So we eventually made some progress after getting into so many difficulties–we finished transplanting SRI rice on Tuesday afternoon (March 25)!! We’ve being encountered a lot of problems since we started this SRI Pilot Project. The land preparation was delayed due to malfunction tractor and drought. After that, we lost more than half of the seeds to ants and birds, and at the same time hit by another dry period. By the end of last week, we were only able to get 16 out of 36 plots puddled and leveled. It has been difficult to get water into the other half of the land due to the long lasting drought. And we have had problem with our walking tractor and were not able to hire enough people working on the land, because every other farmers need labor for helping planting, too. The seedlings are reaching the age of 12 days (they germinated at the weekend of March 14), so we had to arrange them in the plots we have finished so far. Thus I changed the design of the experiment, as shown below. It is now more like a demonstration rather than a real experiment. However, this is all what I can come up with as a make up plan given all the difficulties we facing. On Monday and Tuesday, we transplanted the seedlings into the SRI plots. We used ropes with marks on it. The marks are 25cm away from each other acting as grids, and 2 stakes are tied on the 2 ends of the rope. When transplanting, 3 ropes were set up along 3 jointed sides of a plot. People lined up behind one of the ropes, and planted seedlings into the mud according to the marks on the rope. After finishing 1 row, people on the 2 ends of the row took out the stakes attached on the rope, moving the rope in front of them backward along the one beside them, and inserted the stakes at the next mark. Then they planted another row. (Transplanting along the ropes)
Next transplanting activity will take place in the week of April 7, for the comparison plots in which rice plants will be transplanted around the age of 25 days, as the traditional practice in the village.