Friday, August 27, 2010

Rice Taking an Important Role in Schools

Judy Rusignuolo of the USA Rice Federation recently published an article about improving nutrition in schools. Not only will rice be used to help make meals more nutritious, but also will children be educated about the advantages of rice in general.

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Circles for Rice | Weekly Update

Demonstration of center pivot on rice. Wheel tracks are very shallow - less than 2 inches deep.

Templeton | Wyatt, MO
Wheel tracks, Sikeston, MO | 18.4 x 26 tires
 Wheel tracks, SIkeston, MO | different soil
The photo to the right is of a center pivot near Wyatt, Missouri. This is the only Circles for Rice field in the United States that used a non-hybrid rice seed, a relatively new release from Arkansas called Templeton. It looks good and is maturing a little slower than a nearby field with RiceTec Clearfield XL729.

Historically, late in the season, center pivot wheel tracks have been a challenge. The Circles for Rice team has observed that matching the right drive unit hardware with the right management can help the center pivot successfully travel around the field for the entire growing season.


U.S. Harvest

As I mentioned in last week's post, harvest has begun in the United States and slowly continues as the center pivot rice fields continue to mature.

The wide range of soil types in a particular field is a unique characteristic present in center pivot-irrigated rice, and not present in traditionally flooded rice. Some of this year’s Circles for Rice fields have soils ranging from fine sand to silt loam within the same field.  Depending on the soil type(s), the rice matures at slightly different rates across the board.

Initial yield data under the center pivots has started to come in; these numbers have not been finalized, but final numbers will be reported later this year both on this blog and on the website. Two fields have so far been cut: our field near Eagle Lake, Texas, and our field in Scott, Arkansas.  Later this week, another field will be cut, and one or two more fields will be cut the week of August 30th.

Eagle Lake, Texas
Initial yield data has indicated a range from 149 bu/ac (dry weight, and where weed control was not optimum) to 172 bu/ac (dry weight, and where there was better weed control).

Scott, Arkansas
Initial yield data has indicated a range from 135 bu/ac (dry weight) to over 185 bu/ac (dry weight).

How is your harvest progressing?  Share with us in the Comments box!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Circles for Rice | Weekly Update

Harvest | David Feilke's Field in Scott, AR, USA
Harvest has started in the United States!  Initial yields have started to come in from two fields, and we will have specific data in the next couple weeks.

So far, in fields where weed control and irrigation was consistent, we have observed yields approaching nearby flood irrigation yields.  Initial water use numbers, where we can compare to flood fields, indicate savings of 40% to 60%.

Irrigation is being cut back on the remaining fields as they range from late milk stage to approaching hard dough.  Irrigation cycles are being changed from every 1-2 days to every 3-4 days.

We anticipate harvesting the rest of the fields within the next three weeks.

Soft Dough Stage
Please visit the often, as 2010 field and harvest updates will be consistently posted throughout the coming weeks.

How is your growing season progressing?  Share with us on our Comments board!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CANALRURAL | Rural Noticias | News Story in Brazil

As it was briefly mentioned in the last blog post (Monday), Valmont Irrigation is currently hosting a small T.V. crew from Brazil. The three gentlemen accompanied we Rice Team members on our Field Day trip last week, and got some great footage! Please view this newscast that was aired in Brazil on August 9.  Thank you to Patrick Hulshof and Dr. Earl Vories for making an appearance!

Disclaimer: Video is in Portuguese.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Circles for Rice Field Days | August 3-5, 2010

Disclaimer: I apologize ahead of time. This post is super long, but I wanted to make sure to squeeze everything in about our Field Days from last week!

