Frances Gould, Schultz, Bruce | 10/3/2013 12:36:23 AM
LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dr. Johnny Saichuk said the 2012 growing season was a "mixed bag" for the rice research verification program.
"This was the best year in terms of participation," Saichuk said. "I had farmers walk the fields with me every week."
Saichuk said a requirement of the verification program, which was in its 15th year during 2012, is the grower and LSU AgCenter county agent must take an active interest in learning. "They are supposed to be there, and that’s the way they learn," he said.
For the 2012 growing season, the verification program had growers in Cameron, Vermilion, Allen, St. Landry and Concordia parishes participating.
Turning to the mixed bag, however, yields were disappointing.
Saichuk said yields were off for 2012 by an average of roughly 200-300 pounds per acre. Even though the LSU AgCenter rice specialist stresses the verification program is not a yield contest, he said he is disappointed when yields fall short of expectations, so he is hopeful the 2013 results will improve.
"I’d love to have a year where we have every field break 50 barrels," Saichuk said.
This year’s problems included blast disease, which affected yields. But there also were others.
For example, on the Cameron Parish field, the new N-STAR nitrogen test recommended only 65 pounds of nitrogen, but that amount may explain the poor yields of only 34 barrels, Saichuk said.
In Vermilion Parish, a field had to be replanted because of ducks feeding on seed, but it still yielded 45 barrels, despite a bad red rice problem.
(This article was published in the 2013 Louisiana Rice Research Board Annual Report.)
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