Friday, May 6, 2011

Rice Harvest in Brazil | by Kelly Downing

We have received yield information from most of the farms in Brazil, and this week I finally found the time to tabulate the data. We are still waiting for some data, primarily from the research plots. This is a brief update to let you know how things went.

At Fazenda Agua Grande in Sao Paulo, the final yield was 6.52 mt/Ha. This field had some issues with weed infestation; it also experienced some herbicide damage from the previous tomato crop. The growers are optimistic about the future of this technology on their farm, and intend to continue working with it to improve their results.

Fazenda Lagoa, also in Sao Paulo, had planted three different varieties: BRS Querencia, BRS Taim and LAC 202. The BRS Querencia produced 4.5 mt/Ha; the BRS Taim produced 5.1 mt/Ha and the IAC 202 produced 4.02 mt/Ha. This field suffered several setbacks during the growing season, including several days of very cold weather in December and severe weed pressure from broadleaf plants that were difficult to control due to the surrounding soybean fields.

Fazenda Lagoa Bonita in Sao Paulo also had some severe hardship. After battling a tremendous infestation of volunteer wheat and other weeds, and struggling with an inadequate water supply during critical growth stages, the field produced 2.62 mt/Ha of rice. However, the field manager is confident that they learned enough to be successful in the future with this technology.

The Alvarez farm, in Sao Borja, produced 8.5 mt/Ha, which pleased them, and the growers are enthusiastic about continuing their work in this area. They grew Irga 417 on a large pivot (126 Ha) and hosted a well-attended field day in January.

When we receive the data from the research plots in Pelotas and Bage, we will be sure to share it. Until then, I look forward to working with producers and our new representative, Felipe Peres de Oliveira, to support and assist Brazilian rice growers interested in moving forward with growing rice under center pivots this summer.

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