Farmers urged to grow flood-resistant rice

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PRACHINBURI, Oct 5 – Farmers in the eastern and central Thai provinces of Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok are being encouraged to plant “Khao Banna 432,” a new variety of rice grown in flooded conditions having more than 100cm of water for at least a month, according to the Rice Department.

About 40 Prachinburi farmers have planted the new varieties for seed to be sown later, said rice department director general Chairit Damrongkiat, adding that they hope to produce 150 tonnes of deepwater rice seed on the total area of 400 rai.

The seed will be distributed to farmers to be grown on 6,000 rai next year, with a target yield of 2,100 tonnes in the harvest.

The deepwater rice scheme should expand to 84,000 rai in 2014, an area representing 80-90 per cent of the total 100,000 rai of paddy fields in Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok.

Floating rice, which is one of the two deepwater rice adaptations, grows in water deeper than 100 cm through advanced elongation ability. When a rice field is flooded, accelerated growth of the stem allows the plant to keep some of its foliage on top of the water.

The other deepwater rice adaptation method, “traditional talls,” are varieties grown in water depths of 50 to 100cm, having longer stems and leaves than standard rice.