August 3-5, 2010, Valmont Irrigation hosted three Field Days dedicated to the Circles for Rice project. Each Field Day was a success, and we could not have pulled them off without our cooperating rice growers, partners, and staff.  Each Field Day had a similar agenda, which included presentations on:
  • Weed control
  • Irrigation equipment and controls
  • Application of water and fertilizer
  • Yield potential under center pivots
  • Field and crop information
  • Irrigation management

Tuesday | August 3, 2010 | Sikeston

Donny Deline's rice field | Sikeston, MO
We started the day by participating in a rice under center pivot Field Day hosted by the University of Missouri Delta Research Center.  Though the weather was hot (even at 8:30 in the morning!), the Field Day presenters persevered and delivered great information, including some newer research on rice breeding.  Presenters included Dr. Gene Stevens (UM Delta Center), Dr. Earl Vories (USDA-ARS), Dr. Anna McClung (USDA-ARS), Dr. Don Beighley (SE Missouri State U), Dr. Joe Henggeler (UM Delta Center), Jim Heiser (UM Delta Center), and Jake LaRue (Valmont Irrigation).

Later that afternoon, we gathered at the Clinton Building in Sikeston, MO, for our first Field Day.  Following registration and a short meet-and-greet, we piled into a well-chilled bus and headed to Donny Deline's rice field.  Presenters included Donny Deline (rice grower), Jake LaRue (Valmont Irrigation), Jim Heiser (UM Delta Center), Fred Ferrell (Mid-Valley Irrigation, Valley dealership), Jerry Gerdes (Valmont Irrigation), and Dr. Gene Stevens (UM Delta Center).

Patrick Hulshof's rice field | Sikeston, MO
After the presentations, we boarded the bus and headed for Patrick Hulshof's rice field, also in Sikeston.  Presenters included Patrick Hulshof (rice grower), Jake LaRue (Valmont Irrigation), Jim Heiser (UM Delta Center), Dr. Earl Vories (UM Delta Center), and Barry Barnett (RiceTec).

Both Donny Deline and Patrick Hulshof participated in the 2010 Circles for Rice project in hopes of finding an alternative crop.

We concluded the Field Day with a WONDERFUL supper, catered by Tasteful Creations.  Rice was not a main dish, but the Butterfinger cake was to die for!

Wednesday | August 4, 2010 | Neelyville

Dennis Robison's rice field | Neelyville, MO
The Valmont crew regrouped Wednesday morning in Neelyville, MO,  for the second of three Field Days at Dennis Robison's rice field. We brought with us plenty of cold water and pastries from Rowland Stollen Bakery and Deli.

Unlike traditional rice fields (which are flat), Dennis's field is rolling.  Because it is a nontraditional rice field, Dennis's participation is one that helps illustrate the ability to produce a good rice crop in new areas of the world.

The Circles for Rice Team collectively felt this Field Day was the most successful of the three.  Despite the terrible heat, the attendees were quite interested in our project and asked a lot of good questions!  Presenters included Dennis Robison (rice grower), Jake LaRue (Valmont Irrigation), Dr. Earl Vories (USDA-ARS), Jim Heiser (UM Delta Center), Fred Ferrell (Mid-Valley Irrigation, Valley dealership), Jerry Gerdes (Valmont Irrigation), and Dr. Gene Stevens (UM Delta Center).

Thursday | August 5, 2010 | Scott

David Feilke's rice field | Scott, AR
After a trip down to Little Rock, AR, we held a Field Day at David Feilke's rice field in Scott, AR.  We provided bagels, muffins, cookies, and coffee from the San Francisco Bread Co. (the BEST cookies ever, I give my recommendation) at the field.  Presenters included David Feilke (rice grower), Jake LaRue (Valmont Irrigation), Dr. Paul Counce (University of Arkansas), Mark Maier (crop consultant), Randy Powell (Ag H2O, Valley dealership), Jerry Gerdes (Valmont Irrigation), and Whitney Jones (RiceTec).

A long-time rice grower, David decided to participate in the 2010 Circles for Rice project in order to grow rice on a budget.

We would like to thank Sid Cameron, our Mid-South Valmont Territory Manager, for his unwavering support of this project and participation in our Field Days.

We had some last-minute visitors tag along for most of the trip - a T.V. crew from Brazil!  We'd like to thank Marcelo, Danilo, and Jose for putting up with the heat and our crazy schedule. 

Now that we're back in the office, expect to see more frequent updates on the Circles for Rice blog!  I will be updating the rest of the Circles for Rice website ( throughout the next several weeks, please visit us for detailed field information.