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, September 1, 2010

Blog field harvested

The blog field was harvested Thursday (Aug. 26) with a yield of 47.2 barrels per acre (170 bushels or 76.4 hundredweight), according to Larry White, director of the LSU AgCenter. The field of medium-grain rice was cut at 17 percent moisture.

Next year this same field will be fallow.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fertilizer applied again

The blog field was fertilized this morning with  urea (46 percent nitrogen) at the rate of 100 pounds per acre. Plants are at the green ring (panicle initiation) stage of development. This growth stage signals a shift from vegetative growth to the initiation of reproductive growth. At this stage, the panicle where the grain will later be formed begins to develop at the base of the stem.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fertilizer applied, now time for permanent flood

Nitrogen fertilizer was applied to the field Tuesday afternoon by airplane at the rate of 92 pounds per acre. Now Larry White, director of the foundation seed program at the  LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, will soon be turning on the valve to release water for the permanent flood.

What little moisture the field has received has been from pumping. The last rainfall at the station was on May 3 with .03 of an inch. The entire month of April brought only a half-inch of rain, and so far the rainfall total for 2010 is only 9.7 inches compared to 23.77 inches last year. Below you can see the dried earth and the young rice plants.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pumping time

The weather won’t cooperate with rainfall, so Larry White, manager of the Rice Research Station’s foundation seed program, turned on the water Wednesday to flush the field with just enough water to saturate the soil. Rain was predicted for last weekend, but most areas received little moisture. More rain if forecasted for this weekend.

Before flushing, White sprayed Permit and Propanil to control weeds.

Below, you can see the water as it spreads across the field.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Seedlings are up

Rice seedlings in the blog field have emerged above the ground.

Fertilizer, 8-24-24, was applied by airplane Monday at the rate of 250 pounds per acre. You can see the red chunks of fertilizer in the photo below. 

Larry White, director of the Rice Research Station Foundation Seed Program, said if the crop doesn’t get rain before the weekend, he’ll probably flush the field.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Where's the rain when it's needed?

Farmers across the area have had their fingers crossed that each passing front would bring enough rain to give rice seedlings moisture, so pumps wouldn't have to be used to flush fields. It's no different at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station. Larry White, director of the station's foundation seed program, decided to go ahead and pump water onto the blog field at the rate of 600 gallons per minute. Once the field has been covered with a minimal amount of water, the pumps will be shut off.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In this view to the left, Tim Miller drives a tractor pulling a levee plow in the blog field Tuesday at the LSU Rice Research Station. Building up the levees requires several passes with the equipment. Larry White, director of the station's foundation seed program, said planting a flat field  is easier because the tractor and seed drill don't have to negotiate the levees.

In the photo below, you can see how the plow pulls the soil up into a berm.

White expects to flush the field, probably tomorrow, to provide adequate moisture to seedlings which are  germinated. Forecasts call for rain maybe Thursday, but rain was predicted for the previous weekend but none fell at the station.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 blog field has been planted

This year's LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station web log begins with the planting yesterday (March 29) of a 9.5-acre field near the station's rice bins. It's the same field featured in 2006, this blog's first year.
The field was planted with the medium-grain variety Jupiter, developed by the LSU AgCenter and released in 2005.
The seeding rate was 26 pounds per acre and the seed was treated with Dermacor for rice water weevil control, gibberillic acide to promote early growth and dithane fungicide.
Research associated Shane Theunissen is driving the tractor, shown above, pulling the seed drill. Larry White, manager of the foundation seed program at the station, said the seed is being planted at a depth of about three-quarters of an ince.
If all goes well, harvest should take place in early August. You can watch the crop's progress by using the link on the right side of this screen that directs you to a web camera installed near the field.
In the picture below, Davis Dautreuil, LSU AgCenter technology ace, is shown preparing the webcam.