Rice is one of the oldest food plants, originating in Southeast Asia and a species of swamp, although in its phylogenesis there are different genotypes capable of carrying out the cycle in non-submerged soil with the sole contribution of high atmospheric precipitation. The antiquity of the culture is confirmed by Chinese and Southeast Asian archaeological finds dating back to 6000-7000 BC. In the West, the first news about rice came after Alexander the Great’s expedition to the east, but the commercialization began only with the Arabs who cultivated it in Spain in the 8th century. Rice is one of the most widely consumed grains in the world and a substantial portion of the diet of many Asian countries, where it is grown extensively. Rice is produced in about 120 countries worldwide, but China and India together account for more than 50 percent of both rice production globally.

Rice is a cereal belonging to the grass family and to the Oryza genus. The most widely cultivated species belong to the sativa species, of which three geographical subspecies are distinguished: Indica, to which the subspecies cultivated in India, Southeast Asian countries, and southern China, javanica, limited to the equatorial belt of Indonesia and japonica, to the which are referable the forms cultivated in Japan, Korea, northern China, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and North America.

Rice is an annual species, cespitose with a fibrous root system consisting of very numerous adventitious roots. The leaves have an elongated lamina, an entire margin, and a rough surface due to the presence of short and stiff hairs on both pages.

The inflorescence is a panicle, and the flowers are hermaphrodites.

The caryopsis, compressed laterally, of a more elongated shape in the spp. Indica and javanica and more rounded in spp. Japonica is anatomically similar to that of wheat and related cereals.

The biological cycle of rice takes place through the phases of:

Germination: in this phase the rice has specific thermal and humidity needs, but it is also particularly sensitive to the amount of oxygen available. As for humidity, germination begins whether the seeds are placed in a fairly humid environment or immersed in water. The germination phase is considered completed when the plant has formed the second-third leaf.

Tillering: tillering begins with the development of a shoot from the axillary bud of the lowest leaf and can continue by other buds of the primary and secondary culm. The development of the tillering shoots is accompanied by that of adventitious roots, which soon exceed in importance those of embryonic origin. The differentiation of the flower apex marks the beginning of the reproductive period and the end of the tillering period.

Stem elongation: this phase is characterized by the elongation of the internodes, the growth of the leaves and the progressive development of the inflorescence. The stem elongation ends with the reaching of the maximum height of the fertile culms of the plant and with the emission of the inflorescences.

Flowering: flowering is gradual starting from the final part of the panicle of the main culm and continuing in the tillering culms according to the order of their formation.

Ripening: in this phase the caryopsis swells and increases its concentration in dry matter.

Rice has great possibilities to adapt to various environments but has high thermal demands. It is cultivated from tropical and sub-tropical areas of origin up to temperate ones, from altitudes close to sea level up to 2600 m in Nepal. Regarding its cultivation, the following are distinguished:
  • rainfed, lowland rice: from lowland areas and dependent on rains and upland rice: from equatorial and tropical mountainous areas totally dependent on high rainfall;
  • irrigated rice, in areas where cultivation takes place with regular submersion of the soil and careful control of the water level during the entire cycle;
  • deep water and floating rice grown with high water levels.
As it moves away from the more favorable environments, rice loses the ideal thermal regime characterized by high temperatures and not subject to sudden variations. It becomes indispensable for an increasingly longer time, which can also affect the entire cultivation cycle, the presence of a layer of water of suitable thickness that submerges the ground and the plant for part of its height. This water performs the function of “thermal flywheel” which is particularly important, for production purposes, during germination and especially during the phases ranging from differentiation of the inflorescences to flowering. The plant is not very demanding as regards the characteristics of the soil, however the ideal soil for cultivation is that with a subacid reaction, silty or silty-clay, 30-40 cm deep.

