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Photographer's Note

The world's leading rice-producing countries are China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Thailand. Total annual world production is more than half a billion metric tons.

Ninety percent of the world crop is grown and consumed in Asia. American consumption, although increasing, is still only about 25 lb (11 kg) per person annually, as compared with 200 to 400 lb (90–181 kg) per person in parts of Asia.

Methods of growing differ greatly in different localities, but in most Asian countries the traditional hand methods of cultivating and harvesting rice are still practiced. The fields are prepared by plowing (typically with simple plows drawn by water buffalo), fertilizing (usually with dung or sewage), and smoothing (by dragging a log over them). The seedlings are started in seedling beds and, after 30 to 50 days, are transplanted by hand to the fields, which have been flooded by rain or river water. During the growing season, irrigation is maintained by dike-controlled canals or by hand watering. The fields are allowed to drain before cutting.

Rice when it is still covered by the brown hull is known as paddy; rice fields are also called paddy fields or rice paddies. Before marketing, the rice is threshed to loosen the hulls—mainly by flailing, treading, or working in a mortar—and winnowed free of chaff by tossing it in the air above a sheet or mat.

I hope you like my shot of the Bali Paddy Fields...

~ Dan

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Additional Photos by Dan Walsh (danielswalsh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1458 W: 363 N: 2367] (13597)
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