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.

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.