The ratooning is the ability of the plant to regenerate new tillers from stubbles of the main crop. Though the crop thought to be the same, there may be variation in the physiological parameters between the main and ratoon crop. For example panicle development and heading are more uneven in ratoon than that of the main crop. The ratoons vary in their chemical composition according to the node number and position. The general low yield obtained from the ratoon crop is believed to be mainly due to the reduction in number of productive tillers and short growth duration. Although the yield contributing factors like plant height, leaf area, leaf canopy, panicle length, growth duration, cutting height of the stubble etc. are largely governed by the genetic make-up of the plant. Under various cultural practices cutting height of the main crop stubbles is correlated with yield of the ratoon crop, number of auxiliary buds and productive tillers. Also cutting height is correlated with regrowth potential or ratoon vigour, nodal and basal tillers, ratoon rating and ability, uniform growth and maturity, filled spikelets and missing hills. Application of nitrogen fertilizer is considered probably the most important single nutrient elements in growth and yield of ratoons. The rice ratooning offers an opportunity to increase cropping intensity per unit of cultivated area because a ratoon crop has shorter growth duration than the main crop. In addition, ratoon crop may be grown with 50% less labor. Neither land preparation nor planting is needed and the crop uses 60% less water than the main crop. The yield of the ratoon crop may be achieved by 50% of the main crop, if crop management practices are used efficiently.
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