Rapid changes the view on rice drilling

For the first time in history a Väderstad Rapid has been used for rice drilling in Italy. Traditionally rice is established by broadcasting the seed on wet soil. However the new trend is to drill in dry conditions and thereafter flood the field with water. Traditional in-line planters are currently being replaced by more innovative machines, which perform several operations in a single pass.

Rice emergence
Recent emergence of rice in Italy

Stefano and his cousin Luca Comparin run a contracting business in northern Italy. The family started to use the Rapid A 400S to establish rice only a year ago.

“With the Rapid A 400S, drilling is completely different compared to the traditional rice planting method. The seed rate is around 190 kilos per hectare, which is twenty percent lower than with other machines. Stefano Comparin says that the work capacity can easily reach up to 30 hectares per day. In addition the germination is superior and the emergence more uniform. This is due to accurate seed placement, spacing and increased contact between seed and soil”, says Stefano Comparin.

Rapid & TopDown Italy
The Italian family Comparin next to the Rapid and TopDown

The Fenix distribution system ensures that the distributed quantity is correct. The seed placement is controlled and accurate, allowing crops to develop uniformly. According to Mr Comparin this gives a yield increase of 5-7 percent compared to previous years.

For the past four years, the Comparin group has used a TopDown 400 for the preparation of unploughed soils, followed by a pass with a Rapid A. In the old days the conventional process involved ploughing the soil, levelling it and preparing the seedbed with a power harrow, before finally drilling with a conventional planter.

“Using only TopDown and Rapid A 400S has greatly reduced our stock of machines. With two machines we are able to guarantee excellent results in a limited time. This is especially important for the cereals drilled during autumn/winter, as the weather conditions can change quickly. I also drill earlier than my neighbours - when I drill they are still preparing the soil, says Stefano Comparin.”