Performance evaluation of weeders in rice cultivation

Experiments were conducted during dry season of 2010 to 2012 to study the field efficiency of weeders, developed at Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack. The weeders, namely bullock drawn, self propelled, star-cono and finger weeders, reduced the cost of weeding by 68%, 61%, 60% and 34%, respectively, compared to manual weeding. Under wet soil condition performance of the star-cono weeder was the best as per highest ear bearing tillers (196 m-2), grain and straw yields (4.08 and 7.34 t ha-1 respectively), water productivity (Rs. 1242 m-3) and total weed destruction. But in dry soil condition, performance of self propelled weeder was better than other weeders including manual-weeding in terms of labour requirement, weed destruction and profitability. Weeding by use of bullock drawn weeder was the most economic (Rs. 1815 ha-1) but net return from rice cultivation was highest in case of star-cono weeder (` 8472 ha-1) against Rs. 3,994 ha-1 in case of manual weeding and the net loss of  Rs. 3,766 ha-1 in case of un-weeded plots.