- MayLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
A paddy field is a flooded parcel of arable land used for growing rice and other semiaquatic crops. Paddy fields are a typical feature of rice-growing countries of east and southeast Asia including Malaysia, China, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. They are also found in other rice-growing regions such as Piedmont (Italy), the Camargue (France) and the Artibonite Valley (Haiti). They can occur naturally along rivers or marshes, or can be constructed, even on hillsides, often with much labor and materials. They require large quantities of water for irrigation, which can be quite complex for a highly developed system of paddy fields. Flooding provides water essential to the growth of the crop. It also gives an environment favourable to the strain of rice being grown, and is hostile to many species of weeds. As the only draft animal species which is adapted for life in wetlands, the water buffalo is in widespread use in Asian rice paddies. There are significant adverse environmental impacts from rice paddy cultivation due to the generation of large quantities of methane gas. World methane production due to rice paddies has been estimated in the range of 50 to 100 million tonnes per annum; this level of greenhouse gas generation is a large component of the global warming threat and derives simply from an expanding human population.
The word "paddy" is derived from the Malay word padi, rice.
Preparing the paddy-field for planting is an interesting (and mucky) business. An elaborate network of channels and pipelines brings the water to flood the paddy-field and form a deep layer of soft mud, which has to be levelled so that all parts get the same treatment. As the two views above show, locations are extremely varied: the left photo, while not matching the rice terraces of the Philippines or Bali, is some way up a valley, whereas on the right we see Kato-san's paddy-field right in front of our house. This is where the frogs congregate to keep us awake on summer nights!
The seedlings are grown in trays, in a sort of fibre matting, until they are ready for planting out. In the old days this job, taue, or paddy-planting, was a marathon back-breaker. Whole families were needed - Keiko remembers farming children being absent from school for a few days for it as late as the 1960s. But this has all changed, with the invention of machinery. The seedlings can be loaded from their trays into the chutes on this nifty little unit, then picking claws take successive nibbles from the slabs, scanning a bit like an inkjet printer working backwards.
Then the summer. The growing plants thrive, as the sun beats down, the steamy humidity envelopes, and every agrochemical known to science is sprayed all over them.
Finally the harvest, in late September or early October. The overwhelming part of the crop is gobbled up by miniature combine harvesters, but for the very best flavour the old-fashioned way is said to be the best. So here and there you will see the cut sheaves of rice drying on these wooden frameworks.
2007-06-08 14:22:31 補充：