Nonavailability of irrigation water and a shortage of labor during peak periods increase labor wages and make transplanting and manual weeding costly, invariably causing delays in farm operations. Moreover, puddling as a prerequisite for transplanting deteriorates the soil. Land preparation becomes difficult and requires more energy to achieve proper soil tilth for succeeding crops. To solve this problem, many farmers switch to direct-seeding under unpuddled conditions.
Direct-seeding can reduce the labor requirement, shorten crop duration by 7-10 d, and provide grain yield comparable with that of transplanting (De Datta 1986). Because of the need to develop appropriate rice crop establishment methods to improve rice yield, this study was carried out to assess the effect of different establishment methods on hybrid rice productivity.