Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to the 2010 rice production season

I hope you have enjoyed the holiday season and have had a chance to relax and spend time with family and friends.  Now it is time to get back to work!

In Brazil, the rice under the center pivots continues to develop well.  The rains have continued and little irrigation with the center pivots has been required since early in the season to help germinate the crop.  Those using traditional flood irrigation must keep pumping water to maintain the flood over the field, while the growers using center pivots do not have to continue to pump and can take the benefit from the rainfall to maximize overall water use efficiency.  One goal we are looking at is to produce 1mt/ha of rice for each 100mm of total available water - effective rain and irrigation.

The Valley Rice Team continues to review potential rice projects and provide recommendations on irrigation equipment and production.

Who is the Valley Rice Team? 
Let me take a minute to introduce the technical part of the team to you.  Next week, I will introduce the members in sales and marketing.

Dr. Germani Concenco, Brazil-based Agronomist, has a number of years of experience in rice field and plot trials and  manages the Valmont Irrigation plot and field trials in Brazil.  He also advises a group of farmers with commercial rice fields under center pivots.  In addition to this, Dr. Concenco reviews project data from around the world and offers suggestions primarily related to variety selection, weed and disease control, and general production information.

Kelly Downing, Nebraska-based Irrigation Specialist, spent ten years with a university working on research projects for a variety of crops focused on irrigation management prior to joining Valmont Industries where he has worked in the fields of Service, Product Management, and Sales.  Kelly focuses on developing projects in irrigation field management and helping to develop recommendations on flowrates for the rice projects.  Kelly has spent time in several countries setting up soil moisture monitoring equipment and training in irrigation management techniques.

Jerry Gerdes, Nebraska-based Water Application Product Manager contributes years of experience from his time working sprinkler manufacturer prior to joining Valmont Industries.  Currently working with different sprinkler manufacturers, Jerry develops the recommendations for the optimum water application package for a grower's operation.

I am Jake LaRue, Nebraska-based Director of Product and Project Support, and I have spent time in a number of different countries designing, installing, and managing startup of irrigation projects for a variety of different crop production systems.  My focus for the rice project is on coordinating the activities of the Valley Rice Team, and research projects with different universities, field research trials, and commercial production projects.

Comments and questions are welcome!