Monday, October 18, 2010

Delta Region Rice Growers Tour Fields by Kelly Cackin

The following article was published by Elton Robinson of the Delta Farm Press on October 15, 2010.

Rice producers hit the road to learn

This morning, one of the very first things I did was check the Delta Farm Press website for any new articles on rice that I could share with you all.  What I found was this article, and I was quite moved by it.  This article is about a passionate group of rice growers in the United States Delta region who have recently toured rice fields that are far from perfect.  The members of the group talked amongst themselves and with other rice producers about each one can do to help make their rice growing situations better, in terms of management, technology, weeds, and other factors.  Other conversations stemmed around rice growers who have already started to overcome and solve issues on their fields.

Hopefully, one say soon, the tour group will pass a rice field irrigated with a Valley center pivot and find that an interesting topic of conversation. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Circles for Rice Blog!

I can't believe it's been one year since we launched the Circles for Rice blog - it's gone by so fast (and, yes, I do realize I'm a bit late in publishing this special edition post, since the blog's actual birthday was in September...)!  Let's take a look back at some of our most viewed (and most memorable) posts:

  • September 25, 2009 - Welcome to the Valley Circles for Rice Blog
    • This was our very first blog post.  Though I am a writer, I'd never blogged before, so this was both an exciting and strange experience.  I kept thinking, "What do I write about?  What do people want to read?  Do I need to modify my writing style?"  Now that I look back at this first post, Jake and I have really let loose and feel comfortable writing to you, our subscribers and visitors.  We've even started to use exclamation points!
  • January 4, 2010 - Welcome to the 2010 Rice Production Season
    • In this lengthier post, we introduced some of the minds behind the Valmont Irrigation rice project.  I'll write a similar post in January 2011 with updated rice team members. 
  • January 11, 2010 -  Valley Rice  Team Update
    • We introduced more rice team members in this post. These are the minds behind the marketing of the Valmont Irrigation rice project.  I'll need to update the photos of us all next year since the ones we used in the post are not quite up-to-date...
  • February 15, 2010 - Circles for Rice Weekly Update
    • This is our most visited post to date.  In this post, Jake optimistically wrote about the rice harvest in Brazil.    
  •  April 15, 2010 - Circles for Rice Weekly Update
    • This post was awesome because it showed that the 2010 rice growing season in the United States was going to be right on time (at least in the Delta region), as compared to 2009 when the rice seed was planted quite late.  We were all pretty excited here in Nebraska when the rice seed was planted in April (right on time, or even a few weeks early); it was a good indication for us that our growing season (in the Midwest)  had a good chance of progressing on time in 2010, too.
  • May 17, 2010 - Circles for Rice Weekly Update
    • We published our first YouTube video with this post. As an ag company, we're a bit slow on the social media uptake, but we're progressing! (Let's see - we have a blog, and we kind of use YouTube...) Though this was only one of two YouTube videos posted to this blog thus far, you will notice that this was not the end of our use of video throughout   
  • September 14, 2010 - September is National Rice Month
    • We helped celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Rice Month by posting information about the month-long event and sharing some recipes!
Thank you to all of our dedicated subscribers and visitors who pop by every once in awhile.  We keep this blog for you, to keep you informed of the work Valmont Irrigation is doing to efficiently irrigate rice.  Irrigating rice with center pivots and linears will put more land into rice production (thereby producing more food for the world's ever-growing population), will give you, the grower, another crop option, and will conserve valuable resources.

Please let us know if there is a particular rice-related topic that you would like us to address in the future - just click on the Comments link at the bottom!

Happy reading!

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Circles for Rice | Weekly Update

    United States

    Harvest | Sikeston, Missouri, USA
    Data continues to come in from the commercial fields and, overall, the results have been good. Complete yield information will be periodically posted on throughout this month; when all yield information has been published, I will post an update. 

    Yields have ranged from 100 bu/ac (4.8mt/ha) to 195 (9.4mt/ha).  The overall average of the nine commercial fields is 159bu/ac (7.6mt/ha). Four fields yielded above the average, and five fields yielded under the average.

    The Circles for Rice team is currently reviewing data to understand what happened in each case. We do know that all fields had excellent weed control, so we cannot blame weed pressure for impacting the yields.

    Initial review of each field indicates that the yields may have been reduced due to a combination of irrigation management, center pivot performance, fertility, and harvest issues.
    Harvest | Crawfordsville, Arkansas, USA

    We have sampled several fields (both tissue and soil) to try to pinpoint fertility-limiting factors. This sampling has led to, in one case, the application of ammonium sulfate.

    This growing season, the project moved onto non-traditional rice soils, and we have thus experienced more challenges with fertility needs on some of the finer sands and loamy sands.

    • Total irrigation applications - 12.2 inches (310 mm ) to 27.1 inches (688 mm)
    • Total number of passes with the center pivot (ie: trips around the field) - 27 to 68
    • Total hours of operation of the center pivot - 411 to 1,357

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Two More Rice Recipes!

    I realize I said I would post rice recipes until October 1 to celebrate September's National Rice Month...however, time got away from me! Below are two more recipes that use rice as the main ingredient. Bon appetit!

    Dirty Rice
    Yield: 8 to 10 servings
    Time: Approx. 1 hour

    You need:
    • 1/2 lb bacon
    • 1/2 lb ground pork
    • 1 lb ground chicken livers
    • 1 large onion, finely diced
    • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
    • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 5 cups cooked rice, at room temperature
    • 4 green onions, including tops, minced
    • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
    To do:

    In a heavy Dutch oven, saute bacon, pork, and livers until they are very brown.  Let the meat stick to the skillet a bit before stirring.  Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; cook until wilted.

    Add chicken broth, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaf.  Add rice and toss the mixture until rice is hot.  Stir in green onions and parsley.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

    Chinese Rice with Vegetables
    Yield: 6 servings

    You need:
    • 1 cup uncooked white rice*
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 cups any combination of:
      • fresh or frozen peas
      • frozen mixed vegetables
      • Julienned carrots
      • sliced mushrooms
      • chopped green pepper
      • shredded cabbage
      • broccoli florets
      • sliced green beans
      • ground black pepper
      • salt (optional)
    To do:

    Combine rice, water, soy sauce, and oil in a 2 to 3-quart saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir once or twice.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes*.  Add vegetables.  Cover; simmer for 5 minutes, or until rice and vegetables are tender and liquid has been absorbed.  Season to taste.

    * If using brown rice, increase water to 2 1/4 cups and simmer for 45 minutes.  If using parboiled rice, simmer for 20 minutes.

    Recipes courtesy of U.S. Rice Producers.