Puddling in Paddy Field: Why it is Important & How to do it?

22 Aug 2023
Puddling in Paddy Field: Why it is Important & How to do it?
Puddling is an ancient method of growing rice that is still prevalent in India though the way puddling was done has become modernised. The oxen driven puddling has given way to modern farm machineries like tractors and puddler implements to cultivate paddy.

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When we talk about growing rice, the puddling is the most important step that help grow bumper rice crop. Puddling of soil is a traditional farming practice where we make the soil appropriate for growing rice. In this blog, we are going to discuss what puddling of rice means, why it is important, the steps to do it the right way, popular puddling special tractors, and popular puddling implements.

What is Puddling in Agriculture?

Puddling in agriculture is particularly related to cultivation of paddy or rice. Puddling is a process of preparing the soil for growing the rice. Puddling of soil involves churning of soil in rice fields while it's flooded with water. This practice converts the soil into a semi-liquid state, resulting in puddled soil. This technique is particularly essential for lowland rice cultivation, where fields are flooded to create a waterlogged environment.

Importance of Puddling in Rice Cultivation

Puddling is the most critical step in rice cultivation as it helps suppress weeds, enhances nutrient availability, improves water retention, and reduces soil erosion, among others.

  • Weed Suppression: Puddling prevents the growth of weeds by submerging weed seeds deep within the soil, reducing competition for nutrients and space.
  • Enhanced Nutrient Availability: The puddling agriculture process breaks down organic matter in the soil, releasing essential nutrients that are vital for rice growth.
  • Improved Water Retention: Puddled soil has better water-holding capacity, ensuring that rice plants have access to water even during dry periods.
  • Reduced Soil Erosion: Puddling forms a hard layer at the soil's surface. This puddled soil minimizes soil erosion caused by flowing water.
  • Better Root Penetration: Puddling agriculture creates a softer soil texture, facilitating easier root penetration, which is essential for strong plant establishment.

Understanding Puddling Process Step-by-Step

Puddling process step by step

If we need to understand puddling in rice, then we need to understand puddling process completely. Below we have given step-by-step process starting from preparation of land to drainage of water.

  • Preparation: Before the puddling process starts, ensure that the rice field is ploughed and harrowed properly to break up larger soil clumps.
  • Flooding: Fill the field with water until it's around 5-7 cm deep.
  • Initial Stirring: Use a puddler, a farm implement designed for the puddling process, to agitate the water and soil mixture. This will start breaking down soil aggregates.
  • Soil Churning: Continue using the puddler to create a swirling motion, making the soil-water mixture almost homogeneous. This will help in evenly distributing the clay particles.
  • Compaction: The puddler's repeated motion compacts the soil, forming a dense layer on the surface that helps in weed suppression and reducing water loss through evaporation.
  • Levelling: After thorough puddling agriculture, level the field's surface to ensure uniform water depth during subsequent stages of rice cultivation.
  • Draining: Once the soil is well-puddled, allow the water to drain to a suitable level for transplanting rice seedlings.

Once the puddling process is over, the rice seedlings are transplanted into the puddled filed, taking advantage of the soft soil for easy planting.

Popular Puddling Special Tractors in India

popular puddling special tractors

4-wheel drive tractors below 50 HP are the most preferred tractors for puddling. Still, many tractor manufacturers like John Deere tractors and Sonalika tractors have come up with puddling special tractors. Some of the popular puddling special tractors are:

John Deere 5105 Puddling Special

John Deere 5105 Puddling Special is a 40 HP tractor with a 3-cylinder engine. This 2WD tractor has a dry-type air filter, 1600 kg of lifting capacity, and ADDC for hydraulics control.

Sonalika Mahabali RX 42 Puddling Special

Sonalika Mahabali RX 42 Puddling Special tractor offers a 45 HP engine with an engine capacity of 2893 CC. It has a dual-clutch and has a lifting capacity of 2000 kg. These features make the model robust and attractive for puddling in rice.

John Deere 5045 D Power Pro 4WD Puddling Special

John Deere 5045 D Power Pro 4WD Puddling Special is another popular tractor useful for puddling rice. It has a 46 HP, 3-cylinder engine and comes in a four-wheel drive model. It is also equipped with power steering and has a lifting capacity of 1600 kg.

Sonalika Mahabali DI 745 III Power Plus Puddling Special

Sonalika Mahabali DI 745 III Power Plus Puddling Special is another popular puddling special tractor from the Sonalika brand. It is a 50 HP model with an engine capacity of 2893 CC. It also offers a lifting capacity of 2000 kg and has power steering.

John Deere 3036E Puddling Special

John Deere 3036E Puddling Special tractor with 36 HP engine power is a four-wheel drive tractor, thus making it suitable for any soil conditions. It has a lifting capacity of 910 kg and comes with power steering.

Popular Puddler Implements in India

popular puddler implements

It is necessary to select the most efficient puddler in agriculture. While a wide range of puddler implements are available in the market, some of the popular models are:

John Deere PL1017 (With Leveler): This puddler from John Deere is compatible with 44+ HP tractors.

Shaktiman Dhaanmitram SRT-8(270)/SS CD: This puddler from Shaktiman is compatible with 40-60 HP tractors.

Maschio Gaspardo Paddy 165: This puddler from Maschio Gaspardo is compatible with 40-45 HP tractors.

Sonalika Paddyvator SLPSMSR-7: This puddler from Sonalika is compatible with 50+ HP tractors.

Lancer Akshat 26: This puddler from Lancer is compatible with 50-60 HP tractors.


Puddling in rice agriculture might seem like a simple process, but its impact on crop productivity and overall yield is immense. By creating puddled soil through careful preparation and skilful execution, farmers can provide their rice plants with an environment where they can thrive and flourish.

The benefits of puddling, from weed suppression to enhanced nutrient availability, make it a crucial technique in successful rice cultivation. Overall, puddling has significantly contributed towards the cultivation of rice.

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