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A rice transplanter is a specialized transplanter fitted to transplant rice seedlings onto paddy field. Mainly two types of rice transplanter i.e., riding type and walking type. Riding type is power driven and can usually transplant six lines in one pass. On the other hand, walking type is manually driven and can usually transplant four lines in one pass.
Although rice is grown in areas other than Asia, rice transplanters are used mainly in East, Southeast, and South Asia. This is because rice can be grown without transplanting, by simply sowing seeds on field, and farmers outside Asia prefer this fuss-free way at the expense of reduced yield.
A common rice transplanter comprises:
- a seedling tray like a shed roof on which mat type rice nursery is set;
- a seedling tray shifter that shifts the seedling tray like a carriage of typewriters; and
- seedling from mat type nursery on the seedling tray and put the seedling into the earth, as if the seedling were taken between human fingers.
Machine transplanting using rice transplanters requires considerably less time and labor than manual transplanting. It increases the approximate area that a person can plant from 700 to 10,000 square metres per day.
However, rice transplanters are considerably expensive for almost all Asian small-hold farmers. Rice transplanters are popular in industrialized countries where labor cost is high, for example in South Korea. It is now also getting popularity in South Asian countries as in transplanting time labour crisis is in its pick.
Rice transplanters were first developed in Japan in the 1960s, whereas the earliest attempt to mechanize rice transplanting dates back to late 19th century. In Japan, development and spread of rice transplanters progressed rapidly during the 1970s and 1980s.
- Wiley online library abstract: An autonomous rice transplanter guided by global positioning system and inertial measurement unit
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