California rice grower Tom Butler is dry seeding his crop to reduce irrigation and draining the fields earlier than before when preparing for harvest. These new practices conserve water and may help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from his farm, according to an article by UC Davis science writer Brad Hooker. The story was picked up by Western Farm Press.
Butler is participating in a pilot program funded by the Environmental Defense Fund. Though it’s too early to measure, he has seen promising signs from the project.
“We’ve had good results with yield and water conservation, which...
As California rice fields begin to be harvested this week, farmers and UC experts say the yield is expected to be good, but unremarkable, said an article by Ching Lee in the Central Valley Business Times.
"It looks like it's going to be an OK harvest," said Butte County rice farmer Michael Arens.
Yields should be "somewhat average," the article quoted Chris Greer, UC Cooperative Extension advisor for Yuba, Sutter, Placer and Sacramento counties.
A hot spell in August limited flowering in some cases, but the warm weather also helped control the fungal plant disease rice blast.
Rice insects and diseases were minimal or easy to control this year, reported Larry Godfrey, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Davis, at a rice field day in Biggs, Calif., according to an article in Western Farm Press.
Godfrey reached that conclusion even though he trapped 10 times more rice water weevils in his control trials this season than in 2011, the article said.
Tadpole shrimp populations also were high this season and damage was evident. Godfrey believes they were excessive due to the winter dry period. It took longer...
- Author: Brenda Dawson
Reporter Amina Khan with the LA Times profiled husband-and-wife entomologist team Christina and Mark Hoddle of UC Riverside (Mark is also a UC Cooperative Extension entomology specialist). The pair travel the world seeking parasitoids that can serve as biological control to invasive California pests and then test the results at the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside. "Bugs don't take weekends," Christina Hoddle told the reporter, "so neither do we."
- Author: Brenda Dawson
The (Marysville) Appeal-Democrat checked in on the rice harvest which started recently, with an article by reporter Ashley Gebb. USDA reports that harvested acreage for rice in California is up 6 percent this year, to 588,000 acres; in 2010, Yuba and Sutter counties had approximately 154,000 acres planted in rice. The reporter talked to Chris Greer, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Sutter-Yuba and Colusa counties, about what this summer's cooler weather means for the rice harvest. "Overall...