Deepwater rice planted in central, eastern Thailand
Farmers in the eastern and central Thai provinces of Prachin Buri and Nakhon Nayok are being encouraged to plant "Khao Banna 432," a new variety of rice that grows well in flooded conditions and can sustain more than 100cm of water for at least a month, according to the Rice Department.
About 40 Prachin Buri farmers have planted the new varieties for seed for later sowing, said rice department director general Chairit Damrongkiat, adding that they hope to produce 150 tonnes of deepwater rice seed on a total area of 400 rai, Thai News Agency reported.
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 Prachin Buri and Nakhon Nayok.
Floating rice, which is one of the two deepwater rice adaptations, grows in water deeper than 100 cm through an 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, and have longer stems and leaves than standard rice.