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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

LSU AgCenter Master Farmer Program Includes the Rice Station Blog Field

Not only is the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station blog field being monitored with a webcam a monitoring station takes samples of any water that runs off the field as part of the LSU AgCenter Master Farmer program.
After every rainfall event, Dr. Ernest Girouard of the Master Farmer program, collects samples from monitoring stations at fields across Southwest Louisiana, including the one on the blog field. The photo above shows Girouard preparing the solar-powered monitoring station to collect water samples for the next rain event. To the left is the smaller bottle of collected runoff water that is being analyzed by an LSU AgCenter laboratory in Baton Rouge to determine levels of suspended and dissolved solids, nitrates, chlorides, bromides, sulfates, phosphorous and biological oxygen demand.
The Master Farmer program has been widely accepted by the rice industry with the majority of participants growing rice. It is a great testament to the Louisiana rice growers and their appreciation for natural resources.
Rainfall at the station during the past weekend totaled .69 of an inch, or 1.75 centimeters.
The monitoring stations automatically take water samples when a flow meter senses that water is draining from the field.
The analysis of the irrigation water and water discharged for the parameters listed under monitoring for best management practices will provide valuable information of what is leaving the field after nutrients are applied and what is needed by the rice plant to obtain optimum economic yields.

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