Tuesday, February 7, 2023

It all starts with a seed — the right seed

Carroll Smith,
Editor

B.C. Forbes, the founder of Forbes magazine said, “It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.”

Although Forbes is speaking the truth in this statement, how successful and bountiful the Autumn harvest is literally depends on the seed the farmer selects in the beginning. As university rice specialists stress in the Specialist Speaking column on page 18, choosing seed is one of the most important decisions a grower will make before the season kicks off.

→ “Seed selection decisions start earlier every year, with many farmers making decisions by December. Even with some decisions made, there is still a lot of time before the start of the season to fine-tune those selections and where to plant them.” — Dr. Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas

→ “Varietal selection is an early and important decision a rice grower needs to make each year. In planning, first consider the maturity class that fits into your farming operations and climatic zone.” — Dr. Bruce Linquist, California

→ “Variety selection is not a decision to be made lightly as it is the most important decision facing a producer going into the season. No other input can radically change the yield potential to the extent that variety selection can.” — Dr. Ronnie Levy, Louisiana

→ “Many have already booked seed for the 2023 season, but for the remaining acres we’d like to provide some general recommendations based upon trial data and availability.” — Dr. Justin Chlapecka, Missouri

Hardke offers one more piece of advice for achieving a successful outcome: “Choose what makes the most sense for your specific situation and spread your risk. Rotate technologies and ‘don’t fence me in’ with a technology planted where it can’t be fully utilized.”

On a figurative level, planting the right seed can have a positive outcome as well as shown on page 16 — “Central Texas Rice.” When David Caudell found himself transplanted from Northeast Arkansas to Central Texas, he floated the idea of whether growing rice could be a feasible option in an area not traditionally known for rice production. The locals told him the land was so good he could grow anything. To solve the logistics of where he would send his rice, Caudell struck a deal with RiceTec for seed production. And so planting the right rice seed for his Central Texas operation has resulted in David Caudell achieving success in what some would call a long-shot situation.

To assist in selecting the right seed for your operation this year, be sure to visit ricefarming.com and check out the 2023 Rice Seed Guide. 

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