Saturday, May 25, 2024

Getting into the weeds

Cassidy Nemec,
Associate Editor

I have always believed there are certain things in life that are not worth getting too into the weeds about. Sometimes I will research something so much that I start questioning even the basics of the original topic I set out to learn. Rice, however, is not one of those things. My goal is to dig more into the weeds of this crop and continue to learn about it every month. 

It is fitting for this month’s theme to be weed management. There are several things I was already able to learn and appreciate as I read through all the articles herein.

The Endangered Species Act is becoming more of a hot topic. Beginning on page 10, details of the original act, along with its intersection with other acts and agencies, are discussed regarding their impact on pesticides — and what it could mean for the future of rice herbicides. This is a concept full of moving parts and still lacking of many to come. While not on the front end of the herbicides being impacted now, it is important to be aware of what is going on before it gets to where regulations further affect rice.

Pages 16 and 17 showcase a new California rice tool meant to help growers calculate costs and benefits for their rice crop. According to Whitney Brim-DeForest, rotating cropping systems can allow for the use of different weed control tools, such as different herbicide modes of action, and different cultural controls such as tillage, reducing the chances of selecting for herbicide-resistant weeds — an increasingly pervasive issue in rice systems.

Don’t miss this month’s USA Rice update. Betsy Ward commented on extending the reach of rice into the K-12 school systems. “Through developing healthy, delicious, and practical recipes that kids will love, helping school districts source and integrate U.S. rice into their nutrition programs, and positioning rice as a solution that addresses some of the challenges school operators face, USA Rice provides support and guidance to our nation’s schools and children,” Ward said.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how honored I am that Ms. Carroll and Mrs. Lia would have the confidence to allow me to step into this role. They have been great mentors, and I hope to use the knowledge I have learned from them to gain additional insight into many topics and get further into the weeds of rice.

Send comments to: Editor, Rice Farming Magazine, 875 W. Poplar Ave., Suite 23, Box 305, Collierville, TN 38017 or email cnemec@onegrower.com.

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