Age of seedling at transplanting has a direct bearing on the yield of the crop. In general, seedling having 3-4 leaves is considered ideal for transplanting.
The optimum age, however, depends upon the duration of variety, season, date of planting, system of raising nursery, tillering habit, inherent fertility and fertilizer management and cultural practices.
Healthy and vigorous seedling establish themselves faster and grow better after transplanting and are important for getting high yield. Good seedling should be short, thick and heavy and free from pests and diseases. The major objective of nursery management should be aimed at obtaining such seedling. There are three methods of raising nurseries. These are dry nursery, wet nursery and dapog nursery.
Transplanting is the most common stand establishment technique adopted in wet system of cultivation. Nearly four-fifth of rice grown in the world is transplanted and almost all countries like Spain, Italy, Japan, etc. Where highest yields are recorded adopt only transplanting. Puddling is a pre-requisite for transplanting. Besides the benefits derived from puddling, transplanting in a puddle field offers a number of advantages