Rice Farming


Industry News

Scholarship program available for California students
In periods of economic uncertainty, education programs, scholarships and grants for students often dry up, leaving some promising students without support to cover college expenses. In anticipation of that trend, the Friends of the California State Fair will continue its scholarship program for the 2008-2009 academic year. California college students and graduating high school students are eligible and must submit an application by Friday, March 21, 2008.

This year, as many as 32 scholarships will be awarded in the following areas: arts, general studies, agriculture, international studies, teaching credential programs, fair management, business, sports management, history, viticulture, enology and culinary.

Applicants will be evaluated on personal commitment, goals established for their field, leadership potential and civic accomplishments. Applicants are also eligible for the Ironstone Concours d’ Elegance $5,000 outstanding candidate scholarship.

The Friends of the Fair Scholarship Program was initiated in 1993 and is a collaborative effort of the Friends of the California State Fair, the California Exposition & State Fair and the California State Fair Agricultural Advisory Council.

To receive an application and information, prospective applicants may visit www.bigfun.org or contact: The Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship Committee, P.O. Box 15649, Sacramento, CA 95852-1649. Phone: (916) 263-3636 Email: koneil@calexpo.com.

2006 Rice Leadership class completes final training
Members of the 2006 Rice Leadership Development class received their certificate of completion during the morning general session at the USA Rice Government Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. Class leaders participated in their final session of the two-year program, which focuses on developing leadership skills to the next generation of rice industry leaders.

USA Rice Chairman Al Montna presented class members with a certificate of completion and a pin signifying their participation in the program, which has graduated 119 rice leaders since its inception in 1989.
The Rice Leadership Development Program is administered by The Rice Foundation and funded through a grant from John Deere Co. and Syngenta.

Section 18 approved for seed treatment in LA and TX
The EPA has approved a Section 18 for use of DuPont Dermacor X-100 seed treatment for the control of rice water weevil larvae in Louisiana and Texas.

The Section 18 Emergency Exemption was granted based on several factors, including severity of the rice water weevil infestations, inadequacy of insecticides currently registered for use and the efficacy of Dermacor X-100.

Dermacor X-100 has been evaluated for efficacy against the rice water weevil in Louisiana and Texas for the past three years and in Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri throughout 2007. All treatment applications must be made by commercial seed applicators certified by DuPont Crop Protection.

X-100 is powered by a new active ingredient, DuPont Rynaxypyr. Rynaxypyr is highly potent on target species at low use rates, delivering excellent crop protection as a result of rapid feeding cessation. With a novel mode of action and an outstanding environmental and toxicological profile, Rynaxypyr products are an excellent fit in integrated pest management programs.

Riviana Foods announces new facility in Memphis, Tenn.
Riviana Foods Inc. broke ground recently on its new state-of-the-art rice processing and packaging plant and on-site warehouse and distribution center in Memphis, Tenn. Due for completion in mid 2010, the new 400,000 square-foot facility is located at 615 E. Bodley Ave.

The 31-acre site is located adjacent to Riviana’s existing operations at 2360 Prospect St. The new facility will employ 300 people, an increase of 121 employees.

Bastiaan de Zeeuw, Riviana’s President and Chief Executive Officer, noted that this new, larger facility reflects the substantial growth that Riviana has experienced in recent years.

Riviana Foods has been the industry leader in marketing/processing of consumer rice products since 1911. Today, Riviana leads the branded retail rice market with 22 percent of all retail rice sales volumes.

Packaging and shipping of Riviana’s first line brands – Mahatma, Water Maid, Carolina and River rices – are currently handled from the existing Memphis plant. Upon completion of the new facility, Riviana will consolidate operations from its Houston Instant and Packaging Plants, Warehouse and Technical Center to Memphis. This will include Success and Minute, the company’s first line instant rice brands, as well as private label instant rice volumes.

Riviana Foods Inc. is one of the largest processors, marketers and distributors of branded and private labeled rice in the U.S.

DirectCommand’s new features
Ag Leader Technology, Inc., a leading manufacturer of precision ag equipment, has added new features to its popular application control system, DirectCommand.

DirectCommand now interfaces to the Raven Sidekick chemical injection pump for complete control over chemical injection applications. The InSight display and CAN module will replace the Sidekick Console, directly connecting to the injection pump. Automated prime and calibration routines as well as advanced sensor diagnostics are part of the new direct injection module functionality.

This addition can be used for herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide as well as N-Serve injection application.

DirectCommand now has three channels of granular product control within the spreader module. Operators have the ability to apply up to three products simultaneously at varying rates, either manually or using a prescription. DirectCommand simplifies spreader control by controlling the conveyor and spinner speed in addition to monitoring the bin levels.

The system reads ground speed and automatically adjusts product flow in order to match target application rate. The DirectCommand spreader control systems support PWM, motorized servo, Mark IV.2, Mark IV.4 and Mark V hydraulic control valves. For more information, please visit www.agleader.com.

Entomologist studies potential threat to Arkansas rice
A researcher at the University of Ar-kansas statewide Division of Agriculture is investigating an imported pest less than one-one hundredth of an inch in length that may pose a new threat to Arkansas rice crops.
The panicle mite has been found in farm fields in Texas and Louisiana, but not in Arkansas, says entomologist Ashley Dowling. (See pages 10-11).

Whether the panicle mite will be a problem in Arkansas is not known, Dowling said. It may not be able to survive the state’s winters, or it may be able to overwinter in host plants other than rice.

“In the meantime, it’s best to be aware of the potential threat now, before it becomes a problem,” Dowling says.

Dowling is beginning a population genetics study of the panicle mite to backtrack to its place of origin. The genetic data will also be used to develop molecular tools for identification and detection of the panicle mite, Dowling said.

Entomologist John Bernhardt said the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has been working closely with the State Plant Board and monitoring Arkansas rice for the panicle mite.

Trebon 3G gets Section 18 in LA
The U.S. EPA has approved the Section 18 registration for Trebon 3G for rice water weevil control in Louisiana. For 2008, 128,000 acres of water-seeded rice are approved in the parishes of Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jeff Davis, Vermilion, Lafayette, St. Martin, Avoyelles, Concordia, Evangeline, Pointe Coupee and St. Landry.

A single application of Trebon 3G may be made at the rate of six to nine pounds of product per acre.

Do not apply Trebon 3G within 60 days of harvest. Check with your county agent for other specific provisions.