If you grow rice in California and think you have what it takes to harvest high yields, consider entering the University of California’s annual rice yield contest. Not only could you earn bragging rights, but you also could be in the running for the grand prize of a John Deere Gator.
In years past, about 90% of the sign-ups came during the California Rice Field Day held the last Wednesday of August.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic prompted cancellation of the field day. But Bruce Linquist, UC rice Extension agronomist, will accept yield contest sign-ups through Friday, Aug. 28.
Simply email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or text him at 530-902-2943 your name, email, phone number and region. The state is divided into three production areas to make the contest fairer.
Come harvest, grower-contestants contact their farm advisor to set up an appointment so the process can be supervised.
Growers compete among counterparts in the same region for the top yield title. Then the three top producers’ names are put in a hat, and a name selected to receive a John Deere Gator.
The high-caliber prize is due to the support of numerous sponsors, including (in alphabetical order): Corteva, FMC, Gowan, Nichino, Syngenta, UPL, Valent, Valley Truck and Tractor, and Wilbur-Ellis.
Last year, Gary Enos, Jack Sheppard and Greg Driver were the top producers in their respective regions with yields ranging between about 114 to 119 100-pound sacks. Driver’s name was drawn to receive the Gator.
For contest rules and all the fine print, visit UC Rice Yield Contest.