Nitrogen (N) is undoubtedly the element that can affect the productivity of the crop by acting directly on the growth of the plant, its size, the number of tillering stems, the weight of the grain and its protein content. Nitrogen absorption increases during the tillering phase and reaches its maximum after flowering. During ripening, absorption is significantly reduced, and the element is mainly translocated from the leaves to the grains. Although less evident, the influence of phosphorus (P) on production is very important especially during vegetative development during which it favors the tillering and elongation of the roots. During the reproductive period, it favors the early flowering and therefore the ripening process, especially in cold climate conditions. The absorption of phosphorus is slower than that of nitrogen until the flower beginnings are formed; subsequently the absorption increases until after flowering and is exhausted during ripening. Potassium (K) is an important enzymatic cofactor, its action affects the size and weight of the grains, favors the thickening of cell walls. It is mainly absorbed from tillering to flowering.

The crop also benefits from the application of products with a biostimulant action, based on beneficial microorganisms and vegetable protein hydrolysates. These products are able to stimulate the emergence and root development in the early stages of seedling development, to improve the availability of nutrients in the soil, to increase the yield from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint, to reduce the negative impact of climatic stresses and to increase the nutrient use efficiency (NUE). The application of biostimulants increases the environmental and economic sustainability of the production system.

Sample Fertilization Plan

Hello Nature rice before ploughing

Before ploughing

Improve soil fertility (chemical, physical and biological)
Hello Nature rice sowing


Improve the plant’s uptake of nutrients by acting on root development and plant growth.
Hello Nature rice leaf development

Leaf development

Increase tolerance to abiotic stress and reduce stresses coming from herbicide applications and improve NUE
Hello Nature rice tillering


Increase tolerance to abiotic stress and reduce stresses coming from herbicide applications and improve NUE

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The roots of a plant have several important functions. The roots anchor the plant in place, resisting the forces of wind and running water or mud flow. The root system takes in oxygen, water and nutrients from the soil, to move them up through the plant to the stems, leaves and blooms.  Roots often store the energies created by the plant through photosynthesis, to make them available to the plant as it is needed. Plant roots also stimulate and support microorganisms in the soil that benefit plant life. Support root growth is essential, especially, to favor a rapid start of vegetative growth of the seedlings. Natural Lateral Root Promoting Peptide (LRPP) is a pool of peptides that improves lateral rooting and plant development. It is a plant biostimulant molecule which has been isolated after several years of R&D collaboration by HELLO NATURE and universities.

Soil fertility is the ability of a soil to sustain plant growth by providing essential plant nutrients and favorable chemical, physical, and biological characteristics as a habitat for plant growth. Fertile and productive soils are vital components of stable societies because they ensure growth of plants needed for food, fiber, animal feed and forage, industrial products, energy and for an aesthetically pleasing environment. Food security depends on soil fertility. Besides, fertile soil provides essential nutrients for plant growth, to produce healthy food with all the necessary nutrients needed for human health. Good management of soil fertility changes the physiological nature of compact soil to become more porous, reduces soil crusting allowing for Improved plant emergence, improves water penetration to the root zone and creates a better environment for root growth, reduces soil erosion and standing water problems.

All growers, conventional and organic, have an interest in gaining back the yield potential lost due to abiotic stresses.  It’s proven that on the average, farmers can harvest only 50% of the yield potential. The yield gap can be caused by biotic and abiotic stresses with a stronger negative impact of abiotic stresses. In fact, abiotic stresses like heat, cold, salt, drought and flooding caused from 65 to 75% of the yield gap, while biotic stress only 25 to 35%. Our vegetal protein hydrolysates, containing Plant Stimulating Peptides (PSP) have been shown to consistently help plants better recover from stress events also after herbicide application by increasing antioxidant supply, stimulating antioxidant biosynthesis, and activating antioxidant defense enzymes. PSPs maintained higher photosynthetic activity and a better nutritional status in the shoot tissues leading to a higher crop performance.

Nowadays, sustainable fertilization management is essential to increase the overall performance of cropping systems by providing economically optimum nourishment to the crop while minimizing nutrient losses from the field and supporting agricultural system sustainability by increasing Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE). NUE is directly linked to the crop yield and generally defined as the yield of harvestable product per unit of nutrient available from the soil and fertilizer. Our vegetal peptides, which we called Plant Stimulating peptides, improves NUE by enhancing both the uptake and utilization efficiency of nutrients. For instance, promoting the fine root growth, stimulating root enzymes involved in nutrient uptake, or upregulating genes encoding for enzymes involved in plant assimilation of inorganic nutrients such as nitrates.

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