Introduction to harvesting

  • This is the activity of removing mature paddy from the field. This is done when the panicles changes colour from green to golden brown. The duration taken from date of planting to date of harvesting depends on variety. Paddy is harvested at physiological maturity at moisture content of between 20-22%
  • Harvesting systems overview
    • •    Traditional harvesting systems is by using  a sickle
    • •    Modern harvesting using is by combined harvesters

    When to harvest
    • Harvest the paddy when its colour has changed from green to brown.
    • Cut the crop at the base using the sickle at the base of the paddy stalk. This can be done mechanically by use of a combine harvester when rice farming is done on large scale. The combine harvesting only cuts the panicles


  • This is the removal of the paddy from the panicles.
  • The harvested material is left overnight and hit with a stick or hold at the base and hit it against a hard ground.
  • Use of mechanical threshers


  • This involves the removal of extra water/ moisture from harvested paddy to a moisture content of 14% for it to be safe for storage and milling.
  • The drying can be sun drying where paddy is spread on a dry floor or on a polythene sheet.
  • It can also be passed through a drier under controlled temperatures to reduce the moisture content to 14%.


  • This involves the removal of impurities such as chaff, mud balls, paddy straws and empty pods
  • Can be done  by winnowing to allow the lighter material to be blown out. Paddy can be passed through a sieve to remove the sand and small soils. A broom is used to sweep on the on the spread paddy to get rid of paddy straws.
  • This can also be done using mechanical cleaners where the fan is able to blow out light material paddy passed through a series of sieves to remove other denser materials.


  • This is a processes of preserving paddy for sometime before selling or milling.
  • The storage facility should be well ventilated, secured not allow in rodents and not leaking. The storage material (90 Kgs bags) should be jute bags to allow good aeration.
  • Paddy should be fumigated periodically after every three months to control infestation by weevils.

 For more information

Production Agronomy


Important stages of rice cultivation. Rice cultivation involves a series of processes to achieve the desirable product.

  • Land Preparation
  • Seed selection methods

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Rice blast disease

Favorable conditions for disease development:

  • Node blast: Black-brown lesions on the node.  
  • Neck blast: Black or brown rot on the neck of the panicle.

Rice Milling

Guidelines to proper harvesting: