Brown Rice Farming; Cultivation Practices; Benefits

Brown Rice Farming/Cultivation Practices

Today, we are proving information on Brown Rice Farming, Planting Practices, Harvesting Techniques and Post-harvesting Methods.

Introduction to Brown Rice:

Brown rice is an unrefined and an unpolished whole grain which is formed by removing the surrounding hull of the rice kernel. Its grain retains its nutrient-dense bran & germ layer. It is chewier as compared to white rice & has a nutty flavor.

Brown rice is whole-grain rice with the inedible external hull removed. Brown rice is food often related to healthy eating. Considered as a whole grain, brown rice is less processed than white rice, which has had its hull, bran & germ removed. Brown rice has the hull (a hard protective covering) removed, leaving the nutrient-packed bran & germ. Brown rice retains the nutrients that white rice lacks such as vitamins, minerals & antioxidants.

Brown rice is a seed inedible husk has been removed (via milling). Brown rice normally has a distinctly nutty flavor and offers up grain with a good amount of “bite”, or chewiness. Dry brown rice will only last about six months at room temperature before the fatty bits in the bran and germ go rancid. Word has it that you can stave off the spoiling method for a good while by keeping your brown rice in the fridge or freezer.

Brown Rice.
Brown Rice.

Types of Brown Rice:

Long Grain Brown Rice

Long grain rice has a long, slender kernel, four times to five times longer than its width. Cooked grains are separate, light & fluffy.

Medium Grain Brown Rice

Medium grain rice has a shorter, wider kernel (two times to three times longer than its width) than long grain rice. Cooked grains are more moist & tender, and have a greater tendency to cling together than long grain.

Sweet Brown Rice

Sweet rice is short & plump with a chalky white, opaque kernel.  When cooked, sweet rice loses its shape & is very sticky.

Steps to be followed in Brown Rice Farming:

Seed Quality and Selection for Brown Rice Farming:

The use of quality seeds in the cultivation of rice is the main factor to get better crop yield. Therefore, proper care has to be taken in choosing seeds of the best quality. A lot of the success in raising the healthy seedlings depends on the quality of seed. Seeds intended for sowing must satisfy the following requirements:-

  1. The seed must belong to the proper variety, which is proposed to be grown.
  2. The seed should be clean & free from obvious mixtures of other seeds.
  3. The seed should mature, well developed & plump in size.
  4. The seed should be free from clear signs of age or bad storage
  5. The seed must have a high germinating capacity.

Before sowing the seed should be treated with fungicides which protect the seed against soil-borne fungi & also give a boost to the seedlings.

Seed is a living product that must be grown, harvested & processed correctly in order to realize the yield potential of any rice variety. Good quality seed can increase yields by 5 to 20%. Using good seed leads to lower seeding rates, higher crop emergence, reduced replanting, more uniform plant stands & more vigorous early crop growth. Vigorous growth in early stages reduces weed problems and increases crop resistance to insect pests & diseases. All of these factors give higher yields & more productive rice farms.

Good seed is uniform in size, viable and free of weed seeds, seed-borne diseases, pathogens, insects, or other matter. Choosing seed of an appropriate variety of rice that suits the environment. It will be grown in and ensuring the seed chosen of that variety is of the highest possible quality in rice production.

Soil Requirement for Brown Rice Farming:

Brown rice grows on a variety of soils like silts, loams & gravels. It can tolerate alkaline as well as acid soils. However, clayey loam is well appropriate to the raising of this crop. Clayey loam soil on monsoon land is considered to be the best for rice cultivation as water retention capacity of this soil is high. Brown rice grows in saline areas of the region. Rice cultivation needs high fertilizer appli­cation.

