Monday, March 29, 2010

Circles for Rice | Weekly Update


As previously stated in older weekly update posts, Brazil had a very wet 2009-2010 growing season.  Therefore, our rice fields were not irrigated as much as in past years. The graph below illustrates this observation (to view graph in its entirety, please visit the blog at

Below is the initial yield report.  Please note that Field #5 is listed three times with three different varieties (to view graph in its entirety, please visit the blog at


All rice areas continue to be wet and cool, and farmers are anxious to get into the fields!

As several of our committed Circles for Rice fields are not capable of flood irrigating, it will prove interesting how the rice develops and matures.  These specific fields have light-textured soils and good internal drainage.

If you are planting rice under a center pivot or linear:
  1. Select a variety or hybrid seed that has good early season vigor, blast resistance, and good lodging score.  Now is the time to arrange for your seed.
  2. Prepare a weed control program plan that uses a balance of pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicides.
  3. Because the weather is always unpredictable, make sure your center pivot or linear is ready to go!

Remember that center pivots and linears are great tools to activate herbicides and help with germination.  

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    World Water Week 2010

    World Water Day logo.
    March 21-27, 2010, is World Water Week.  This week is dedicated to recognizing the worldwide water shortage and explaining/suggesting what we as global citizens can do to help our planet in terms of resource conservation.

    World Water Week is a fairly new event.  It came to be after a United Nations conference in 1992.  The planet is in what is referred to as the Water for Life Decade - 2005-2015.  During this span of time especially, it is crucial that we take a very close look at how we use our water supply and how we can conserve our usable water in every sense.  Please click here to read more about the Water for Life Decade (United Nations, 2005). 

    How is the Circles for Rice Project Recognizing This Event?
    The 2010 World Water Week mission statement is "Clean Water for a Healthy World."  The Valmont Irrigation Circles for Rice project is helping to complete this mission by not only conserving water, but also by helping to maintain, or better, water quality.  By producing rice under center pivots and linears, versus traditional flood irrigation methods, producers can manage and control where the water moves and situates through precise management practices.  Flooding fields creates the opposite effect - runoff puts crop nutrient and protection products into viable water sources, thereby further contaminating the source. 

    For more information on World Water Week 2010, please visit  .

    IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. "World Water Day." World Water Day.  Web.  2004-2010. 25 March 2010.

    United Nations. Water for Life Decade: 2005-2015. United Nations, 2005. Print.

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Circles for Rice | Weekly Update


    Due to the rain Brazil saw this growing season, growers applied about half of the amount of water through their center pivots than the veteran grower in Uruguaiana typically applied in past seasons.

    Tentative yield reports are as follows:
    • Average yield (upland rice): 3.6 mt/ha to 6.6 mt/ha
    • Average yield (lowland rice): 4.0 mt/ha to 8.1 mt/ha
    • Amount of irrigation water applied with center pivots: 240 mm to 450 mm
      • The 450 mm average appeared in areas that pre-germinated the rice due to very dry early season conditions
    • Initial quality reports: 
      • Good results under the center pivots
      • Milling scores of 59
    The above data is unpublished and is subject to change.

    Weed control is critical!  A combination of rapid crop emergence, early season tillering, and a good herbicide program is essential to maximize rice yields! 

      Thursday, March 18, 2010

      National Ag Week

      photo courtesy of
      March 14-20, 2010, is National Ag Week in the United States.  This event encourages citizens throughout the country to celebrate agriculture in different ways, such as visiting farmer's markets, reading about how agriculture touches each and every one of our lives, and thanking growers for a job well done! 

      For ideas on how you can celebrate agriculture this week, visit

      Monday, March 15, 2010

      Top 10 Maintenance Tips | Series 1

      Valmont Irrigation has recently put together a list of 10 maintenance tips to help advise growers on how to make the most of their center pivot or linear machine investment.

      Throughout the next several weeks, I will be publishing these tips in 5 series.  Each series will not only include 2 of the 10 preventative tips, but will also explain what each mentioned part of the machine is.

      1. Drive Train - The drive train of a center pivot or linear includes 3 main components: the center drive motor, wheel gearbox, and tire/flotation options.  Please visit to learn more about a center pivot or linear machine drive train.

      TIP: To maximize the life of your drive train and keep it operating trouble-free, drain water from the wheel gearbox and center drive, and make sure the gear lubricant is at the appropriate level.

      2. Wheel Tracks - Wheel tracks, or ruts, are created by the tires of the center pivot or linear.  Large, deep wheel tracks are undesirable because they create wear and tear to the machine and may also damage the field.  Valmont Irrigation offers several machine options to help ensure shallow wheel tracks, and thus help ensure a longer life for the machine.  In rice production under center pivots and linears, Valmont Irrigation may advise larger tires, Valley Tracks, Raaft tracks, boom backs, or other solutions that fit your field's needs.  Best management practices  are also critical to minimize wheel tracks.  Please visit the success story in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, USA, to see how Valley options and management helped minimize wheel tracks in 2009.

      TIP: Be sure to fill deep wheel tracks during the off-season to reduce stress on irrigation, tillage, and harvest equipment.  To help prevent future tracking, consider changing to a different type of tire, adding floatation, or modifying the sprinkler package to reduce water application to the wheel tracks.

      Please visit to view all Top 10 Preventative Maintenance Tips.

      Thursday, March 11, 2010

      Circles for Rice | Weekly Update


      The rice fields in Brazil are harvested. I am continuously receiving the harvest data, which will be published to the website in the coming weeks (  In general, it seems the rice produced with traditional flood methods yielded lower this year, compared with past years; this outcome was due to unusually wet weather.  The center pivot rice fields also faced challenges this growing season due to the amount of rain.

      We have so far observed that the rice fields under center pivots that managed and maintained good weed control had good yields; those fields that did not maintain weed control very well did not meet expectations.

      Our experiences and observations from both this growing season in Brazil and last year's growing season in the U.S. further stress a key benefit to producing rice under center pivots and linears: the ability to apply fertilizer through the machine.  Both field experience in the U.S. and research data from the University of Missouri Delta Research Center illustrate that fertigation through a center pivot or linear is not only a good production practice for nutrient management, but is also an economical application solution.

      United States

      Plans for the 2010 growing season in the United States are currently being finalized.

      Tuesday, March 2, 2010

      5 Facts about Rice Worldwide

      1. Rice is produced on 6 continents: North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

      2. Burma consumes (per capita) the most rice per year - about 500 lbs.

      3. 20% of the rice consumed in the United States is used in beer production.

      4. More than 40,000 varieties of rice are grown worldwide.

      5. Researchers believe rice may have been native to India.

      Information found at:
      "Facts About Rice."  Lotus Foods.  Web.  2002-2009.