- Leads to efficient use of water and better grain yield and quality;
- reduces the amount of water needed to fill up a field;
- allows for more uniform water distribution;
- easier drainage of field plots;
- make fertilizer application more efficient;
- reduce weed problems;
- allow for better management of golden apple snail;
- better crop stand;
- uniform crop maturity; and
- timely harvesting.
Use of farm machinery for weeding and harvesting, and the application of controlled irrigation are facilitated as well.
During land leveling, the field should have 2-5 cm water depth, about the height of a thumb. The field should have no visible mound of soil above the water surface after the final leveling.
- Plowing. Plow under weeds and stubbles 10 to 15 cm deep 3 to 4 weeks before transplanting or direct wet seeding to allow decomposition and recycle plant nutrients. If organic materials are not fully decomposed, soil tends to become acidic and some nutrients become less available. Draining removes toxic substances, allows organic matter to decompose, and helps the plant produce deeper and stronger roots. Decomposition is faster in moist soil.
- Clean and repair dikes and ditches. Dikes must be cleaned to remove pest; compacted to prevent seepage, and properly maintained at 15 cm high x 20 cm wide to prevent rat burrowing. Ditches will ensure even water distribution and drainage.
- Harrowing. Harrow the field at least twice at one week interval. The first harrowing is done a week after plowing to break the clods and incorporate the stubbles. This allows drop seeds and weed seeds to germinate. The second harrowing, which is also the first leveling, should be done across the direction of the first harrowing. This further incorporates the volunteer plants and allows the germination of the remaining drop seeds and weed seeds. These practices help reduce the initial pest host population and maintain the hardpan.
- Level the field. Use a wooden plank or leveler
- Construct small canals. For direct wet-seeded rice (DWSR), construct small canals near the levee surrounding the field and in the middle of the field as paths for excess water, and collecting golden apple snails.