UC hosts free weedy rice workshop, Aug. 1

weedy rice

Whitney Brim-DeForest displayed the five different biotypes of weedy rice found in California at the 2018 Rice Experiment Station’s annual Rice Field Day. The number of biotypes has since increased to six.

The University of California Cooperative Extension will host a free weedy rice workshop, from 10 a.m.-noon, Aug. 1, at the Colusa Casino Chairman’s Room in Colusa.

Weedy rice, an all-inclusive term for red rice and undesirable outcrossings, was confirmed in about six California rice fields in 2003. By 2016, it had exploded and had been found in about 60 fields covering about 10,000 acres within the state. It has remained relatively stable since then.

Since the original discovery, researchers have confirmed a total of six different biotypes in California

Weedy rice belongs to the same genus and species as commercial rice — Oryza sativa — which makes it difficult to control. Nearly any material that will control weedy rice also will damage the commercial crop.

Many weedy rice biotypes have dark kernels, which can discolor white rice during milling.

Many also are taller than commercial varieties and lodge easily, taking down commercial rice as they go. In addition, weedy rice plants rob nutrients from the crop.

Their seeds typically mature earlier than commercial rice, shattering onto the soil and creating a seedbed for next year’s infestation. (Learn more on the California Weedy Rice website.)

Producers in the Mid-South, where the pesty weed is endemic, have seen yield reductions as high as 60% in fields with uncontrolled weedy rice.

Among the topics to be covered at the UC workshop are:

• Introduction and Update on Weedy Rice Distribution.

• Regulatory Update.

• Rice Seed Quality Assurance Program Update.

• Weedy Rice Biology, Ecology, Genetics, and Identification.

• Effect of Weedy Rice on Plant Growth and Yield.

Lunch will be provided. Although the event is free, you must register. Only 50 seats are available and will given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

REGISTER HERE