Yesterday, the first rice was cut for 2011 on the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station. But harvesting was done by hand, not by a combine, because this is rice grown in transplanted rows for the breeding projects of Drs. Xueyan Sha and Steve Linscombe, and they have to be able to tag each bundle of rice so it can be identified after it is threshed and dried.
As you can see from the video below, this is hot and dirty work and very little breeze was noticeable even in the middle of the day.
These plants are the F1 generation from crosses made for variety improvement last summer. The seed from those crosses was planted in the greenhouse in mid- February. As soon as it was warm enough, the resulting plants were transplanted by hand into this field. These bundles will be threshed and the resulting seed will be dried. Much of this seed will be loaded into planting cells and shipped to the winter nursery facility near Lajas, Puerto Rico, where it will be planted in late July/early August. The winter nursery allows these breeding projects to conduct varietal improvement research year-around.
In the meantime, the field that is the focus of the webcam is expected to be harvested in a little more than a month. Larry White, station foundation seed manager, said the rice plants are just starting to develop heads where the rice panicles are being formed.