Brown rice crop is extremely versatile and adaptive & as far as India is concerned, it can be grown in most agro-climatic zones and soil varieties. Brown rice can be grown at altitudes ranging from sea level to 3000metres. Heat & Humidity are a prerequisite for the rice plant. The average temperature range throughout the crop cycle is between 21 to 37°C. Temperature, rainfall, humidity & other climatic conditions affect the plant. Brown rice is grown in all types of soils. For rice cultivation requires large amounts of water & moisture, those soils which have water retention capabilities for long periods are ideal. Clay & loam soils suit the growth of rice. Land preparation:

Before rice can be planted, the soil should be in the best physical condition for crop growth & the soil surface is level. Land preparation involves plowing & harrowing to ‘till’ or dig-up, mix and level the soil.

Tillage allows the seeds to be planted at the right depth and helps with weed control. Farmers can till the land themselves using hoes & other equipment or they can be assisted by draft animals, such as buffalo, or tractors and other machinery.

Next, the land is leveled to decrease the amount of water wasted by uneven pockets of too-deep water or exposed soil. Effective land leveling allows the seedlings to become recognized more easily, reduces the amount of effort required to manage the crop. And increases both grain qualities & yields.

Read: Soil Types and Suitable Crops in India.

Weed Management in Brown Rice Farming:

It is the process of keeping or minimizing the weed population & their growth below the level of economic injury to the crop with minimum environmental pollution.

Weed control is important to prevent losses in yield & production costs, and to preserve good grain quality. Specifically, weeds

  • Decrease yields by direct competition for sunlight, nutrients & water
  • Increase production costs, for example, higher labor or input costs
  • Reduce grain quality & price

For example, weed seeds in grain can origin the buyer price to be reduced.

Control of weeds during land preparation is crucial to decrease the amount of weed pressure in the field. Land preparation should start 3 to 4 weeks before planting. Plowing destroys weeds & remaining stubble from the previous crop. Weeds must be allowed to grow before the next cultivation. In addition, a level field helps retain constant water levels that control the weeds.

Crop Establishment in Brown Rice Farming:

The two main practices of establishing Brown rice plants are transplanted & direct seeding.

Transplanting is the most popular plant establishment method across Asia. Pre-germinated seedlings are moved from a seedbed to the wet field. It requires less seed & is an effective method to control weeds, but requires more labor. Seedlings can be transplanted by machine or hand.

Direct seeding involves broadcasting dry seed or pre-germinated seeds & seedlings by hand or planting them by machine. In rainfed & deepwater ecosystems, the dry seed is manually broadcast onto the soil surface. Then incorporated by ploughing or by harrowing while the soil is still dry. In irrigated areas, the seed is generally pre-germinated prior to broadcasting.

The depth of Planting and Directions of Rows in Brown Rice Farming:

The depth of planting has assumed considerable significance after the introduction of high yielding varieties. The highest yielding varieties are described with high tillering capacity. The high tillering potential of these varieties is, though, best expressed with shallow planting. The tiller buds produced at the basal node are not suppressed in case of shallow plantings. Therefore, the seedlings must be transplanted in 2 to 3 cm depth. Shallow planting gives improved yields. The deeper planting results in an increased height of the plants besides delays & inhibits tillering.

The crop planted with rows running in the north-south direction normally gives a better yield, particularly in Rabi season. The adoption of this practice is worthwhile because it does not involve any extra expenditure.

Different Methods of Seeding in Brown Rice Farming:

Seeding is completed in three different ways (i) drilling that means sowing in the furrow behind a plough, (ii) Dibbling & (iii) broadcasting. The light soils which normally come into conditions quickly, any method can be adopted. Seeding with the drilling process has got a greater advantage over other methods. Because of the uniformity of the stand & the control of the population of the plants per unit area. Heavy soils which do not come with conditions speedily, other methods except broadcasting are not feasible. It has been established that drilling or dibbling always gives considerably better yields than a broadcasting system.

Water Use and management in Brown Rice Farming:

Cultivated rice is particularly sensitive to water shortages. To ensure sufficient water, most rice farmers aim to keep flooded conditions in their field. This is particularly true for lowland rice. Good water management in lowland rice focuses on practices that preserve water while ensuring sufficient water for the crop.

