Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rice Status - Brazil | by Kelly Downing

Neumann farm
Edwin and Ervin Neumann, Ronney Silva (Valley employee), Renan Bueno (Valley trainee)

Flavio Leandro Medeira | Fazenda Lagoa
Lagoa Bonita
Adilson Rodriguez Machado | Fazenda Lagoa Bonita
Sergio Leme | Capuava

This week I was able to return to Brazil to revisit rice fields I first toured in November. This time, I began with the fields in Sao Paulo State: Fazenda Agua Grande, with Ervin Neumann and his son Edwin, Fazenda Lagoa with Field Manager Flavio Leandro Medeira, Capuava Farm with Sergio Leme and Fazenda Lagoa Bonita with manager Adilson Rodriguez Machado.

Most fields were planted in September, and are nearing harvest; the rice at Capuava was planted in late November (I had not seen this field on my last trip), so it is scheduled for harvest in March. This is a location where Mr. Leme is helping CATI conduct some on-farm variety trials, as well as a production area. The rice (all production areas) looks lush and full right now. However, the soil sensor readings were relatively dry, so it will be important for them to keep up irrigation. The other farms are somewhere between two and four weeks from harvest.

As the rice nears harvest, weeds remain a difficult obstacle in most fields. This will require diligence, effective plans and timely applications for future crops. Fazenda Lagoa also suffered through an unusual period of cold weather in mid-December, when the crop was at R4 growth stage, which caused a lot of damage. Fazenda Lagoa Bonita also has significant weed pressure, since they were unable to prevent or control a large infestation of volunteer wheat from the previous crop.

I always enjoy driving through Sao Paolo state-the highways generally follow the hilltops (and the hills are large-150 – 200 meters of elevation change), so we get to see the beautiful countryside spread out around us. It is obviously quite a different look from what we see in Nebraska, especially in January. On Sunday I flew to Porto Allegre and we drove to Pelotas. Avoiding large lizards in the road is another thing that is not a problem in Nebraska! This week we will have a field day at the Alavarez Farm in Sao Borja, then back to Sao Paulo state and the Neumann farm for their Field Day, as well as visits to other locations in Rio Grande do Sul.