what is being grown in kharif during 2008-09
Sowing time/season
Sowing in kharif generally start with "Rohini karthe" which starts around May 25. Farmers by tradition especially in Telangana region of AP are having belief that when sown in "Rohini karthe" they will get good yield of rice. Scientific data also proved that earlier the sowing in kharif better will be yield. Hot summer kills all forms of vegetation and life support material for pests and diseases on soil due to lack of moisture. In Sona Masuri growing area good rains will come through 'south-west monsoon' in first or second week of June. Nursery will grow without pest or disease attack in this period. If water can be provided for nursery, this is the best period for raising rice nursery. This is not only true with Sona Masuri rice it is also true with almost all other kharif varieties. As the date of sowing goes from May to June, later July and in some cases August there will be gradual decline in yield. Pest and disease attack will also be more in late sown crop compared to early sown crop. There will be very poor yield if BPT 5204 is sown in August.
BPT 5204 will not tolerate low winter temperature. This variety gives economical yield during rabi, only when sown in areas where winter temperatures are high. It is being grown in rabi in small area in Kurnool Anantapur and Nellore districts in AP. It is advisable to raise late in rabi when temperatures are raising i.e. first week of January, so that nursery growth is satisfactory. However, rabi crop yield will be good where temperatures during flowering period in April are moderate i.e. around 35oC. Higher temperatures during flowering reduce yield.
Cropping pattern and Cropping System
Where water is plenty two crops of rice are being taken up. Even then Sona Masuri generally will not be taken up as rabi crop, except for seed production purpose. There is vast demand for seed of BPT 5204 in kharif season.
In coastal districts of AP from Srikakulam to Nellore sowing of black gram or green gram, few days before harvest of kharif rice when moisture is there in the top soil is very popular. This practice is still being continued in many areas except where harvesting is being taken up with combines. Presently maize, sunflower, castor, Bengal gram is being sown after harvest of rice without doing any field preparation i.e. zero tillage. To control weeds and stopping re growth of stubbles spraying @ 8 ml paraquat/litre water is being practiced. Seed can be sown a day after spray of paraquat, and use available soil moisture for next crop. If there is moisture deficit in top soil giving light irrigation can be done or mechanised sowing can be adopted. Depending on need weedicides can be applied later. In maize, 4-5 g atrazine/litre water and in sunflower, castor or bengal gram 5-6 ml pendimethaline/litre water can be applied within 1-2 days of sowing when moisture in top soil is there.
If groundnut, sesamum etc crops are to be taken up after rice; field preparation is compulsory, to maintain good plant stand.
Growing rice becomes inevitable if rice is grown in adjacent plots and seepage water affects adjacent plots. Rice is the only popular crop which can tolerate high moisture content in soil and also give reasonably good yield and income to the farmer.
Where crops are being grown under wells growing all types of crops depending on need is possible because water management is possible. Maize, sorghum, pearl millet, green gram, black gram, sugarcane, castor, groundnut, cotton, vegetables like tomato, brinjal, lady's finger, etc can be rotated with rice.
Sonamasuri Profile Package of Practices - Seed Profile

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