Monday, February 22, 2010

Circles for Rice | Weekly Update

The Circles for Rice project is gaining more interest across the globe.

United States 

Last week, I discussed the project with two interested growers - one in Texas and one in Arkansas.  Additionally, one of our dealers in Missouri has received several inquiries about rice production under center pivots and linears.


A field day was held on February 19 in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  Participation was good with around 80 attendees. Many speakers presented on the project, including Dr. Germani Concenco of Valmont, Dr. Herbert Arns (agronomist of Werner Arns, the veteran center pivot rice grower in Rio Grande do Sul), Mr. Parfitt from Embrapa, and Mr. Fernando Santiago of FMC.  Various other speakers also presented.

Participants had the opportunity to listen about and see the technological and conservational advancements of the rice fields since irrigating with center pivots.  Project results and published data were also shown to illustrate to the attendees how the Circles for Rice project is saving water, gaining acceptable yields, and working closely with growers.

Dr. Germani Concenco also initiated a Rice Tour on February 20.  The group visited the Brazilian Circles for Rice fields and spoke with some of the growers.

Friday, February 19, 2010

5 Facts about Rice Production in the United States

1. Rice is grown in 6 states - California, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

2. More than 2.7 million acres (1.1 million hectares) are planted with rice.

3. All rice is grown with controlled irrigation.

4. Approximately half of the annual yield is exported.

5. The average American will consume about 24 lbs of rice per year.

For more facts on rice production in the United States, visit .

USA Rice Federation. "Facts About USA Rice." USA Rice. USA Rice Federation, 2010. Web.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Circles for Rice | Weekly Update


Rice harvest in Brazil has begun and preliminary yield reports look very promising (dry yield averages are not yet confirmed):
  • Rio Grande do Sul | veteran grower ~ 8.2 mt/ha (170 bu/ac)
  • Rio Grande do Sul | first year grower ~ 7.2 mt/ha (144 bu/ha)
We hope that once the harvest is complete, the yield for the overall field is higher than what we are already observing. The fields that were planted later in 2009 should begin harvest later this week.  Final average dry yields will be reported in the weeks to come.

One Brazilian grower has reported disappointment with the depth of his wheel tracks, which I believe stems from significant over irrigation.  However,  the grower has already indicated that he would like to plant rice again next growing season.

United States

During the past two weeks, I visited with growers in California; after speaking with several of them, I developed an appreciation for the challenges facing rice production in the state.  One rice producer near Colusa has shown interest in participating in a demonstration trial totaling approximately 5 acres.

A Valley center pivot owner in Texas has also expressed interest in a field-scale trial under part of his machine;  I will be meeting with him this week.

I will also meet with interested growers in Arkansas this week.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rice Events | Brazil

What: Brazilian Rice Tour
When: February 20, 2010
Time: TBD

On February 20, 2010, personnel from Valley Uberaba, including Dr. Germani Concenco, will tour around several of the Circles for Rice fields throughout Brazil with growers interested in the project. The Rice Tour is open to any grower interested in producing rice under center pivots and linears.

What: Rice Harvest Opening
When: February 25-27, 2010
Where: Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Valmont Irrigation will attend the Rice Harvest Opening from February 25-27, in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  2010 marks the annual event's 20th year.  Various speakers and exhibitors will b present to mark the opening of the rice harvest.  This is the first year Valmont Irrigation will attend the event.

For more information, please visit the Rice Harvest Opening website.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rice Field Day | Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

When: February 19, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Open to the public.

On February 19, a rice field day will be hosted by Valmont Irrigation, Embrapa, and the field's grower Werner Arns; supporters include RiceTec, FMC, and Ihara.  The event will take place on a Circles for Rice field in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  Activities will begin at 9:00 AM and will run through 12:30 PM.  Lunch will be served, provided by Valmont Irrigation, RiceTec, and FMC.  Presenters will include Dr. Germani Concenco of Valmont Irrigation, Marcus Schmidt of Valmont Irrigation, and various personnel from Embrapa, FMC, and RiceTec.  Werner Arns and Dr. Herbert Arns will also speak.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rice | A Growing Industry

This article by Bruce Schultz reveals both the good and bad of the agriculture industry as it stands today, but I'd like to just focus on the good.


Rice is clearly a growing industry and is being acknowledged as so globally.  The growth of this industry will help remedy the global food crisis by providing one of the most staple foods to all nations.  The U.S. recently sent over 28,000 tons of rice to Haiti in order to feed the people of a nation who experienced a great loss.

We on the Circles for Rice team would like to see this growth continue, and for that to happen, water and other resources need to be conserved.  By growing rice under center pivots and linears, not only will water and energy be conserved, but also more land will be put into production for rice.  With more land in rice production comes more crop, and therefore the ability to feed more people around the globe.