Rice Planting Underway

May 8, 2013 8:07 PM

It is raining rice in parts of the North State as pilots race to plant more than a half a million acres of one of the area biggest crops.

“We have a short amount of time to plant a lot of rice, so we are busy everyday all day long," Craig Compton of AVAG, Inc. said.

Over a three week period local crop dusters will drop more than a million pounds of seed into flooded rice fields.
But, it's taken months of work to get the fields in tip top shape.

"The seedbed is one of the most important parts. Getting land chiseled and disked and the land planned and fertilized," Carl Hoff, President of the Butte County Rice Growers Association said.

Once all that work is done, it was time to call the seed suppliers.

"We clean it and then as growers need the seed we soak it for them and then it goes out to the flyers," Hoff said.

Soaking the seeds for 48 hours before they are dropped on the fields helps them sink and seat themselves in the soil.
But, even after they drop the seeds into the fields the pilots still have work ahead of them.

"We apply different herbicides in the water after that and some more fertilizers if need that," Compton said.

And rice growers are hopeful that all the time and hard work will pay off in the fall when the crop is ready for harvest.

"In Butte County we are going to have about 20 percent more than we had last year which is about 20,000 acres," Hoff said.


Most Popular