Research indicates that DSR is effective in reducing emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. For each ton of rice production with conservation agriculture practices, on average 400 kg carbon dioxide equivalent was reduced compared to conventional puddled transplanted rice.
The dry direct seeded rice (DSR) method is gaining popularity in Bihar, Haryana, Odisha and Tamil Nadu, thanks to the researchers, agricultural departments and enterprising farmers who have tested and implemented this new technique. Faced with threats of depleting groundwater, shortages of farm labor, rising production costs and climate variability, more farmers are adopting DSR, which can be both environmentally friendly and cost efficient.
DSR involves sowing seeds directly into the soil using a machine called a seed drill and provides an alternative to the traditional practices of germinating seeds in a nursery and then transplanting seedlings into the field, or broadcasting, in which rice seeds are tossed by hand onto the soil surface. DSR with line sowing can substantially improve the productivity of rice. It brings many benefits to farmers — reduces cultivation costs by US$ 90 per hectare and reduces water consumption by 25 percent.
To increase DSR adoption among farmers, CSISA has worked with the state agriculture departments, state agriculture universities and other partners to conduct technical trainings on DSR for farmers and service providers. CSISA, in partnership with Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, organized a season-long direct seeded rice course over a period of five-and-a-half months to provide a comprehensive training for the state extension system of Tamil Nadu, covering all aspects of growing drill-seeded rice, from crop planning to milling and processing.
CSISA researchers continue to improve access to effective weed management and affordable herbicides for direct seeded rice to help achieve increased adoption of this technology at a larger scale.