Rice, scientifically named as Oryza sativa, is the most important crop in the Philippines. It contributes 15 percent to the total Gross Value Added (GVA) in agriculture. It is grown in 4.0 million hectares of which small farmers depend on the production of rice as their major source of livelihood. 
(Source: Department of Agriculture-AFMIS, Date accessed 26 March 2014)

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Cultural Management


Variety and Seed Selection


Used high quality seeds of a recommended variety

  • High quality seeds have fewer seeds from weeds and other varieties;
  • uniform in size;
  • free from seed-borne pests and diseases; and
  • viable (i.e. at least 85% germination rate)

All this can contribute to a 5-10% increase in grain yield. Yield increase is guaranteed further by using high quality seeds of a variety adapted and recommended to local conditions.


The seed is either certified by the National Seed Quality Control Services as evidenced by a valid tag attached to the sack or it comes from reliable sources (i.e. PhilRice, accredited seed growers). If seed is farmer-grown or harvested from certified seeds, it should have passed germination test.

The variety suits the environment (e.g, irrigated, rainfed, saline-prone as recommended by PhilRice or local agriculture office); addresses a prevailing local field problem (e.g. resistance or tolerance to stresses in the); or has performed well in at least two seasons of adaptability trial (results of multi-adaptation trials in the province or Location-Specific Technology Development or LSTD trials may be used).


  • Buy seeds from accredited seed growers.
  • If there are no accredited seed growers in the locality, then source seeds from reliable sources (i.e. farmers whose fields have uniform crop growth) or produce your own high quality seeds (see handouts on Ten Steps to Producing Own Good Seeds). However, make sure to perform a seed germination test to ensure quality. There should be at least 85% germination.
  • If the variety has not yet been tested in the area, make initial selection based on recommended environment and cropping season. Then, conduct at least two seasons of trial in the locality.
  • In wet season, consider the prevalent pests in the area and the shattering and lodging characteristics of a variety. In dry season, consider planting hybrid varieties because these varieties tend to perform better during dry season.
  • In rainfed areas, farmers tend to use varieties for irrigated lowland areas owing probably to lack of access to rainfed varieties. It is recommended to first choose varieties intended for rainfed environment. Consider also traditional or regionally preferred varieties for rainfed environment as these have been most likely adapted in the locality.
  • Farmers also often prefer new varieties, believing that they yield better. However, a variety may be released based on reasons other than yield (e.g. better grain quality and resistance to pests). Thus, it is important to know the characteristics of the varieties but, more importantly, to conduct adaptability trials.

Land Preparation


No high and low soil spots after final leveling

  • Leads to efficient use of water and better grain yield and quality;
  • reduces the amount of water needed to fill up a field;
  • allows for more uniform water distribution;
  • easier drainage of field plots;
  • make fertilizer application more efficient;
  • reduce weed problems;
  • allow for better management of golden apple snail;
  • better crop stand;
  • uniform crop maturity; and
  • timely harvesting.

Use of farm machinery for weeding and harvesting, and the application of controlled irrigation are facilitated as well.

Crop Establishment


Synchronous Planting

  • Practiced synchronous planting after a fallow period.
      • Synchronous planting enables efficient use of irrigation;
      • minimizes spread of pest damage within a community; and
      • helps the community avoid the overlapping incidence of insect population and disease occurrence.

After harvest, farmers are advised to leave their fields idle for 30 days (fallow period). This breaks the insect pest cycle and destroys disease hosts.

The field should have a fallow period of at least 30 days after harvest. It should be planted within 14 days before and after the majority of the irrigation service area has been planted.


  • Allow a fallow period of at least a month from harvest to establishment of the next crop. This can break the pest cycle and facilitate the success of crop management practices.
  • Follow the local planting calendar. This maximizes the use of irrigation within the community.

Sufficient number of healthy seedlings

Sufficient number of healthy seedlings leads to a good canopy that maximizes photosynthesis and enables better competition against weeds. Healthy seedlings have better root growth that improves nutrient uptake and nutrient use efficiency.
To obtain this:

  • sow the right amount of high quality seeds;
  • transplant the right amount of seedlings; and
  • provide the right kind and amount of nutrients at the right time.


For transplanted rice (TPR):

  • Seed rate: 20 to 40kg/ha for inbred; 15 to 20 kg/ha for hybr
  • Replant missing hills within 7 days after transplanting (DAT)
  • Assess health status of seedlings at 10 DAT
  • Randomly select 3 sampling sites in a diagonal line across the field. The sampling sites should be at least 1 m from the edge of the field.
  • Count the number of hills/m2 using a 1 m x 1 m quadrat. Add the number of hills and divide the total by 3 to get the average number of hills/m2.

For direct wet-seeded rice (DSWR):

  • Fifteen days after seeding pre-germinated seeds, plant density should be at least 150 plants per meter square, for a rate of 40kg seeds/ha,
  • For a seed rate of 80kg/ha, plant density should be at least 300 plants per meter square.
  • To asses plant density, use 1 m x 1 m quadrant.
  • Randomly select 3 sampling sites in a diagonal line across the field. Each sampling site should be at least 1 m from the edge of the field

In every parcel for TPR and DWSR, randomly select 10 hills. Each hill should have at least one healthy seedling. A healthy seedling is:

  • green;
  • with good growth; and
  • free from pest and disease.


