Mid-South Gin Show

Make your plans now to attend this annual premier event When Feb. 27 rolls around in a couple of weeks, the 63rd Annual Mid-South Farm & Gin Show will welcome visitors to the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tenn., where they can leisurely stroll the exhibitor aisles to see what’s new for their farming and ginning operations. Informative Ag Updates ... Read More »

Project Receives Major Grant

Rice industry, DU recognized for habitat conservation efforts Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced approved grants from the first round of proposals to the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The USA Rice Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) and more than 40 collaborating partners are pleased that the “Rice Stewardship Partnership – Sustaining the Future of Rice” project was ... Read More »

Nitrogen Management

New tool protects against volatilization and nitrogen loss Farmers apply nitrogen to their rice crops to promote optimal plant growth and achieve maximum yields. For nitrogen to meet these goals, it has to be available to the plant. Dr. Nathan Slaton, professor and Director of Soil Testing at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, says, “For urea, we have ... 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 »

And the Winner Is…

Northern California contest yields information, recognition By Bruce Linquist In 2015, the University of California Cooperative Extension kicked off a yield contest with rice growers. The purpose was to provide an opportunity for rice producers and UC scientists to share information about intensive rice production in California and to recognize individuals who have achieved the highest yields. This season, Richter ... Read More »

California Bloggin’: Thoughts on Farmer Appreciation and The Return of Rain

This time of year, there is a Rice Outlook Conference involving the six states that produce rice. And for most of the California attendees, the top activity for the three days was to watch the weather back home. We had left for the conference after some welcome rain the week previous, and now there was promise of more. A lot more. More than we received in all of 2013. And while the storm wasn’t as “epic” as it was hyped to be, it was a welcome change. The five inches of rain filled rain gauges, helped the decomposition of the remaining rice straw in the fields and filled bypasses and flood plains along the river. Read More »

Blanca Isabel

In 1998, Dr. Milton C. Rush, a plant pathologist with LSU AgCenter, was looking for a rice variety with a natural resistance to sheath blight. In doing so, according to LSU rice breeder Dr. Steve Linscombe, Rush introduced a purple grain line into his program that he thought might have higher levels of sheath blight resistance. What ultimately occurred was something else entirely. As noted on purpleblackrice.com, when Rush crossbred a common Louisiana long-grain variety (Cypress) and a purple/black kernel variety from Sri Lanka (Hitan Kitan), he developed a new, high-yielding, early long-grain purple rice variety that he named Blanca Isabel. It is unique in that it has the cooking qualities, texture and taste of long-grain white rice and the health benefits of purple rice. Read More »

Crop Insurance Q&A

Risk management tool sparks questions from farmers Editor’s Note: When the new Farm Bill was signed into law, the spotlight beamed brightly on crop insurance. Ethan Branscum, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation Assistant Director of Commodity Activities & Economics offers answers to frequently asked questions regarding this risk management tool in today’s ag environment. Q. Why is crop insurance a new ... Read More »

Adjusting Rice Fertility Programs ‘Makes A Big Difference’

To help manage his rice crop, from winter planning sessions all the way through the season, Rehermann depends on the advice of Eric Benzel, a PCA with Big Valley Ag Services in Gridley. “The members of the family from which Eric comes are long time friends of my family,” Rehermann says. “Right after World War II, my father worked for ... 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 »