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Rice Crop Profitability

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45 minutes ago, ozzydom said:

soil improvement would go a long way to improving yield.

The usual practice around here is to just leave stubble on compacted paddy until burning it about February then waiting for first rain to soften the paddy enough to plough .

Turning over the stubble to fallow then discing one time if weeds emerge would be of benefit instead of parking the iron horse and hanging the hammock until May/June.

These two posts sum up the position as I see it. I am trying to think up a way of achieving soil improvement and increasing yields without introducing too much extra cost. The period available is between Dec and May some 6 months. As Oz outlined incorporating the stubble. Bale the straw and use that for straw bale vegetables/mushrooms before incorporating back into the paddy. The provides part of the carbon SOM.

KS's question on what else can we use is a good one. EM and trichodermia innoculation is one way to help break down the straw and to combat against diseases like rice blast. Growing fodder crops or green manure in the paddy looking for nitrogen increase. 

 

12 hours ago, kickstart said:

13 hours ago, kickstart said:

what new technology could Thailand use especially in Issan to up the yields,can not all to do with water ,I know that does play a big part ,what else

 

Edited by IsaanAussie

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1 hour ago, ozzydom said:

soil improvement would go a long way to improving yield.

The usual practice around here is to just leave stubble on compacted paddy until burning it about February then waiting for first rain to soften the paddy enough to plough .

Turning over the stubble to fallow then discing one time if weeds emerge would be of benefit instead of parking the iron horse and hanging the hammock until May/June.

Oz,i leave the stubble on top to use as a soil armour to retain subsoil moisture.For me pumping water is the biggest expense.

I have found burning just prior to planting also helps with disease so no pesticides are needed in crop normally saving another input cost.

While as you suggest fallowing is also good for disease and weed control you will require more water to get started and nitrogen on the next years crop.

What i see here in my area for low yields is late plantings with people retaining the same seed from the previous year(long season variety) rather than keeping the option open for when the season breaks and using a variety according to conditions.

 

20200125_112221.jpg

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5 hours ago, Grumpy John said:

There's a rice farmer over in Nam Om who lives in our village that no-one......maybe no-one likes who rotavates his paddies after the rice harvester has been through.  I thought that is a smart way to do it.   There is absolutely no sense in waiting till its dry to burn the stubble. Interesting thing is there is energy in the fresh stubble which will enhance the soil.  My guess is he can use less fertiliser as well.  He always has a bonus rice crop as its right next to our #2 orchard and I see it every year. 

The most disliked job on my farm is unblocking rotovator blades full of heavy clay and straw.

Rototiller may work ok.

Might be 10% of goodness in the stubble.

The rest will require breaking down.

Edited by farmerjo
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Never seen the rice stubble burned. Usually for the cattle to open graze, wife's mother will have a Kobota come in and disc under after harvest to give the soil a kick. But, I've been away from Isaan for past 2+ years.

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Me and my wife have had a rice farm for over 10 years.

 

It feeds the extended family and never makes one baht.

 

In fact it seems we are always spending more money each planting season.

 

If you were the sell it, the millers have a racket and never pay what is close to a fair price.

 

If you don't sell to them, things can get really nasty

 

Lose, Lose situation all around.

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On 1/25/2020 at 11:40 AM, IsaanAussie said:

These two posts sum up the position as I see it. I am trying to think up a way of achieving soil improvement and increasing yields without introducing too much extra cost. The period available is between Dec and May some 6 months. As Oz outlined incorporating the stubble. Bale the straw and use that for straw bale vegetables/mushrooms before incorporating back into the paddy. The provides part of the carbon SOM.

KS's question on what else can we use is a good one. EM and trichodermia innoculation is one way to help break down the straw and to combat against diseases like rice blast. Growing fodder crops or green manure in the paddy looking for nitrogen increase. 

 

12 hours ago, kickstart said:

Photos I took today ,these fields have been mone cropped with rice for a good few years ,this is a crop of Mung Beans ,sown about the new year ,the odds of the owner getting a crop is slim ,no rain and the imminent  hot season on its way ,but I think he is not to bothered ,he will plough it all in as a green manure .

You can see the seed bed is not good ,he used either a Ford and a 7 disc plough and seeder or a little  Hino and 5 disc plus seeded straight in to the rice stubble ,either way the input was not that much ,a total of about 20 rie ,this is the second, ,third time he has done this ,over the past 4 years ,the land is not heavy ,and mung beans do not need a lot of water .

Might not be easy  to do on very  light Issan soil ,but even there if it is only a poor crop ,it will still provide some soil improvement .

RIMG1336 (2).JPG

RIMG1337 (2).JPG

RIMG1335 (2).JPG

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A friend sowed mung beans and sunn hemp last year relying only on residual soil moisture. Similar result to this, green manure to plow in and a small crop of mung beans that fed the animals for a while. Best result was the N stored and SOM added which can't hurt the next rice crop.

What if you could water that plot twice with say an inch of water each time? Roughly that would need 500 cubic metres of water per hectare or 80 odd CM per rai. The cover/green manure crop would benefit as would the soil and preparation for the rice crop. 

A combination of ponds and ground water storage. I am looking at recharge wells at the moment with this in mind. I need to dig some holes and find out what the aquifer is made up of and at what depths.

Appreciate any input at the moment.

