Rice Farming


Industry News



CFBF 2009 leadership class member is part of California’s rice industry

Training, travel and team building await the members of the California Farm Bureau Federation 2009 Leadership Farm Bureau class. Starting in February, 10 Farm Bureau members receive 250 hours of specialized training to hone their leadership skills and delve into issues facing California family farmers and ranchers.

The year-long program includes trips to Washington, D.C., to focus on national issues; to Georgia and Florida, to learn about agriculture in other states; and to the Central Valley, to learn about issues facing farmers and ranchers right here in California.

Sarah Reynolds, who is part of the family rice operation – KDB Farms – is one of the new class members and currently the program manager for Butte County Farm Bureau. She serves as chair for the Butte County Young Farmers and Ranchers group and also has served as PR chairperson for her local California Women for Agriculture chapter. In 2008, Sarah was awarded the Star Young Farmers and Ranchers award for outstanding local leadership.

UC Extension team wins prestigious award

A nine-member University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) team recently won the annual Circle of Life award from the California Rice Commission for two decades of dedication and commitment to the rice industry. The commission annually recognizes a “partner that exemplifies the values of our industry, and we honor them with our Circle of Life award,” says Tim Johnson, president and chief executive officer of the commission.

“When we look back at what has made rice the environmental commodity, we see one partner with us for over 20 years – the UC Cooperative Extension,” he adds.

The team includes three UC Cooperative Extension specialists based at UC Davis; five UCCE farm advisors; and Daniel Dooley, vice president of the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The UC Davis contingent is comprised of Larry Godfrey, Department of Entomology; James Hill, Department of Plant Sciences; and James Thompson, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. The farm advisors honored: Christopher Greer and Glenn Nader, Sutter-Yuba Counties; Randall “Cass” Mutters, Butte County; Luis Espino, Colusa County; and Mick Canaveri (and UCCE county director), San Joaquin County.

Some Louisiana rice acres won’t be planted

Saltwater effects on rice-growing fields may keep area farmers from planting as much as 14 percent of the acres they normally devote to rice production in southwest Louisiana, according to an LSU AgCenter report. The LSU AgCenter surveyed its county agents in rice-producing parishes to provide an estimate of the acreage that would be left unplanted because of high salinity levels, the report says.

“We estimate 35,500 acres won’t be planted to rice in 2009,” says Dr. Kurt Guidry, an LSU AgCenter economist and one of the report’s authors. “All of these acres are confined to coastal parishes in the southwest part of the state. While acres in northeast Louisiana were significantly impacted by hurricanes Gustav and Ike, we believe all of those acres have the ability to be back in production in 2009.”

The number of acres affected by high salt levels varies by parish and ranges between 1 and 48 percent of normal planted acreage, the survey of LSU AgCenter agents says. Leading the list are Vermilion Parish where acreage estimates are down 48 percent from normal levels and Calcasieu Parish where estimates are down 14 percent from normal acreage. The storm surge from the hurricanes created significant saltwater problems in Vermilion, Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes, says Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist.

$10 million committed for rice/wheat research

Monsanto has announced a $10 million grant to establish Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program, which will help identify and support young scientists interested in improving research and production in rice and wheat, two of the world’s most important staple crops, through plant breeding techniques.

Monsanto is funding the program, which will be administered by Texas AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University System, for the next five years. The program honors the accomplishments of Dr. Henry Beachell and Dr. Norman Borlaug, who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively.

Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of global judges. Students interested in applying to the program can find more details at www.monsanto.com/mbbischolars. Applications will be accepted until May 31. Announcement of the first year’s winners is planned to correspond with the World Food Prize held in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 15, 2009.

Rice Web Log and Rice Cam return in ’09

Dr. Steve Linscombe, regional director of the Southwest Region, has announced that the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Web Log and Rice Cam are back for 2009. This year the Web Log will follow the progress of two fields: a six-acre foundation seed production field of the new variety Jazzman at the Rice Research Station in Crowley and a commercial field near Kaplan, showing the different phases of the growing and harvest season.

Access the Web Log at http://lsuagcenterrice.blogspot.com.

This year the Rice Cam will show a number of images of the Jazzman seed production field. The Rice Cam can be viewed at http://www2.lsuagcenter.com/ricecam.

Jazzman is a new variety of aromatic rice bred to compete with foreign jasmine rice that is imported from Thailand. Dr. Xueyan Sha, an LSU AgCenter rice breeder developed the variety.

