Line planting (drilling) or spot planting (dibbling) is recommended for ensuring optimum seeding depth, plant population and easier weed control.
For line planting leave 30cm between the lines while for spot planting, create 30cmx12.5cm with seven seeds per hole.
20kgs per acre is the optimum seeding rate. Seeds can be got from certified seed dealers around the country.
It is recommended that upland rice is planted at a depth of 2-4cms. Deeper planting causes low germination and delayed maturity.
On the other hand, shallow planting has risks of drought and damage by birds. It is recommended that you apply Urea and DAP at a rate of 20kgs per acre three weeks after germination and again, apply Urea 8 weeks after germination.
A 50kg of DAP costs sh130,000.
Weeds prevent rice from receiving sunshine, soil nutrients and water. Weeds also attract insects, rats and diseases. Weeding must be done at least two times, at three and six weeks, after germination either by hand or hoe.
Look out for rice blast. It appears through spots and lesions on the leaves. It can be controlled by planting resistant varieties, like NERICAs and avoid excessive application of nitrogen fertilisers because it may turn poisonous to the plant.
The stems of the rice are cut close to the ground using serrated sickles. This method of harvesting is faster than harvesting panicles using a knife. Harvesting should be done when 80-85% of the grains are yellow-coloured on the outside and the grains of the lower party of the panicle are in the hard stage.
Threshing can be done by beating with logs, sticks or using a thresher. Threshing by beating increases broken grains at milling hence making losses. Use a thresher where possible.
Open-air drying is the commonest practice in Uganda.
Compiled by Joshua Kato (editor, Harvest Money)