Mulching of Transplanted Rice
A machine has been developed which processes waste paper into a mulch in the field. It is used as an attachment to a rice seedling planter. The six-row Japanese planter must be purchased, but the mulching machine can be made in a workshop. Much of the information we used to make this machine was provided by scientists in Japan.
Single Operation Mulching and Transplanting
The mulching attachment consists of a tank to hold the paper, several pairs of rollers which serve as paper guides, and a paper cutter. While the rice seedling planter works in the field, this attachment is mounted on the front of the planter, and discharges paper mulch simultaneously. Seedlings are therefore transplanted to the field, which is covered by the paper. An extra worker is needed if the paper mulching mechanism is being used.
Weed Control by Paper Mulch
Preliminary experimental results show that paper used as mulch helps to keep down weeds, reduces the quantity of herbicide and pesticide applied during rice culture, and slightly increases the rice yield. The mulching paper breaks down in the soil naturally, without causing any environmental problems.
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