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Rice in California

How rice is grown in the state of California, United States
by

Raquel L

on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of Rice in California

Rice How It's Grown: Rice seed is pre-soaked in bins of water before it is seeded. This starts the germination (sprouting) process. This makes the seeds less buoyant and allows them sink to the bottom of the water and into the top of the ground. When it is time to plant the water is drained from the bins and the seed is put into a trailer and hauled to the fields. Then the seed is moved to a loader truck that loads the seed in to the airplane. When the rice is planted the typical rate is 150 pounds per acre. Early May to mid October By: Macy Lavy Problems to Watch For: After the seed is planted you have to watch for algae or "scum" developing on the soil. The algae is caused by existing organic matter and the nutrients added to the soil. This disease covers the young seedling and blocks it from sunlight and oxygen, eventually killing the seedling. To get rid of the algae, copper sulfate is applied using an airplane.
Another problem is Tadpole Shrimp, a common pest in this area. They look like a tadpole the size of a dime. When feeding, these pests nip off the young sprout, killing the plant. Lamda-Cy is flown on by airplane to treat the field for this pest.
There are also weeds to take into consideration. You have to watch for aquatic weeds, because the dry land weeds can't grow in the flooded conditions. The aquatic weeds crowd the rice plants and compete for nutrients, resulting in a poorer crop. There are not a lot of choices when it comes to spray, but it is also applied by plane but can also be done by tractor. Before Spraying: You have to make sure the wind is blowing in your favor before you spray. Most sprays can be flown on in low risk areas, where there isn't a lot of wildlife or other kinds of agriculture, but sometimes they have to be put on with a tractor or fourwheeler. The wind limit is 10mph. You have to make sure you spray at the right time, otherwise you could cause damage to the rice plants. 85 Days: At 85 days Kinds of Spray: *Cerano, Clincher, or Bolero sprays are used on thin, grassy weeds.
*Propanil and Grandstand mixed together are used on broad leaf weeds. 10 Days: Depending on how hot the weather is and how shallow the water is, the rice becomes visible at 10 days. The hotter it is and the shallower the water is, the sooner the rice becomes visible. Day 10: Depending how hot the weather is and how shallow the water is, the rice usually is visible at about 10 days. The hotter the weather and more shallow the water, the sooner the rice will be visible. Day 85: The head of the rice plant, called the pannical, appears at 85 days. There are typically anywhere from 90 to 150 individual grain seeds on each pannical, and there are 3 to 5 pannicals on each rice stalk. That means that on a stalk that has 4 pannicals and 85 grain seeds on each, there are 340 grain seeds on that stalk! Dew & Mold: As the grain is developing the environment in the field is still very moist, which causes high humidity during the warm evening. This causes a heavy dew on the plants. As the day heats up the dew creates the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow. This makes a unhealthy plant resulting in a poorer yield and could even kill the plant if severe enough. The diseases caused by mold and bacteria are Stem Rot, Sheath Spot, and Blast. To control these diseases a fungicide called Quadrus is flown on. Stem Rot Sheath Rot Harvest: The fields are drained 20-30 days before the expected harvest date. This allows time for the fields to dry out enough to support the weight of the combines and bankout wagons when they come in to harvest so they don't leave ruts in the field. Harvest The fields are drained 20-30 days before the expected harvest date. This allows time for the field to dry out so it can support the weight of the combines and bankout wagons. If it is to damp the tractors will make ruts in the fields. A combine harvests the grain by cutting the plant and running it through a process that separates the grain from the straw and chafe. The rice grains are stored in a bin in the back of the combine. When the bin gets full a cart called a Bankout Wagon pulls alongside the combine. They usually keep going, allowing the combine to keep cutting while emptying its load. The Bankout then takes the rice to waiting trailers that will take the rice to the dryer. Harvest Cont... The rice is harvested around 21% moisture. This helps maintain the quality of the kernel by reducing cracking. The dryer then applies gentle heat and air to reduce the moisture to 13-15% to allow the rice to be stored with low risk of spoiling. Preparing for Planting: Before water is applied, the ground is tilled to remove weeds and residue, loosen the soil, and reduce the clods down into a fine particle that the seed can easily take root to. The tillage also dries the soil allowing it to acquire oxygen molecules that the young roots need to survive in the early growth stages. Tillage work typically includes chiseling, disking, and triplaning. Fertilizer: The fertilizer is applied after the tillage and before the field is flooded. Aqua ammonia is the main source of nitrogen for the crop as it grows. It is applied at a rate of 80 gallons per acre. The aqua is placed 4 inches deep so the plant gets it at about 30 days and can feed on it through maturity. A starter blend of fertilizer is also applied for the plant to use for the first 30 days. It contains the three main nutrients plants must have: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Rice Fields: Rice fields are divided in to "checks" or "paddies". The ground is level within each of the checks in order to hold water evenly throughout the growing season. The depth is typically 4-6 inches deep. The checks are divided by levees, and at the end of each levee is a box structure. These structures let allow the water to flow from one check to the next. Boards are placed in the box to "dam up" the water in the check to the desired depth. Chisel Disk Triplane Fields: Rice fields are divided up into "checks" or "paddies" and each check is separated by levees. At the end of each levee is a box structure. Boards are placed in the box to "dam up" the water and keep it at the desired depth. Typicality the water is kept at 4-6 inches.
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