Halomax 75 herbicide receives EPA registration

Aceto Agricultural Chemical Company announces that it has received an EPA registration for Halosulfuron herbicide for use in rice, corn and other crops. This herbicide will be sold as Halomax 75 and will be available for the 2009 use season. It will compete directly with Permit herbicide.

According to Mike Feinman, president, “Halomax contains the same active ingredient and concentration of formulation as Permit. Halomax 75 offers rice and corn producers an economical alternative for the control of yellow nutsedge, hemp sesbania and other hard to control broadleaf weeds.”

Halomax 75 was evaluated by the University of Arkansas, Mississippi State University, LSU AgCenter, University of Cali-fornia and Dr. Ronnie Helms – G&H Associates, Stuttgart, Ark. Findings show Halomax 75 gave control of yellow nutsedge and other tough weeds equal to Permit.

Clearfield rice stewardship on-line training module

According to RiceTec, one of the most important factors farmers are faced with today is protecting the Clearfield techno-logy in rice.

Follow the Stewardship link to RiceTec’s Web site to view the most current RiceTec Technical Bulletin, which addresses Clearfield rice stewardship and RiceTec hybrid rice at www.ricetec.com.

BASF has created a Clearfield Rice Stewardship On-line Training Module as part of its commitment to promote, communicate and support the Clearfield Production System for rice.

To access the Clearfield Rice Stewardship On-line Training Module, please visit agproducts.basf.us/edu/clearfield/ or follow the link under the Stewardship section at www.ricetec.com. As a token of appreciation, BASF will send a gift to the first 750 growers completing this training.

Ward says, ‘Stars are aligned in favor of Cuba’

The Obama administration could restore full trade with Cuba, the president of the USA Rice Federation said at the annual joint meeting of the Louisiana Rice Council and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association on Jan. 29.

“The stars are finally aligned in favor of Cuba,” says Betsy Ward.

She reports efforts are under way to change payment requirements for Cuban rice purchases. Free trade agreements are also pending for Colombia, Panama and Korea. These agreements also could work in favor of U.S. rice producers.

Jim Guinn, USA Rice vice president for trade, says Cuba has the potential to purchase 600,000 metric tons of rice. The largest sale of rice to Cuba in recent years under restrictive trade terms totaled 175,000 tons in 2004, Guinn recalls.

But Guinn says Cuba has yet to recover after a series of devastating hurricanes last year, which has limited the island nation’s spending ability.

Feeling the credit crunch?

“Farm Plan has great financing options for spring-purchased hybrids,” says RiceTec’s marketing manager Chad Duckworth. “The March Farm Plan Program offers zero percent until March 31, 2009, followed by prime + 1 percent APR. For May-purchased products, Farm Plan offers prime + 1.75 percent APR, and both programs are to be paid in full on your December 2009 Farm Plan statement.”

RiceTec will extend a credit offer to those who wish to purchase RiceTec hybrid rice seed for 2009. The May price from RiceTec’s pricing scale will be extended for this special offer, the company says. However, payment is not due until harvest.

RiceTec says that interest on the credit will accrue at 1 percent per month on any unpaid balance until 45 days after harvest or Oct.1, whichever comes first. An additional 0.5 percent interest per month will be added for payments received after Oct. 1, 2009. There will be no penalties assessed for pre-payment.

RiceBeaux herbicide boasts effective one-two punch

A new rice herbicide from RiceCo will provide growers with broad spectrum contact and residual weed control. RiceBeaux’s weed spectrum fills troublesome gaps in the Clearfield program, making it an excellent compliment to Newpath herbicide.

RiceBeaux kills a wide variety of the toughest weeds, including barnyardgrass, sprangletop, fall panicum, coffeebean, aquatics and many others. Plus, it has two modes of action to prevent weeds from developing resistance. According to RiceCo, it is the most effective one-two punch you can get for Clearfield or conventional rice.

“RiceBeaux has two modes of action, so it meets the resistance management criteria that RiceCo is known for,” says RiceCo’s Matt Plitt.

Combined, RiceBeaux’s active ingredients control some of the most troublesome weeds in the rice field from the pre-emergent stage until preflood.

RiceBeaux can be tank-mixed with Newpath in the Clearfield Production System or serve as the foundation for conventional rice crops.