Rice Research Station to celebrate 100 years at annual field day July 1

Bruce Schultz, Linscombe, Steven D.  |  6/24/2009 10:01:29 PM

News Release Distributed 06/24/09

CROWLEY, La. – This year’s field day at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station will cap the centennial celebration of the facility’s existence. The event will be held July 1, starting at 7:30 a.m.

“This is a celebration of the past 100 years, and we’re going to have more of a historical perspective,” said Dr. Steve Linscombe, the station’s director. “Farmers and the general public will get a glimpse of how far agriculture in southwest Louisiana has advanced since 1909.”

Field tours will start at 7:30 a.m., with the last one leaving at 9:15 a.m.

One stop on the field tour includes a demonstration plot of the 42 varieties bred at the station since its founding. Varieties from the station have dominated the southern rice growing region for several decades.

“One of the most visible changes in rice farming is the reduction in height and maturity of rice,” Linscombe said.

Earlier varieties grew as tall as 60 inches and required 150 days for maturity, Linscombe said, compared to modern varieties with heights of 40-45 inches and 115 days from planting to harvest.

Developments in controlling insects, disease and weeds, and in agronomic practices also will be shown on the field tour.

The field tours and the speakers ahead of the lunch will be captured live on video and available to view from any computer connected to the Internet, according to Mike Carl, LSU AgCenter information technology director. The Web address to view the field day is www.lsuagcenter.com/ricefieldday.

“People will be able to watch the field day events as they unfold,” Carl said. “They can also view later by going to that same Web address.”

Linscombe said last year people from several different countries interested in rice research at the station watched the field day from their computers.

A poster session will display ongoing research work by LSU AgCenter scientists, and vendors will have displays and samples of their products.

In addition, vintage farm equipment will be on display, including a binder used more than 100 years ago and a thresher that will be located near a modern combine with the latest technological advances.

A tethered hot-air balloon will hover over the event, and free commemorative posters from the LSU AgCenter will be available.

The address for the station is 1373 Caffey Road, Rayne, La. 70578.

Bruce Schultz

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