How to grow rice | Transplanting rice with a Rice Transplanter

Rice farming requires skilled experience and a huge amount of work.

Even in today's mechanized world, it is well known that it is not an easy task.

There are countless works required but the rice farming process can be divided into six steps:

  1. Soil preparation
  2. Seeds and seedlings preparation
  3. Rice planting
  4. Paddy field control and weeding
  5. Fertilizing and draining
  6. Harvesting and drying.

We --- as an agricultural trade company --- have been helping rice farmers with our own hands and providing a wide range of rice farming tools and machines.

In this post, we would like to share how to transplant rice in Japan with our real experience.


We made a video to demonstrate how we transplant rice as well.

Rice farming method in Japan

The most common rice farming method in Japan is paddy filed (wet-field) transplanting method, planting non-glutinous rice called uruchi-mai.

A unit of paddy field is typically sectioned in 1 ha (100 x 100 meters).

Rice seedling preparation

Rice seeds are sowed and grown on the nursery trays in green house.

The seedlings become 12 to 15 cm tall a month after sowing rice seeds.

The roots are intertwined and the seedlings become like a one sheet of plants which are suitable for rice planting.

Usually in April to May, majority of the rice farmers in Japan start transplanting rice seedlings.

Then, we transport the rice seedlings on nursery trays by truck to paddy filed.

Rice transplanting

First, we transferred rice seedlings on "seedling boards" by inserting the boards between the sheet of seedlings and nursery trays.

Then, provided the seedlings on a rice transplanter.

We used Iseki 8-row rice transplanter this time.

After supplying and setting rice seedlings, drove the transplanter and planted rice seedlings.

Rice transplanters are driven straight and taken a U-turn to plant all over the rice field.

Seedlings are planted 3 to 4 seedlings at a point with 15 to 18 cm planting distances, 3 cm depth.

By using rice transplanter, the rice planting work is so much efficient and fast.

Rice transplanters can plant rice at speed 1 meter per second, which equals to 3.6km/h or 2.24 mph.

We cannot imagine how much work rice famers needed to be done by hand before this mechanized modern agriculture.

Useful features of rice transplanter


Fertilizer is also applied at the same time as planting. The feeding part moves up and down to feed the fertilizer. Since it is linked with the running speed, fertilizer can be spread evenly at any speed.

Planting marker

There is a marker that marks the soil of the rice field.

By using this as a guide, you can plant straight and efficiently.

Spare seedling tray racks

Feeding seedlings from the spare seedling tray before the seedling tray runs out of seedlings.

Even if the seedlings are running out in the middle of the paddy field, it is no problem because you can supply the seedlings without returning to the furrow.

Other useful rice farming tools

We found rice farmers use unique and useful items helping their farming easier.

Nursery Tray Washing Machine

This is a manual nursery tray washing machine.

Just inserting an empty tray between the roll brushes, it washes trays for storage.

You can take it just closes to the paddy field because it is a portable type and no require any power source.

Nursery Tray Binding Rubber Band

After washing trays, use Nursery Tray Binding Rubber Band to bind 10 trays.

You can hold trays by band and carry easy.

Rice Paddy Irrigation Water Gate

Water comes from the river through water irrigation channel.

The Rice Paddy Irrigation Water Gate are used to control the water level of the paddy field.

Controlling the water level is very important to grow quality rice.

Rice farming machines

We have a really wide range of rice farming machines and tools used in Japan that we can help rice farmers around the world.

Please check our rice farming equipment and feel free to contact us.