Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Circles for Rice Update | by Jake LaRue

Texas rice 2011
2011 | Texas
United States
The rice field in Texas is progressing ahead of the others. 2011 marks the second year our cooperator in Texas has planted rice under his Valley center pivot; the crop is off to a great start and is well into tillering.

A grower in Missouri is also in his second year of producing rice under his Valley center pivot, and he just finished planting last week. Unfortunately for the other Delta region growers that were to cooperate with us this growing season, they may not be able to plant due to the time of year, flooding and back water.

The South Carolina rice is about 75% emerged and is off to a good start.  

The rice under the center pivot is about 10% emerged and is showing some signs of weed pressure. A plan is in place for weed control.  As the weeds are small, early emergence is a critical time to control weeds and to promote rapid growth of the rice, which may require light, frequent applications of irrigation (0.25 in [.64 cm] or less).

Discussion Box Challenge
How is your growing season going?  Share your story!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 Circles for Rice Update | by Jake LaRue

So far this year, rice production in some areas of the United States has been a challenge.

In Texas, the rice is tillering and requiring frequent irrigation due to an abnormally dry year.

In the Delta region, fields that were to be planted with rice under center pivots are still underwater; in the northern areas, time is running out.  We will keep you updated on the situation.

We have a rice field under a center pivot in South Carolina; the field has been planted but has not yet emerged.

We also have two fields in China with rice under center pivots; they, too, have been planted but have not yet emerged.

Discussion Box Challenge
Are you a grower in the Delta region of the United States?  Are you experiencing over saturated fields due to the rain and storms?  Share your story!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What is Valley VRI?

This spring, Valley Irrigation is focused on the introduction of the Valley Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) product line and services offered by CropMetrics™.

VRI is a combination of hardware, software, and control features that provides ultimate precision irrigation to growers. Ideal for fields with multiple soil types and varying topography, irrigation application with VRI can be programmed to match specific field conditions.  VRI is available for center pivots.

Two applications of VRI are available:
  1. VRI Speed Control | Adjust application depth in up to 180 individual sectors in a field
  2. VRI Zone Control | Adjust the application depth in up to 5,400 different management zones in a field

In order to use VRI Speed Control or VRI Zone Control, a VRI prescription must be uploaded to the center pivot’s control panel or TrackerLT.

CropMetrics is a company that specializes in data management and writing VRI prescriptions for Valley VRI Speed Control and VRI Zone Control. For more information on CropMetrics, please visit www.cropmetrics.com.

For general VRI inquiries, please contact us at ValleyVRI@valmont.com or +1-402-359-6062.

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.

Contact Us
Contact a member of the Circles for Rice team at rice@valmont.com .

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Welcome to the Precision Irrigation Blog by Valley Irrigation!

Welcome to the Precision Irrigation blog by Valley Irrigation! We will be keeping you up-to-date on various aspects of precision irrigation, including Valley Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) and crop management practices.

Comments are more than welcome, and we encourage discussion.

Though we will be publishing all posts under the name "Valley Irrigation," several authors will be contributing to this blog:
  • Jake LaRue | Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) Product Manager, Valley Irrigation
  • Cole Fredrick | VRI Specialist, Valley Irrigation
  • Justin Loeffler | VRI Specialist, Valley Irrigation
  • Jerry Gerdes | Water Application Product Manager, Valley Irrigation
  • Kelly Downing | Ag Project Specialist, Valley Irrigation
  • Martin Brack | Jr. Irrigation Application Engineer, Valley Irrigation
  • Nick Emanuel | CropMetrics™

For general VRI inquiries, please contact us at ValleyVRI@valmont.com or +1-402-359-6062.