Puddling is an age-old farming practice of preparing land before transplanting rice seedlings. It is common practice in most of the low-lying areas of tropical regions like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu of India and most parts of Bangladesh.
With the advancement and use of technology in agriculture, the puddling activity has become mechanised. Now, to puddle the soil implements like puddler and rotavators are increasingly used. These implements are attached to the tractors to perform puddling in paddy fields.
Puddling is the second stage in the preparation of land for sowing rice seedlings. Just after ploughing is completed, the field is filled with water. Then a 4WD tractor with the use of puddler churns the wet soil to form a dense soil layer and prevent water from seeping deep. This creates a favourable environment for rice seedlings to penetrate the soil easily and obtain adequate water and nutrients needed for growth.
Specialised tractors are crucial for puddling because they can work on wet soil and churn it into a sticky, dense mass suitable for planting rice. Their key features are:
Farmers can complete puddling more efficiently and effectively with specialised tractors, leading to higher crop yields and improved profitability.
Traditional tractors are unsuitable for puddling because they lack the necessary features and design to operate effectively in wet soil conditions. The necessary features in modern tractors include wider tyres, better traction, and more powerful engines, among others. Some of the popular puddling special tractors in India are:
John Deere 5105 Puddling Special boasts a 40-horsepower engine with a 3-cylinder design, making it ideal for easily tackling complex farming tasks. Its modern features make it highly attractive to farmers, including a dry-type air filter, ADDC for hydraulic control, a lifting capacity of 1600kg, and several other notable features.
New Holland 4710 4WD is one of the most popular tractors for puddling. It has a 47 HP, 3-cylinder engine. The tractor offers power steering and a lifting capacity of 1800 kg.
Mahindra Yuvo 575 DI 4WD is a popular puddling tractor from Mahindra. It offers a powerful 45 HP, 4-cylinder engine. It comes equipped with a constant mesh gearbox and dual-acting power steering. It comes with a lifting capacity of 1500 kg.
Kubota MU 4501 4WD offers a power output of 45 HP and has a double clutch system. It comes with a synchromesh gearbox offering the smoothest transmission and a lifting capacity of 1640 kg.
Sonalika’s Tiger DI 47 4WD tractor is dedicated to puddling tasks. This model boasts a robust 50 HP engine and has an engine capacity of 3065 CC. With a hydraulics lifting capacity of 2000 kg and the added convenience of power steering, this tractor offers power and ease of use.
John Deere 5045 D Power Pro 4WD is another tractor widely favoured for puddling of rice. It has a 46 HP, 3-cylinder engine available in a four-wheel drive configuration. It features Collarshift gearbox and power steering. It comes with a lifting capacity of 1600 kg.
Farmers prefer Sonalika Mahabali RX 42 Puddling Special for rice puddling due to its popularity in the field. It has a 45 HP engine and a large engine capacity of 2893 CC. The tractor features a dual-clutch system and a maximum lifting capacity of 2000 kg, making it robust and highly desirable for efficient rice puddling operations.
John Deere offers a specialised tractor named John Deere 3036E Puddling Special for puddling, which features a 36 HP engine power. It comes with Sync Reverse gearbox and power steering. The maximum lifting capacity of this John Deere tractor is 910 kg.
Massey Ferguson 244 Dynatrack 4WD from Massey Ferguson is among the popular model used for puddling. It offers a 44 HP 3-cylinder engine. With a lifting capacity of 2050 kg, it also offers power steering and a constant mesh gearbox.
Eicher 380 Prima G3 4WD from Eicher has a 40 HP engine with a capacity of 2500 CC. It offers a partial constant mesh, ADDC for hydraulics, a lifting capacity of 1650 kg and a category II 3-point linkage.
Using specialised rice pudding tractors offers enhanced productivity, improved soil conditions, easier transplanting, and operator comfort. These tractors are purpose-built to handle rice paddies' unique soil churning requirements, leading to higher yields and better soil structure.
In addition, these tractors streamline the planting process and reduce physical exertion for the operator. Their ability to quickly gain traction and operate in challenging conditions make them a crucial component of rice cultivation and contribute to agriculture's overall efficiency and profitability.
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