How Does Rice Grow? Amazing Grain Crop Facts That Kids Should Know! | Kidadl


How Does Rice Grow? Amazing Grain Crop Facts That Kids Should Know!

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Rice exists in multiple varieties around the world, and it is a staple grain in many households around the world. 

It is an important part of all agriculture and related sectors. You can go to your local supermarket to purchase polished rice, which is white rice, and unpolished rice, which is brown rice.

Rice is one of the most important crops for humans around the world, as it feeds more people than any other crop grown on this planet. It is diverse in its way of cultivation and how it is used by humans in general. There are only two species of rice that are cultivated in the entire world. Oryza sativa, which is also known as Asian rice, is cultivated in the regions of Asia, and Oryza glaberrima, which is also known as African rice, is cultivated in the regions of Africa. Asian and African rice crops are difficult to tell apart when looked at directly. The process of rice grain cultivation is quite a hectic one, and it requires preparation, equipment, and taking care of the crop in wet areas. Rice crop is also called paddy.

After you have read about the preparation of land for rice plants, do check how does rain form and do vegetables have seeds.

Where does rice come from on the plant?

Before we get to see white or brown rice in our kitchens, it goes through processing units where a lot of processing steps are done. Millions of people rely on these sticky grains for their diet.

Rice seeds are a living product that must be grown, harvested, and processed in a way that will increase the yield potential of rice crops. The quality of rice seeds affects the yield of rice crops more than you think. The rice grain grows on the rice plant, which is essentially just grass. Out of the two species of rice, Oryza sativa is grown the most, and it is the most famous one in the world. Even within both species, there are a lot of different varieties, colors, lengths, shapes, and flavors. Paddy or rice is different from other grains because it is a semi-aquatic plant that requires irrigation all season long to grow. A rice plant can grow to a height of three to four ft (0.9-1.2 m) after 120 days of planting the rice seeds.

How is rice harvested and processed?

You may be familiar with pictures of rice fields, but how much work does it take for rice to reach your plates from the paddy?

Harvesting is a process in which a matured rice crop is collected from rice fields. The paddy harvesting includes activities such as stacking, reaping, handling, cleaning, and threshing.

These difficult tasks can be done alone or with the help of machines such as harvesters. It is very important to use good methods of harvesting in order to increase the yielding efficiency of rice. When it comes to the process of paddy harvesting, rice first goes through the process of reaping, where the panicles and straw above the ground are cut.

After this, threshing is done where paddy grain is separated from the rest of the cut crop. Cleaning is done after this stage, where the rice grain is separated from impurities and non-grain materials. The cut rice crop is left in the field so that it can dry, and then the grains are put in a bag so that they can be transported to processing units.

A critical process in the post-production of rice is milling. The objective of rice milling systems is that it aims to remove the husk and the bran layer of rice grains. It produces a grain that is actually edible; white rice is milled and free of all the impurities. The process of rice milling can be a one-step or two-step process.

Either the bran and husk can be removed at the same time, or they are removed separately. Most rice varieties, after milling, are composed of 11% bran layer, 20% husk, and 69% of starchy endosperm. Rice is one of those crops which does not come naturally; the first evidence of rice seedlings being planted comes from China around 9400 years ago.

Brown rice with a wooden spoon.

How much rice do you get from one plant?

The yield from one rice plant actually depends on the variety of the plant and on the conditions of the soil and its density. Growing rice is not easy either.

Firstly, the process of growing rice is quite time-consuming. The rice fields are prepared by farmers for planting the seeds of crop rice. They are perfectly leveled, and these leveled fields allow farmers to save water. Fertilizers are added to these rice fields, and shallow furrows are rolled. By the month of April, the field is ready to be planted with rice seedlings. After this, the field goes through the process of flooding and seeding by farmers.

The rice seedlings are planted, and fields are filled with water. After this, a rice seed begins its four-to-five-month journey to maturity. The fields might need to be flooded again by farmers if water levels come down during this process. By late summer, rice grains begin to appear at the top of the plant, and by the month of September, rice grows completely and is ready to be harvested by farmers.

You cannot eat this rice directly as it has to be processed before reaching your plate. Rice is a Kharif crop which means it is sowed in June-July, and harvest is done in the seasons of November- December. Each rice plant will produce several stalks, and each bloom stalk will produce 300 or more grains per head. The number of grains grown by each paddy can be differentiated on the basis of species, growing, and planting methods of the rice crop by the farmer.

Rice, which is not a fruit or vegetable but a form of grain, can be grown from store-bought rice provided that it is fresh enough to be planted again. Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur are needed for growing rice crops, and agricultural fertilizers are used for this purpose.

Why does rice grow in water?

Rice plants thrive in flooded fields or fields where moisture is high enough. Even though it is said that rice grows only in these conditions, it can actually grow without water as well.

Rice production in flooded fields is preferred for a variety of reasons. Rice plants thrive in flooded or high moisture fields, where other crops will die instantly due to the high amount of water in the field. Flooding of paddy fields is an important way to control the growth of weed and other unwanted pesticides. Weeds and pests cannot survive in water, but rice can; this flooded field acts as a natural pest and weed control, and farmers do not have to rely on chemical pesticides.

However, rice production is not limited to fields with water; it is grown in other types of fields and conditions as well. Rice is grown through this method and requires a lot of water. Rice is grown in other regions such as America and Australia as well. Rice grown in America is quite different. Rice is grown in fields which are called checks, and farmers flood these; the planting of the crop vetch is also done between the rice crops. SunRice in Australia is known for growing in the natural high temperatures of the country.

It is in the Riverina region of New South Wales where SunRise grows, and, due to high temperatures, it requires extra irrigation by farmers. In Asia, Japan is one of those countries which has an abundance of rain; most of the grain rice in the country is grown through the process of wet cultivation as it serves as natural irrigation and does not require more if it is done correctly. The growth of rice in this region is excellent.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'How does rice grow? amazing grain crop facts that kids should know!' then why not take a look at 'Chipmunk vs ground squirrel: burrows animals difference facts for kids' or 'Chigger bites vs bed bug bites: the differences simplified for kids'.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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