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Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) vs. Transplantation Method, Advantages & Disadvantages

Direct Seeding of Rice

  • Context (IE): Direct seeding of rice (DSR) method, instead of transplanting method, cuts down the massive water consumption of paddy. It is particularly helpful in weak monsoon years.
  • Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR), also called the broadcasting seed technique, is a water-saving paddy cultivation method.
  • In this method, the fields are levelled, pre-sowing irrigation is done, and seeds are directly sown into the fields.
  • Seeds are sown earlier than in the transplantation method.
Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) Transplantation Method
Seeds are directly sown into the fields Seeds are sown in a nursery bed for 20-25 days, and seedlings are transplanted to waterlogged fields.
Needs more fertiliser Needs less fertiliser.
Interspacing between plants is not uniform Interspacing between plants is uniform
Require less labour Require high labour
The average yield is high The average yield is lower
Plants are usually healthier and have robust, deeper root systems. Plants do not have deep root systems.
Large amounts of seeds are required Fewer amounts of seeds are required
A higher density of plants A lower density of plants
Weed control is difficult Weed control is easy
Relatively cheaper Relatively costlier

Direct Seeding of Rice

Advantages of Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR)

  • DSR technique can help save 15% to 25% water as it requires less irrigation rounds.
  • It requires less labour. So, it cuts down labour costs and solve labour shortage problems.
  • It helps in replenishment of ground water because the hard crust that forms beneath the plough layer in the transplanted method which prevents water percolation is not formed in the Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) method.
  • It helps control the stubble burning problem (which causes air pollution) because crops grown by the Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) method mature earlier than transplanted crops, giving more time for paddy straw management.
  • It saves up to 27% energy as pumping energy for field preparation and irrigation is required less.
  • It enhances fertiliser use efficiency because of fertiliser use in the root zone.
  • It reduces methane emissions as there is no need to flood the paddy field.
  • It causes less disturbance to soil structure.
  • Flooding of fields cuts off oxygen supply from the atmosphere leading to anoxic decomposition (a condition in which microorganisms use nitrate for decomposition), emitting methane.

Disadvantages of Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR)

  • It is difficult to control weeds in Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) due to the severe weed infestation caused by the lack of a standing water layer during plant growth.
  • It requires large amounts of seeds.
  • It needs laser land levelling, which is costly.
  • It is very sensitive to rain. Seeding must be completed before the monsoon’s arrival, and sudden rain immediately after seeding has a negative impact.
  • It uses largescale herbicides for weed control, leading to herbicide resistance in some weeds.
  • Aerobic soil (presence of oxygen) conditions in Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) methods leads to higher nitrous oxide emissions (Nitrous oxide is the most important greenhouse gas after methane and carbon dioxide).
  • Uneven cropping may lead to failure in achieving the potential yield in this method.
  • Availability of subsidised or even free electricity for irrigation.
  • Lack of good machines required for the Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) method.


  • Rice accounts for 1/3rd production of food grains in India.
  • India is the 2nd largest producer of rice in the world after China.
  • It is an indigenous crop grown all over the country, with the highest concentration in the northeastern and southern parts.
  • It is a Kharif crop in north India, while in south India, it can be grown throughout the year if irrigation is available.
  • It grows best in warm (>25°C), high humidity and heavy rainfall areas (>150 cm).
  • Assured water supply is necessary for the success of this crop.
  • In India, three varieties of rice are grown.
  1. Aman (sown in the rainy season, i.e., July-August and harvested in winter),
  2. Aus (sown in summer along with the pre-monsoon showers and harvested in autumn)
  3. Boro (sown in winter and harvested in summer; it is also called spring rice).
    • India’s leading rice-producing states: 1st West Bengal > 2nd Uttar Pradesh > 3rd Punjab > 4th Tamil Nadu > 4th Andhra Pradesh.
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