Cover Story

Richard Farms

I have great memories of riding on the tractor with my daddy late at night. My parents made sure we spent time with both of them regardless of season. This sometimes meant going to meet dad. Christian and I do the same thing. I met him this afternoon to exchange papers, and I left with one less kid that I lost to his infatuation with the “big tractors!” That time is important for these three kids to not only see what we are doing but to be able to spend good interactive time with us. They come to the farm office with me, ride the tractor with dad, help bring lunches to the field and are around when we are harvesting. They do think that dad built them the biggest indoor bike rink since he built his farm shop next to our home! Read More »

Be Aggressive Up Front

Make weed control decisions now By Carroll Smith Editor Strategic herbicide choices and application timing early in the season not only provides better control of target weeds while they are small but also maximizes yield potential and quality when harvest season rolls around. Early season weed competition contributes to yield loss in the first three to four weeks after crop ... Read More »

U.S. Rice Ready to Roll

No cash bids being offered throughout the year can definitely be described as a “tight spot.” And when rice farmers find themselves in a tight spot, they don’t give up. That’s not their nature. Instead, they look for another alternative to sell their rice. Several years ago, a small group of rice farmers in southwest Louisiana, who were faced with this situation, came up with an idea to send their rice to Mexico via rail. The inspiration for this thought was a rail facility located at the Lacassine Agri-Industrial Park that originally had been intended to carry sugar. Although that venture did not pan out, the property, infrastructure, spur and truck scales were all still there. Mark Pousson, who is the manager of what is now the South Louisiana Rail Facility (SLRF) in Lacasinne, explains how Mike Strain – the Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry in Louisiana – and Governor Jindal’s administration worked with them to “make something happen.” Read More »

Experience Pays Off

At certain times of the year, gusty winds howl across California’s Sacramento Valley, known for its rich adobe clay soil and home to the Sutter Buttes, described by many as the smallest mountain range in the world. For generations, farmers have grown rice in this area of the state, and producer Frank Rehermann is no exception. In 1972, fresh from the Navy, Rehermann began his journey as a California rice farmer with the assistance of his father-in-law, Ron Harrington. One piece of property that they farmed was owned by the Righero brothers, who originally began the process of wrestling the unleveled ground with sloughs running through it into good, farmable rice fields. Later, using an old D-7, Rehermann continued straightening the levees throughout the property to achieve greater efficiency. Today, he knows those fields well and has used that knowledge to help shape his rice production strategies. Rehermann has to be mobile because his operation is spread out, encompassing property at Live Oak, the Riceton area and the White Ranch – located on the other side of Richvale – that he began leasing from Minnie May White in 1973. In all, Rehermann farms 900 acres of rice, planting 50 percent to M-206 and the remainder to M-205. Read More »

Yorktown Planting Co.

Arkansas farmers share their recipe for success The main ingredients for their operation’s success, according to fifth- and sixth-generation Arkansas rice farmers Paul and Gil Dreher, include choosing the right varieties, investing in a grain management system, managing their water wisely and hiring a conscientious rice consultant. “My grandfather, my dad and my uncle settled in Grady, Ark., in the ... Read More »

Market Update

While there is always a chance of a few surprises, it appears that 2014 was a good production year with aboveaverage yields and good to very good quality being reported. Now the focus will be on finding enough demand for rice supplies that are estimated at nearly 10 percent higher than the previous year. Based on USDA's October 2014 supply and demand estimates, demand is expected to increase by seven percent for the 2014/15 marketing year. While positive, this increase isn't expected to be enough to keep ending stocks from experiencing a sharp increase – nearly nine million hundredweights (cwts), a 27 percent increase from last year and five percent above the five-year average. While domestic rice usage and total rice exports are expected to increase during the 2014/15 marketing year, the slow start to export sales has placed a cloud over the market. The reported good quality of the 2014 crop and the current lower prices should help continue to support domestic demand. The struggle with demand has been in the export market. To this point, total rice exports are down 13 percent from a year ago. With exports for the 2014/15 marketing year expected to be up by 10 percent, this market will need to see a significant improvement in export business moving forward to meet those expectations. And while it is still very early in the marketing year, the slow start is concerning. This is especially true for longgrain milled rice exports, which are currently running 27 percent behind last year's pace. Without some improvement in export business, there seems little to entice mills from moving from current price levels. Read More »

Lakeland Planting Co.

Mississippi Delta growers keep rice in the mix After graduating from Mississippi State University (MSU), Chico and Pete Williams returned to the family farming operation near Hollandale, Miss. Their grandfather, Leo Williams established the farm in the early 1940s and was later joined by his son, Leo Williams, Jr. They were primarily cotton, cattle and soybean farmers at the time. ... Read More »

Water for Rice

2014 conditions may influence acreage, production practices By Carroll Smith, Editor Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” Even today, this statement holds true, especially for rice production in the United States. The presence of too little or too much water influences rice acreage and, in some cases, the way farmers approach production practices. ... Read More »

A Work in Progress

Be proactive in controlling resistant weeds When weed resistance in rice first appeared, it soon became clear that a silver bullet herbicide program was not magically going to materialize to solve the problem. Everyone involved with weeds in the rice industry went to work to come up with programs to fit most resistance issues. However, even though these programs have ... Read More »

Under Pressure

When your back’s against the wall, you tend to think out of the box. If you find yourself in Arkansas rice farmer Jackie Ray Banks’s circumstances, you may have to think outside of the window, the planting window. Consider this scenario set on May 29, 2013. From March 3 to May 22, it had rained a total of 15.8 inches, ... Read More »