Monday, April 22, 2024

One Step at a Time

Cassidy Nemec,
Editor

There’s a sign on UC-Davis’s campus that reads “This Present Moment Used to be the Unimaginable Future.” I liked that since it almost forced me to look back at where I was years ago and where I am now. I could not have even imagined that I would be standing here today doing what I’m doing now.

It made me think to how I got here, and I quickly decided that it was truly one step at a time. There were more than a few occasions where I would try to take about a thousand steps at a time as that’s sometimes just my nature, but it was always the times I decided to just take the next step that brought me to where I am now.

As we get into the throes of planting, I think this is a valuable thing to remember. We can rush things and maybe find success at the end regardless, but seeing the crop through each stage and taking the time to witness its development throughout the season could be much more beneficial in the long run.

In this month’s issue, we see several prime examples of taking things step by step.

Pages eight and nine detail the return of California’s waterfowl with its rejuvinated wetland habitat. It discusses the role the waterfowl plays in the turning of the season. “The birds also play a role in preparing the fields for planting. As they feed on leftover grains and insects, they mash up rice straw that must be decomposed before the next crop can go in the ground.”

In the cover story on pages 12 and 13, Dow Brantley discusses his path to how he got to where he is now on his farm through programs like the USA Rice Leadership Development Program and his involvement in the organization ever since. “Through USA Rice, I’ve gained a better understanding of the industry and how much politics is involved in rice around the world. Just to be around and listen to others in the rice industry and hear what their issues are today — you pick up a little bit here and a little bit there. You take those ‘little bits’ and see if you can make an idea.”

Beginning on page 20, Extension specialists across the rice-growing states take a look at weed management, and Dr. Jarrod Hardke discusses the “start clean, stay clean” method. “Plant into a stale seedbed environment, if possible, to maximize our rice stand and to minimize weed emergence from disturbing the soil. Let’s discourage weed emergence in the first place,” he said.

In starting the season off right, I thought it would be nice to take a minute to remind us all that we don’t watch everything magically come together all at once. It usually takes some time and effort but is also more than worth it in the end if we just take it one step at a time.

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