Three California rice producers have been named top yielders in their respective production regions in the 2020 University of California Rice Yield Contest.
Their names will now be put in a drawing for a chance to win a John Deere Gator, said Bruce Linquist, UC Cooperative Extension rice specialist. The recipient will be named during the UC Cooperative Extension winter rice grower meetings in early 2021.
Each regional top yielder also will receive a coveted California Rice Yield Contest winner’s cap.
• Region 1 (NW): Gary Enos, 111.4 hundredweight (248 bushels per acre) with M-209 medium-grain variety.
• Region 2 (NE): Eric Sligar, 127.9 cwt. (285 bushels) with M-211 medium grain.
• Region 3 (S): Greg Driver, 123.5 cwt. (275 bushels) with M-209.
Compare those yields to what Linquist expects as a state average for 2020: 85 cwt. per acre from about 513,000 acres.
Altogether, Extension received 13 yield contest entries this year, which was less than in the past. Many entrants typically sign up in person on deadline day, which coincides with the California Rice Field Day.
The field day moved to a virtual format this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, and that may have reduced the opportunity for in-person entries. Nevertheless, Linquist said he was pleased with the 13 entries.
The information derived from the short questionnaire entrants complete sheds light on seeding rates, planting dates, fertility, weed programs and rotations that help maximize yield potential.
“We learn a lot from these yield contests,” he said during a recent online California Rice Outlook presentation. “They are very useful for helping us with our programs on how to get the high yields that we all like to see.”
The state is divided into three production regions to minimize environmental variations that could affect yield.
• Region 1: West of Sacramento River and North of Highway 20.
• Region 2: East of Sacramento River and North of Highway 20.
• Region 3: South of Highway 20.
The contest entry must be at least 20 continuous acres in size, of which the entrant may select 10 continuous acres for the contest. The actual contest harvest comprises 3 acres, and it must be a commercial medium-grain variety.
Harvest must be supervised by an approved representative, such as a farm advisor, FFA advisor, NRCS conservationist or Rice Experiment Station employee, among others. Yields are adjusted to 14% moisture, and quality dockage also is factored in.
This year, the Gator is sponsored by BASF, Corteva, FMC, Syngenta, UPL, Valent U.S.A., Valley Truck & Tractor, and Wilbur Ellis.