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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Time to drain the fields

Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, told farmer Durel Romaine that it’s time to turn the water loose on the blog field in preparation for harvest.
“With the weather pattern you’ve got right now, you definitely need to drain,” he said.
Rainfall is possible for several days now, so that could add to the time needed to get the water off the field.
Saichuk is holding a panicle in the picture above. He said the rice on the panicles are showing two-thirds to three-fourths maturity, so that tells him harvest is only 2-3 weeks away.
He will make a return visit to the field in 2 weeks to gauge the amount of grain moisture, indicating when harvest could be done.
In the meantime, Romaine said a nearby field will be ready in 2-3 days to harvest, but the weather could interfere.
Back at the Rice Research Station, the field of Jazzman will be drained Friday. Larry White, the station’s foundation seed manager, said draining will only require removal of one pipe. He expects harvest could be 3 weeks away.
“It looks good,” White said. “I don’t see much disease.”

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rice doing well after heavy rain

Rainfall varied across south Louisiana this week. Some areas received several inches, while some got less than an inch.
The rain gauge at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station showed 4.46 inches from Tuesday until Thursday, with most of that on Tuesday.
The field of Jazzman rice is growing well. With little wind this morning, the pleasant aroma of the variety was quite strong.
In the picture to the left, a frog clings to a leaf on a rice plant.

Some of the rice plants in the field, such as the one photographed on the left, have just finished flowering.

Larry White, the station’s foundation seed director, said harvest could occur by mid-August.
Durel Romaine said his field near Kaplan, also featured in the blog, got less than an inch, which means his pumping cost will be reduced by that amount.
Romaine said the water in canals that he uses for irrigation have 50 to 60 grains of salt but the runoff from the rain didn’t appear to fill ditches that feed the canal.
Romaine said he’s not worried about salt in the water at this point because at most he is 3 weeks away from harvest.
Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, said Romaine is probably 10 days to 2 weeks from draining the field in preparation for harvest.