Rice is the staple food for more than half of the global population. In India, it is grown on an area of about 43.97 m ha with total production and productivity of about 104.32 mt and 2.37 t/ha respectively (Anonymous 2013). In Punjab, it occupied an area of 2.82 m ha with production and productivity of 10.54 mt and 3.74 t/ha respectively and in Haryana, it was grown on an area of 1.24 m ha with production and productivity of 3.76 mt and 3.02 t/ha respectively (Anonymous 2013).
The most common practice for establishing rice in rice wheat system of indo-gangatic plains region is puddling before transplanting. Alternative to traditional method direct seeding may be adopted because it does not require that heavy amount of labour, water and capital input initially and also crop mature earlier (7-10 days) than transplanted crop allowing timely sowing of succeeding wheat crop. Recent research suggests that new methods of rice establishment, viz zero till rice, bed planting and SRI has potential to reduce cost and increase sustainability of irrigated rice culture while maintaining yield.
Irrigation plays a pivotal role in increasing productivity of rice. The efficiency and productivity of irrigation water is quite low owing to percolation losses and high water requirement. There is an urgent need to save water and increase its efficiency in rice production. Various agronomic practice like proper land levelling, proper transplanting time, selection of suitable variety and increasing interval between successive irrigation can play a lead role in water saving and to obtain sustainable yield of the crop. The sustainability of rice production in north-west India is threatened by scarcity of water. So there is need to increase water use efficiency in rice production.
Gangwar and Singh (2010) resulted that among different crop establishment methods, highest yield and yield attributing characters of rice was obtained with drum seeding wet bed method. Gill et al (2006) revealed that dry matter accumulation, leaf area index, effective tillers and grain yield were significantly more in direct seeding than transplanted rice. Water productivity in direct seeded rice was higher as compared to transplanted rice clearly showing the more water use efficiency in DSR. Jagtap et al (2013) concluded that the crop established by transplanting recorded significantly higher growth as well as yield attributes resulting in to significantly more grain and straw yield. Grain yield found to be highest in Japanese manual transplanted rice followed by dry drilling (30 kg/ha), dry drilling (15 kg/ha) and drum seeding (Dixit et al 2010). Singh et al (2005) found that mechanical transplanting of rice resulted in highest grain and straw yield which was at par with manual transplanting but significantly higher than both direct seeding methods.