In rainfed environments when the optimal quantity of water may not be available for rice production. A suite of options is obtainable to help farmers cope with different degrees and forms of water scarcity. It includes sound land preparation & pre-planting activities followed by techniques such as saturated soil culture, alternate wetting & drying, raised beds, mulching, and use of aerobic rice that can cope with dryer conditions.

Read: Irrigation Methods.

Nutrient management of Brown Rice Farming:

At each growth stage, the rice plant has particular nutrient needs. This makes nutrient management a critical aspect of Brown rice farming.

The unique properties of flooded soils create rice different from any other crop. Because of extended flooding in rice fields, farmers are able to conserve soil organic matter. Also receive free input of nitrogen from biological sources, which means they require little or no nitrogen fertilizer to retain yields. However, farmers can tailor nutrient management to the particular conditions of their field to increase yields.

Harvesting and Threshing in Brown Rice Farming:

The maximum quantity & better quality paddy and rice depend on the harvesting of the crop at the correct maturity stage. Therefore, it is of the paramount significance to harvest the crop at a suitable time.

Harvesting of the crop when it is not fully matured might effect in loss of yield with poor quality grains. If harvesting is delayed, the grain may be lost due to damage by rats, birds, insects, shattering & lodging. Thus, timely harvesting ensures better yield, good quality of grains, consumer acceptance & less breakage when milled. The right stage for harvesting as normally understood by laymen is when panicles turn into golden yellow & the grains contain about 20 percent moisture. When the moisture in the paddy grains reaches 16 to 17 percent of the standing crop in the fields, the crop sustains a heavy loss owing to shattering & damage by birds and rodents. Extensive studies have been carried out to indicate the optimum time of harvesting.

Based on the results of the various studies, in common, three criteria take into consideration to specify the right time of harvesting (i) the moisture content of the grains, (ii) the number of days after planting or flowering & (iii) the dry matter of the plant or seed.

The most common & old methods of threshing of paddy are trampling by bullocks, or lifting the bundles & striking them on the raised wooden platform. Now pedal threshers are creature used. Power-driven stationary threshers are used for quick threshing.

Post-Harvest Management Practices of Brown Rice

Drying:

Before milling, rice grains must be dried in order to reduce the moisture content to between 18-22%. This is completed with artificially heated air or, more often, with the help of naturally occurring sunshine. Rice grains are left on racks in the pasture to dry out naturally. Once dried, the rice grain, now called rough rice, is prepared for processing.

Dehusking:

The procedure of removing the husk is referred to as dehusking or dehulling or more commonly as shelling. Separation of the hull or husk from the paddy grains is passed out mechanically. Many machines have been invented with different working principles in order to make the dehusking procedure more effective.

Machines used for dehusking of paddy:

Centrifugal Shellers: Using the centrifugal force, dehusking is passed out in these machines. Through rotating impeller, the paddy grains are subjected to centrifugal force & thrown towards the outer casing. In the outer casing, shelling takes the position due to hitting with great force. Significant characteristics of these centrifugal shellers are high capacity & simple constitutional features as there is only one moving part, i.e. impeller. The inner surface of the casing is creased with rubber where the paddy grains hit. The paddy is fed to the center of the rotor in the centrifugal sheller. This machine can be modified simply to obtain a compact multistage mill by combining several units.

Disc Sheller: Disc shellers mostly consist of two abrasive discs either with one stationary or both moving in opposite directions; the dehusking takes a position between the discs. The best commercially obtainable machine of this type is under-runner disc sheller. It consists of two discs with their inner faces lined with emery roller; the bottom roller is rotating & the other is stationary. The paddy passes in between the two discs & gets dehusked. There are provisions in disc shellers to adjust the clearance between the discs, which make the machine appropriate to many varieties of paddy. It gives a marked increase (2 to 4%) in rice output over conventional huller in approximately all milling conditions

Rubber Roll Sheller: Paddy grains are fed between two rubber rollers & the rollers rotate in opposite directions at differential speed to increase the shearing force on the paddy grains which loosens & removes the husk from the paddy grains. During the procedure of dehulling, the grains are handled gently, due to compressible and flexible nature of rubber rolls. This is the reason to obtain more head rice recovery in rubber roll shellers than another type of shellers. The functional coefficient between paddy grain surface & rubber is lower than that of paddy and steel. This facilitates simple dehulling. The rubber roller mill gives improved quality Brown rice compared to other types of shellers which fetch more prices in the market

Separation:

The output material obtained from the dehusking machine would be the mixture of dehusked rice that means brown rice, husks and unhusked paddy. This mixture is subjected to the sieving-cum aspiration to divide the desirables from the undesirables.