  • Sow the right amount of seeds to have strong and healthy seedlings.
  • Resulting seedlings have higher survival rate and easily recover from transplanting shock. Sowing a higher amount of seeds results in thinand weak seedlings. Proper spacing enables the crop to develop a goodground cover and helps control weeds.
  • For transplanted rice, establish seedbed near a water source and protect it from pests, particularly birds and rats. It should have a good drainage. Proper water and pest management are important at this stage. If thegerminated seeds are covered too deeply with water, this will result inweak seedlings with poor root growth because of lack of air in thesoil. Birds and rats feed on seeds directly and pull up germinatingseeds and so it is important to guard the seedbed against these pests.
  • Apply the organic materials before leveling the seedbed. For fine-textured soil, incorporate 10-15 bags organic material or 3-4 bags commercialorganic fertilizer in a 400 m2 seedbed before sowing the seeds. Organic materials help loosen the soil. Thus, it makes pulling ofseedlings easier and minimizes root damage. Use compost or any fullydecomposed organic materials such as dried animal manure, carbonized rice hull, or rice straw.
  • For medium-textured soil, you may not apply organic materials.
  • For direct wet-seeded rice,the field is ready for seeding after land preparation and leveling asdescribed in the recommendation for Key Check 2. Pre-germinatedseeds/seedlings should be protected from birds, rats, snails and weedsfollowing the standard practices described in the pest managementsection. Broadcast pre-germinated seeds evenly onto the leveled field.
  • Sow extra pre-germinated seeds (1 kg) on the side of the field for replanting. Replant bare patches 7-10 DAS.

Table 1. Recommended Seedbed Practices

 VarietySeedling Rate (kg/ha)Minimum Seedbed Area m2 Age of Seedlings (days)No. of Seedlings (per hill) Planting Distance (cm x cm) 
INBRED 20 - 40 400 - 600 20  - 25 1 - 3 20 x 20
HYBRID 15 - 20 400 - 600 20 - 25 1 - 2 20 x 20

Nutrient Management

Sufficient nutrients from tilling to early panicle initiation and flowering stages.


  • good crop growth;
  • good panicle development; and
  • attainment of the yield potential.


  • oversupply of nutrients results to increased susceptibility of the crop to pests, lodging, etc.
  • under supply and untimely application slows down the growth of seedlings, lower number of tillers, and lower grain weight.

Nutrients from fertilizers must be used efficiently and effectively. Proper management of nutrients improves crop growth and yield.


There should be no nutrient deficiency and toxicity symptoms from tilling to early panicle initiation and flowering stages that may impair the growth, development and yield of rice.

  • At flowering stage:
  • achieve at least 210 panicles/m2 in rainfed lowland
  • 300 panicles/m2 in irrigated lowland for transplanted rice
  • 270 panicles/m2 in rainfed lowland
  • 350 panicles/m2 in irrigated lowland for direct wet seeded rice.

To assess panicle density:

  • randomly select 3 sampling sites in a diagonal line across the field (the sampling sites should be at least 1 m from the edge of the field)
  • count the number of panicles using a 1 m x 1 m quadrat
  • add the number of panicles and divide the total by 3 to get the average number of panicles/m2.


Know and manage the nutrient requirement of your crop based on the available information, nutrient assessment and decision-support tools.
Manage the Nitrogen needs of your crop based on the leaf color chart (LCC).

  • If the LCC reading is below 4 for transplanted rice and below 3 for direct wet-seeded rice, apply N fertilizer (1.5 bags urea per hectare in the dry season and 1 bag urea per hectare in the wet season) from tillering to early flowering stages
  • Minus-One Element Technique (MOET)--conduct the MOET test 30 days before transplanting or direct wet seeding and assess the nutrient status based on plant nutrient deficiency symptoms and growth response
  • Soil Test Kit (STK).

Aside from nutrient deficiency, consider mineral toxicity in deciding on the nutrients to apply. You can use other soil fertility assessment methods in assessing the nutrient status of the soil.

Fertilizer Recommendation

Soil Nutrient StatusWet Season Yield Target 5 t/haDry Season Yield Target 7 t/ha
P and K are not deficient First application:
3-3.5 bags 14-14-14-12S
First application:
4-4.5 bags 14-14-14-12S
P and K are deficient

For fine-textured soil:
First application:
3-3.5 bags 14-14-14-12S +
0.5 bag 16-20-0 + 0.5 bag 0-0-60

For medium-textured soil:
First application:
3.5 bags 14-14-14-12S + 0.5 bag 16-20-0

0.5 bag 0-0-60

For fine-textured soil:
First application:
4-4.5 bags 14-14-14-12S +
1 bag 16-20-0 + 1 bag 0-0-60

For medium-textured soil:
First application:
4.5 bags 14-14-14-12S +
1 bag 16-20-0

