Rice growers should aim to achieve a plant population in the range of 100 to 300 plants/m 2 for all sowing methods. This provides a buffer before grain yield declines should establishment problems occur.
No difference in grain yield was observed for plant populations between 40 and 700 plants/m 2 in research where a direct comparison between plant population and grain yield was measured at over 800 sites.
High grain yields can be achieved with plant populations below 40 plants/m 2 , but there is a declining trend in yield with decreasing plant population. At low plant populations it becomes increasingly important that plants are evenly spaced for grain yield to be maintained.