Greetings from Louisiana rice country! This year, the blog will concentrate research conducted at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, in addition to showing the progress of a 6-acre field of rice planted March 19 to produce foundation seed. We encourage your comments and thoughts to help improve this online tool. If you would like a photograph of a particular piece of equipment or a better explanation of a process, let us know.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Zaunbrecher Field is Planted

With good, warm weather, rice farmers are jumping at the chance to start planting.
On Wednesday, Lake Arthur farmer Ronnie “Blue” Zaunbrecher had seed flown onto the flooded 39-acre field featured in the blog. The field is in this year’s LSU AgCenter Verification Program.
The seeding rate was 120 pounds per acre of the Cheniere variety.
The above photo shows seed falling from the airplane.
Below is a shot of the seed as it hits the water.
Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist in charge of the verification program, recommended that Zaunbrecher not drain the field until Friday. The seed had been soaked to hasten germination, but Saichuk said the seed did not appear to be adequately pipped, or sprouting enough to allow immediate draining after planting. “I think it needs to sit there for 24 hours, then turn the water loose.”
He said the flood will protect the seed from tonight’s cold temperatures in the 40s.
By draining the field, the seed will sprout into the mud and make it less likely to be moved later when the field is reflooded.
Saichuk said reflooding can be done in 4-5 days, and herbicides and fertilizer applied in the next 10 days.
Meanwhile back at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, the 21.25-acre field may be planted within the week if the soil gets dry. Larry White, manager of the Rice Research Station’s foundation seed program, said the field is too wet for drill seeding.

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