 

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My data for the last 10 years (i check the bills and profits every year)

Our family use 20 rais for common rice farming.

 

- location is central thailand, near Nakhon Sawan

- Average total planting and harvesting (done by professionals) cost : 50k bahts

- Average total harvest sale price : 100k bahts

- Net income per harvest = 50k bahts

 

Note:

- On a rainy year, we can make 2 harvests, only one during a dry year.

- The rice land my wife bought 10 years ago is today worth 4 times the initial price

 

Hope this helps

 

 

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10 hours ago, IsaanAussie said:

A friend sowed mung beans and sunn hemp last year relying only on residual soil moisture. Similar result to this, green manure to plow in and a small crop of mung beans that fed the animals for a while. Best result was the N stored and SOM added which can't hurt the next rice crop.

What if you could water that plot twice with say an inch of water each time? Roughly that would need 500 cubic metres of water per hectare or 80 odd CM per rai. The cover/green manure crop would benefit as would the soil and preparation for the rice crop. 

A combination of ponds and ground water storage. I am looking at recharge wells at the moment with this in mind. I need to dig some holes and find out what the aquifer is made up of and at what depths.

Appreciate any input at the moment.

 

 

It is the what  if bit, you have said it is the SOM that is the problem ,this guys mung beans,in my last post,  will help ,driving past again this evening his water supply is a ditch that comes from a local small river ,that is now almost dry ,he has some water ,but not enough ,if he had the water  would the cost of pumping water outweigh the gains made in SOM,for the following rice crop .

Members have been posting about trying to improve they Thai rice farming families lot,most say they will sink a bore hole ,thinking more water will solve the problem ,but if the soil is not fertile water alone will not help,and it would take 2-3 years ? of green manuring to get the land back to some sort fertile state.

Not an easy problem to solve .    

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On 1/22/2020 at 5:36 PM, IsaanAussie said:

Your "in other words" conclusion is incorrect, I have a very good idea. Pity you cannot grasp the concept of family funds that applies here, perhaps in time. I freely admit to having thought I was being ripped off for years but now understand how it works. In bottom line terms I made a paper profit of over 10K baht and have next years seed and enough to eat for this year. 

At least you can put a deposit down on a motorbike and put the bycycle away as a stand by  been there seen it and gained the badge 

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On 2/19/2020 at 9:18 PM, kickstart said:

Photos I took today ,these fields have been mone cropped with rice for a good few years ,this is a crop of Mung Beans ,sown about the new year ,the odds of the owner getting a crop is slim ,no rain and the imminent  hot season on its way ,but I think he is not to bothered ,he will plough it all in as a green manure .

You can see the seed bed is not good ,he used either a Ford and a 7 disc plough and seeder or a little  Hino and 5 disc plus seeded straight in to the rice stubble ,either way the input was not that much ,a total of about 20 rie ,this is the second, ,third time he has done this ,over the past 4 years ,the land is not heavy ,and mung beans do not need a lot of water .

Might not be easy  to do on very  light Issan soil ,but even there if it is only a poor crop ,it will still provide some soil improvement .

RIMG1336 (2).JPG

RIMG1337 (2).JPG

RIMG1335 (2).JPG

looking good KS.

Some research out of Aus now suggests you can sow some legumes and pulses deeper(up to 20 cm) to overcome moisture stress.

 

"Lentils and chickpeas, in particular, are different to a lot of cropping plants in that instead of sending up the coleoptiles, those stay underground, which means you can sow them pretty deeply," Dr Rich said.

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10 hours ago, kickstart said:

 

It is the what  if bit, you have said it is the SOM that is the problem ,this guys mung beans,in my last post,  will help ,driving past again this evening his water supply is a ditch that comes from a local small river ,that is now almost dry ,he has some water ,but not enough ,if he had the water  would the cost of pumping water outweigh the gains made in SOM,for the following rice crop .

Members have been posting about trying to improve they Thai rice farming families lot,most say they will sink a bore hole ,thinking more water will solve the problem ,but if the soil is not fertile water alone will not help,and it would take 2-3 years ? of green manuring to get the land back to some sort fertile state.

Not an easy problem to solve .    

Definitely not easy and very complex issues. Here the soil is "stuffed" and has to be regenerated to see any improvement in yield. Even in the worst rainfall year, the total is more than enough to grow rice if managed. The problem is basically getting the rain when you want it. More often than not we have planted in July after waiting for enough rain. The result is we harvest later and get less for the crop. We get the heaviest rain late in the season when the rice doesn't need it.

Yes I could dig bores but the ground water level has dropped from 3 to 8 metres already. I don't believe bores are sustainable unless we increase the amount of rainfall that goes back into the aquifers.

Part of the drop in the water table here is due to increased drainage of what was natural wetlands. This increases the runoff rate and amount. Exactly the opposite of what is needed. The rain water needs to be slowed down. Because of the clay nature of our soil, as it becomes saturated, the infiltration rate slows down. 

So what is the answer apart from bigger ponds? Imagine you have a bore. Surround that with a concrete ring well down to the top of the aquifer system and fill that with gravel. In my case that is about 3 metres. Any surface water entering the well goes into the ground and infiltrates the sandy aquifier quickly right above the bore. Set the top edge of the recharge well level with the desired depth of water in the paddy to maintain that throughout the season with excess water going into the bore. 

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