Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Circles for Rice Update | by Kelly Downing
What a great day! This could be read a couple of different ways. I could be talking about the Canadian air mass came our way last week, which will finally brought a significant respite to our long, hot summer here in Nebraska. Even more welcome are the increased opportunities for a little rainfall in this parched area.
No, the “great day” to which I refer is the center pivot rice field day we held at Dennis Robison’s farm near Neelyville, Missouri last week. We had a really good turnout— participants including rice professionals, farmers and some international rice growers interested in seeing for themselves how this stuff works. In addition, the weather cooperated; for an August day in southern Missouri, it was remarkably…well, I wouldn’t say “comfortable,” but “not miserable” would certainly apply! It was cool enough in the morning that the presentations (in the shade) were not too hot, and by the time it started to really heat up, we were eating a delicious lunch and getting back into air-conditioned vehicles.
We had a few presentations on various topics, including fertility issues, irrigation scheduling, weed control, and how this fits into the rotation Dennis uses on this field. We also tried to address some common myths that keep people from considering this technology, and answered questions. Two years ago, on this field, Dennis grew 186 bu/ac rice, and the rice this year looks every bit as good as that crop did. We will see how it turns out. Dennis has done another great job this year, and the rice looked wonderful. He estimated three or four weeks to harvest, and he certainly has a lot of rice in his field.
Some of you probably know that there are two Kellys here; the grumpy old man (me) and the bright, talented young woman (Kelly Cackin). The talented one was there, taking photos, so I will leave it to her to supply some photos, video, or other links in a separate post, so you can see a little bit of what went on.
I am back in that neighborhood this week, hosting some rice researchers from the Brazilian research organization Embrapa. We will visit with rice researchers and farmers in Arkansas and Missouri, including another visit to our cooperators’ fields in this area, so I will try to give you another update then. We will visit both flood and pivot fields, so we should get some good information on conditions for both. The Embrapa researchers are active in both flood and pivot rice research, and hope to forge some relationships with their peers here. These professional collaborations can benefit growers in both countries, so it will be good to see how things develop.
As we get closer to harvest, I hope this turns out to be a great year for you; stay cool and be safe. I look forward to talking with you again soon.
Posted by Kelly Downing at 3:30 PM