1 bag 0-0-60

Only P is deficient First application:
3-3.5 bags 14-14-14-12S +
0.5 16-20-0
First application:
4-4.5 bags 14-14-14-12S +
1 bag 16-20-0
Only K is deficient

For fine-textured soil:
First application:
3-3.5 bags 14-14-14-12S +
0.5 bag 0-0-60

For medium-textured soil:
First application:
3.5 bags 14-14-14-12S +
0.5 bag 0-0-60 

0.5 bag 0-0-60

For fine-textured soil:
First application:
4-4.5 bags 14-14-14-12S +
1 bag 0-0-60

For medium-textured soil:
First application:
4.5 bags 14-14-14-12S + 0.5 bag 0-0-60

 At EPI:
1 bag 0-0-60

HYBRID 15 - 20 400 - 600

Consult Rice Crop Manager to get specific fertilizer recommendations.

Water Management


Avoided excessive water or drought stress that could affect the growth and yield of the crop.

  • Adequate water supply facilitates land preparation especially leveling;
  • ensures good crop establishment with faster root development;
  • promotes seedling vigor and normal crop growth and development, with minimal lodging; and
  • facilitates better nutrient uptake with the right amount and timing of water.

This corrects some nutrient imbalance problems and minimizes leaching.


  • No symptoms of stress due to excessive water observed at vegetative stage i.e., reduced tillering and leaf area. Excessive water means water depth greater than 5 cm for 7 days or more.
  • No symptoms of stress due to drought observed at vegetative stage, i.e., leaf rolling, leaf tip drying, reduced leaf area, height, and tiller number.
  • No symptoms of stress due to drought observed from panicle initiation to grain filling, i.e., leaf rolling, leaf tip drying, reduced panicle exertion, and many unfilled grains.

For a 120-day variety, early panicle initiation is usually at 40-45 days after transplanting (DAT) or 61-65 days after sowing (DAS) and ripening phase is usually from 70-100 DAT or 91-120 DAS.

Pest Management

No significant yield loss due to pests.

  • Proper pest management results in good seed or grain quality.
  • Damage by insect pests and diseases results in uneven sizes and discolored grains.
  • If there are plenty of weeds, there is greater mixture in the harvest.
  • There are also more biomass that could impede land leveling and preparations in the next season.

Pest Identification. If a pest or disease and its management cannot be identified, call the attention of the pest specialist (entomologist/plant pathologist) or a team of pest specialists to properly identify the organism and decide on the appropriate course of action such as the use of pesticide, biological agent or cultural management.

No significant yield loss due to insect pests, diseases, weeds, rats, snails, and birds. Significant pest damage occurs when one or more pests cause damage as described in Table 4, Table 5, and Table 6.


  • Use varieties resistant to pests prevalent in the locality. The use of resistant varieties is the first line of defense in pest management and is compatible with biological control. Change or rotate varieties every 2 to 4 croppings to disrupt insect pest and disease adaptation, thereby preventing build up of virulent pathogens and insect pests.
  • Adopt a synchronous planting scheme after a fallow period in the locality.
  • organisms in the rice ecosystem in the absence of natural-enemy killing pesticides. The indiscriminate use of pesticides reduces biodiversity and disrupts the natural balance of insect pests and beneficial organisms. Conservation of these beneficial organisms is safe, economical, and permanent. For example, long-horned grasshopper feeds on the egg mass of stemborers while spiders feed on the nymphs and adults of leafhoppers and planthoppers.

Common Insect Pests











Common Diseases





Harvest Management

Cut and threshed the crop at the right time.

  • Timely reaping and threshing ensure good grain quality, high market value, and consumer acceptance.
  • Reaping very early results in a larger percentage of immature and half-filled grains and in lower milling recovery.
  • Reaping too late leads to increased grain shattering and excessive losses in terms of breakage during milling.
  • Untimely harvesting also makes the crop more prone to bird and rat damage, and lessens the quality of seeds harvested.
  • Reaping too early or too late affects yield and seed quality.

Harvest/reap the crop when 1/5 or 20% of the grains at the base of the panicle are in hard dough stage. Press a grain from the base of the panicle between the thumb and forefinger to assess hard dough stage. Most of the grains in the panicle will be golden yellow.

Thresh the palay not later than one day after reaping for wet season (WS) and not later than two days for dry season (DS).
Use a clean thresher with the correct machine settings.

  • Harvest/reap at 20-25% grain moisture content in wet season and 18-21% moisture content in dry season. It is advisable to use a grain moisture meter.
  • Avoid piling the reaped crop in the field for more than a day as this results in heat buildup in the grain and risk to contamination and fungi infection, specifically storage fungi. This leads to grain discoloration and lowers the quality of milled rice.
  • Adjust threshing drum to the correct speed (approx. 800 rpm) to provide good initial cleaning of the harvest. A high-speed setting of threshing drum results in higher grain damage while a low speed setting increases the amount of non-threshed grain and results in grain loss.

Source: Pinoy Rice Knowledge Bank, Date accessed 27 March 2014