Towards the development of a sustainable agriculture, it is necessary to find new methods, typically fish farming model in rice fields bring many benefits and efficiency.
Fish farming model in rice fields and things to know
The monoculture method (only growing rice or raising fish) is a method that everyone knows and does. But in order to increase economic efficiency and diversify agricultural products, people have turned to the fish farming model in rice fields, a unique and highly effective form of rice-fish combination farming.
The results show that this model of fish farming combined with rice cultivation brings many benefits and achieves higher rice yields. In particular, farmers will save costs on herbicides because mud terriers find bait at the bottom, which will contribute to the work of killing insects, pests, and fish excrement, which is also a source of organic fertilizer for rice.
Not only bring rice yield, but fish are also well raised. Growing rice contributes to providing food for fish, fallen rice is also an essential source of nutrients for fish. Fish raised in the field will only use food from nature, so farmers save costs, fish grow well.
Main farming methods in fish-rice farming model
- Model of fish-rice intercropping: Raising both rice and fish in the same crop, the fish harvest will be done after the rice is harvested.
- The model of fish farming – rice rotation: After a rice crop, water will be raised to raise a fish crop
Each method has different advantages:
For the fish-rice intercropping model, it will help farmers increase productivity and income on the same area, taking advantage of food and pesticides. However, this method only stock low density fish.
For the fish-rice rotation model, the yield is high, but the investment costs are also high and requires farmers to master the right techniques.
How to implement the fish farming model in rice fields
If the water source is active, fish can be raised and released all year round. It should be calculated to harvest fish before winter to avoid cold, flood-prone areas like the South can spare the next crop to harvest next year.
To implement the fish farming model in the field, we need to choose places with clean water sources and take the initiative to provide both fish and rice, good drainage, water with pH 7-8. Choose clean land, have a structure to hold water and be less contaminated with alum so that fish and rice can live.
Choose places far from industrial plants to avoid chemical waste from those places that will harm fish and rice. In addition, choose locations that are easy to travel to to manage and take care of but do not affect the people around.
The area is from 0.3ha or more depending on the conditions of the people. There are many types of fields such as: ponds in the middle of fields, ditches and storage ponds, etc. A standard fish-rice field should have:
Surrounding bank: The foot of the bank is 1-2m wide, the bank surface is 2-4m wide, the bank is higher than the annual flood level, can plant other trees such as papaya, melon to create shade.
Surrounding ditch: Occupying about 20-30% of the area, 0.5m from the bank to avoid soil from the bank and into the ditch. The ditch bottom is 1.5-2m wide, the ditch surface is 2-3m wide and the height of the ditch is 1-1.5m.
Storage pond: Must be located separately from the outside and connected to the rearing pond, the storage pond is built to keep the fish when they are just caught.
Sewer: For easy drainage, the work can be made of many materials such as PVC, cement…depending on conditions.
The spillway: The terraced fields are repaired to raise fish and need to be made of spillways to block the spillway, the material for the spillway is usually bamboo, after being plugged into the ground, the height is 0.2 – 0.3m higher than the highest water level.
Preparing the farm
Not only the model of raising fish in the field, but when working in the field, preparation is very important. First of all, it is necessary to handle harmful agents such as insects, slugs, etc., so that rice and fish can grow well. It is necessary to fill in the caves and holes, clean the grass around the bank, and apply lime to the pond banks and then dry the pond for 2-3 days.
Put water in the field for a few days and then drain it, catching all the trash fish and fish enemies. Clear the grass and level the bottom of the ditch.
Choose rice varieties
To implement the rice farming model, choose varieties with good tolerance such as MTL – 159, MTL – 141, MTL – 149 IR60820-81-2-1, IR64, etc.
Choose varieties to release fish
Types of fish suitable for fish farming in rice fields are:
- Spicy fish
- Giant fish
- Sesame fish honor
- Grass carp
Choose fish that are agile, good swimmers, disease-free, stocking density of 100-150 fish/m2. How to release: Before stocking, you need to soak the fish bag in water, drop it in the early morning or late afternoon.
Time to sow rice and release fish
- Rice sowing: There are 2 seasons: summer – autumn and winter – spring
- Stocking fish: A few days earlier than sowing rice will be more profitable
Care and management in the model of fish farming – rice farming
In the fish-farming model, although fish can eat fallen rice, it is also necessary to ensure food for fish to grow well. It is possible to provide industrial feed mixed in certain proportions and a combination of pellets and green feed. Each zone feeds fish with different types of food:
Northern Delta and mountainous midlands: Rice bran, chopped weed vegetables, cattle manure, snails, crushed worms…
Southwest region and SCL Delta: Feed fish with fresh food, processed food, pellets…
How to make your own fish food
- Feed pellets: Prepare feed ingredients to re-mix with water for moisture, put them in the pellet machine and then dry them in the sun.
- Fermented foods: Use cooked foods, inoculate yeast-like cultures and then incubate for 3-5 days. This way the food does not keep for a long time
How to feed fish
The first time should feed food with high nutritional content, when large fish add fine food such as bran mixed with snails, minced crabs. The amount of feed varies according to the month of culture: In the first two months, 5% of the fish weight is given, the next month it is reduced to 3%. It is necessary to monitor fish eating to adjust the amount of food accordingly.
When the fish pond is dirty, it is recommended to reduce eating and change the water, if using drugs, we need to put the fish in the ditch for a few days, feed the fish by spreading food on the surface of the water.
Water regulation when raising fish
The first stage of stocking fish is also the time of sowing, it is necessary to keep the fish in the ditch after 40-50 days of rice transplanting, then raise the water to feed the fish. During the care period, the appropriate water level should be maintained for the rice but reasonable to avoid affecting the fish. After harvesting the rice, water should be provided for the fish to grow.
If intercropping, harvest at the same time as rice harvest. If the crop is rotated, then the fish will be harvested and trimmed to reach commercial value, keeping some in the ditch. When the next rice crop is planted, we will put the fish back in the field.
The average size of meat fish is 0.15- 0.4kg after one crop, it will be harvested; If raising 2 crops, the fish will be harvested from 0.3-0.6kg or larger.
The water pump gradually lowers the water level so that the fish gather in the ditch, pull the fish back with the net, and then drain the rest of the fish by hand.
Taking care of rice plants
Fish-rice fields are no different from normal farming fields, need to prepare the soil, liming, take care of rice… as usual. It is necessary to monitor regularly to detect pests and diseases in a timely manner, when detecting pests, fish must be pushed into the ditch to spray pesticides for rice.
Principles of using pesticides for rice
Before spraying, water must be stored in the ditch
Use safe medicine, spray in the early morning, the dew has not dissipated
Choose a drug that is less toxic to fish
Regularly change the water, change the water when detecting that the water has a bad smell and dirt, only change about 20-30% otherwise the fish will be shocked. In times of change of seasons or storms, it is necessary to apply lime around the bank at the beginning of the rainy season, clearing grass around the bank.
Need to improve the field, clear the straw, change the water when it is green or gray to ensure the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water.
During the implementation of the rice-growing fish farming model, it is necessary to monitor the disease situation of both fish and rice to detect and prevent timely treatment. The fish farming model of rice will bring higher rice yield as well as increase income, diversify products on the same area. Happy successful people!
See more: Model of raising snakehead fish in ponds