Research Benefits California Rice


I began working in rice at Rice Researchers — a private rice breeding facility — while attending California State University, Chico. Today, I am the technical marketing and research and development manager for Helena’s Western Business Unit. Since 2003, we have been creating weed control programs through our research efforts to combat herbicide resistance and also developing new chemistries for basic manufacturers for registration in California rice.

Granite GR and Granite SC herbicides have a great fit in the California rice industry. They both are very effective on Echinochloa (watergrasses and barnyardgrass) and susceptible sedge and broadleaf weeds. When Butte (benzobicyclon) herbicide enters the California rice market, Granite GR and Granite SC will have a newfound fit. They are excellent sequential application partners for this herbicide.

Benzobicyclon goes into the water at spike-leaf timing, and Granite GR can be applied sequentially behind it at the two- to three-leaf rice stage. Granite GR controls the grassy weeds and certain broadleaf weeds that Butte misses, particularly California arrowhead, ducksalad and some redstem. A foliar application of Granite SC would be applied a little later when weeds emerge from the floodwater.

We also are excited about a new broad-spectrum herbicide with Rinskor active ingredient from Dow AgroSciences. This herbicide will be a great rotation product for foliar sprays typically conducted with propanil products following a base herbicide. It could not have come at a better time as we are experiencing increasing rates of propanil resistance by smallflower umbrella sedge.

Training Opportunities For California Farmers
The field demonstration series we conduct is an effort to debut best management practices, options and new herbicide technologies so our grower community and staff can be trained on their use and what to expect from a practical standpoint. This program demonstrates different flood cultures, herbicide do’s and don’ts and tricks of the trade using new adjuvant (DynAPak) and bioscience (Megafol) products to take herbicides to the next level for weed control in California rice.

We are working hard at Helena R&D to bring solutions to California rice farmers. Many are practical alternatives to increase the efficiency of their operations. Our goal is to deliver superior rice plant health and nutrition and weed control options that are simple, efficacious and cost effective.

Dave Cheetham

Dave Cheetham
Technical Marketing and R&D Manager, WBU
Helena Chemical Co.
Chico, Calif.

  • B.S., wildland and range science, California State
  • University, Chico; M.S., weed sciences and viticulture, horticulture and agronomy; University of California, Davis
  • Worked in the Rice Weed Science Program while attending graduate school at UC Davis
  • Joined Helena Chemical Co. managing the R&D department for the Western Business Unit after finishing graduate school
  • Past president of the California Weed Science Society
  • Lives with his family in Plymouth, Calif., on their cattle ranch. Married to wife, Chrissy. Two daughters: Cooper and Peyton
  • Enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and general outdoor recreation

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