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May 21, 2008 / calebdresser

Land Preparation

It’s late, so this will be a short post – plus I’m a wee bit tired from messing about in mud! Today we got to try out various ways of preparing land, ranging from plows pulled by carabao (water buffalo) to tractor rotovators hooked up to laser-leveling systems. In this rice system, it is important to puddle the soil. This process involves breaking up the old plant roots, mixing the paddy soil, and leveling the land – rather hard work, especially the less mechanized techniques. It is pleasing, however, to note that rice is among the few crops left for which it it still more logical to use animals as a power source in some situations. Enough. I’m sleepy, and tomorrow we are transplanting seedlings into the land we have prepared.

Hand Tractor - IRRI/Los Banos

Farmers at IRRI resting on their hand tractors.

Carabao & Caleb

Me trying to coax a carabao into doing my bidding… I think it knew what it was doing better than i did! And incidentally – the rope isn’t a whip, its for guidance.



Leave a Comment
  1. Leigh Kalbacker / May 21 2008 2:55 pm

    These are pics are amazing. Wonderful, I wish you happy, muddy transplanting!

  2. Becky / May 22 2008 7:52 am

    “the rope isn’t a whip”
    … sure, cale, sureeee.
    Just kidding. The carabao is really cute. Do they give the individual animals names? It looks almost hairless in the above photo.
    Also, is the muck you are standing in slippery?

  3. calebdresser / May 22 2008 9:56 am

    the mud is slippery and squishy a feels great between the toes… though the subsurface hardpan is a bit uneven – I sank in up to my knee while I was transplanting today!

  4. Mr Rotovator! / Apr 28 2010 3:12 pm

    A little off the subject maybe, and we all know that keen gardeners are told from all angles to be environmentally friendly, but it is equally as crucial that you think on people cost. For example, a few makes of rotovator may be manufactured in sweatshops in Asia. So PLEASE consider the source of your rotovator is sourced when you buy. A rotovator manufactured in Europe may not be cheap, however it is a very fundamental choice.

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