Milling or Polishing:

Removal of bran layers is known as milling or polishing. There are two types of polishers, abrasive & friction polishers, which are generally used at a commercial level in rice milling.

Grading:

After the polishing process, the milled rice contains head rice (unbroken rice) and broken of different size. Separation of broken from head rice is done with step sieving machines.

Hulling:
  • Hulling can be completed by hand by rolling or grinding the rough rice between stones. Though, more often it is processed at a mill with the help of automated processes. The rough rice is first cleaned by passing during a number of sieves that sift out the debris. Blown air removes the top substance.
  • Once clean, the rice is hulled by a device that mimics the action of the handheld stones. The shelling machine loosens the hulls from the rice by rolling them between 2 sheets of metal coated with abrasives. 80-90% of the kernel hulls are removed during this procedure.
  • From the shelling machine, the grains & hulls are conveyed to a stone reel that aspirates the waste hulls & moves the kernels to a machine that separates the hulled from the unhulled grains. By shaking the kernels, the paddy device forces the heavier unhulled grains to one side of the machine, while the lighter weight rice falls to the other end. The unhulled grains are then siphoned to another batch of shelling machines to complete the hulling procedure. Hulled rice grains are called as brown rice.

Cost of Brown Rice:

The cost of Brown rice approximately Rs. 80 to 120/Kilogram.

Nutrient profile of Brown Rice:

Brown rice is an extremely nutritious food. It is a whole grain that is relatively low in calories (216 calories per cup), high in fiber, gluten-free & can be incorporated into a variety of dishes.

One cup of Brown rice includes:

  • Calories: 216
  • Carbs: 44 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Fat: 1.8 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Thiamin (B1): 12% of the RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake)
  • Niacin (B3): 15% of the RDI
  • Pyridoxine (B6): 14% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 6% of the RDI
  • Iron: 5% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 21% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 16% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 8% of the RDI
  • Copper: 10% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 88% of the RDI
  • Selenium: 27% of the RDI

This whole grain is a good source of folate, riboflavin (B2), potassium & calcium. Brown rice is exceptionally high in manganese. This little-known mineral is vital for several important processes in the body, such as bone development, wound healing, muscle contraction metabolism, nerve function & blood sugar regulation.

Benefits of Brown Rice:

Helps in Diabetes Control

Brown rice is beneficial for diabetic & hyperglycemic individuals. It has a low glycemic index, which is helpful in reducing insulin surges & assists in the stabilization of blood sugar levels in the body.

Rich in Antioxidants

Brown rice is rich in powerful antioxidants, which extend their protection beside the damage caused by oxygen free radicals. It contains an important antioxidant enzyme known as superoxide dismutase, which protects the cells from oxidation damage during energy production.

Helps in preventing obesity

Brown rice is instrumental in seeking weight; manage for the people combating with obesity. It has manganese, which helps to synthesize the body fats. Consumption of whole grains such as brown rice has positive effects on the body with respect to reduction in body mass index & body fat.

Helps in improving digestive health

Brown rice is a healthful staple which can be added to the daily diet for maintaining the digestive system healthy. Fiber present in it helps regulate the bowel function & keeps a fuller feeling.

Controls cholesterol levels

Read: Growing Akhrots.

Brown rice is a healthy option for maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol attributing to the occurrence of naturally occurring oils. An investigative study has revealed that it possesses hypocholesterolemic qualities that control cholesterol catabolism. It contains helpful nutrients that help in lipid and glucose metabolism.

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